55th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 24, 2020
A Team Offutt member accesses the Record of Emergency Data, or vRED, online as he prepares to update his emergency data information. Accurate vRED ensures the Air Force Casualty Service Branches can provide prompt and accurate reporting, dignified and humane casualty notifications, and thorough and compassionate follow-on assistance to surviving family members. (U.S. Air Force photo by L. Cunningham)
Whether new to the military or 20 years of service, single or married, an important part of a military member's life is taking care of the family members. Providing moral support, maintaining the household and raising the children allows Airmen to maintain and focus on the mission.
Awareness on possibilities of casualties occurring while a part of the military, whether on duty or off, while at home, on temporary duty or while deployed is also a reality.
When a casualty occurs, the Casualty Office's mission is to take care of the surviving family members providing hands-on counsel on applicable benefits and entitlements. One of the documents used by the Casualty Office to determine appropriate survivors for benefits and entitlements is the virtual Record of Emergency Data.
The vRED is an official source document required by law for all Airmen, to provide the military with emergency contact information and beneficiary names. It is used to designate beneficiaries for certain benefits in the event of the service member's death. It is also a guide for disposition of that member's pay and allowances if captured, missing or interned. It shows names and addresses of the person or people the service member desires to be notified in case of emergency or death. Additionally, it designates the person authorized to direct the disposition of remains.
According to the Air Force Personnel Center Casualty Office, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, over 30 percent of the Air Force fatalities have outdated information on their vRED. The significance of keeping these records updated allows timely notification to surviving family members about the death of a loved one. It provides the Casualty Office the knowledge of who will be receiving monetary benefits after the death of a military member.
Inaccurate data on family members listed such as if they have moved or changed their phone numbers, negatively affects and delays notifications. When records are not updated for life-changing events such as divorce, marriage, birth or death of a dependent or family member that will also negatively affect not only who is contacted, but more so impacts designated recipients of applicable benefits receiving or not receiving benefits. The Casualty Office must review six casualty statuses of the military member, first in combatant or non-combatant status, who becomes unavailable for duty due to severe circumstances. The casualty status includes:
- Not seriously injured or not seriously ill
- Seriously injured or seriously ill
- Very seriously injured or very seriously ill
- Duty status whereabouts unknown
In the event an active duty member falls into one of these casualty statuses, they require official source documentation to make emergency contact to the designated individual, designated beneficiaries for monetary benefits.
Legally the Casualty Office must abide by the current information on record. Maintaining updates on these records not only provides the correct information to the Casualty office, but it also protects and provides for current designated family members.
The digital form is located within military members vRED file through the Virtual Military Personnel Flight or myPers at https://mypers.af.mil//.
There are six times you are required to verify and update:
1. Annually during your birth month
2. When going on a TDY longer than 30 days
3. When deploying, no matter what the number of days
4. Change in family dynamics, for instance, divorce, birth or adoption
5. Before a Permanent Change of Station
6. Upon arriving at the new assignment location
Having an accurate vRED ensures the Air Force Casualty Service branches can provide prompt and accurate reporting, dignified and humane casualty notifications and thorough and compassionate follow-on assistance to surviving family members.
For additional information please contact the Casualty Assistance Representative located in building 49.