vRED worth a second look

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Katie Maricle
  • Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Public Affairs

Every year, Airmen and Guardians receive a reminder to look at their Virtual Record of Emergency Data, but this important data deserves a more frequent check-in.

vRED data has several categories a service member can update including individual information, emergency contacts, those to be notified due to ill health, recipients of unpaid pay and allowances, death gratuity and designation of the person authorized to direct disposition of remains, or PADD.

Mortuary and Casualty Affairs personnel often see Airmen who have former spouses listed as their PADD but have remarried.  

“The most common error we find is the PADD being an ex-spouse,” Capt. Briana Quintana, Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Mortuary Affairs Division deputy chief.

In cases like this, not making an effort to update the PADD after a marriage or divorce can cause issues with family members of the fallen service member, according to Quintana.

In addition to an annual review recommended by the Air Force, Quintana recommends Airmen and Guardians update their vRED after any significant life event, such as a marriage, divorce or birth of a child as well as every permanent change of station.

Airmen and Guardians should also review their vRED before and after a deployment. This includes making sure their PADD is current so their final wishes may be carried out properly.

It’s important to ensure PADD’s contact information as well as the primary next of kin is current as well.

“You could potentially have an Airman in a mortuary for days because you couldn’t get a hold of their next of kin,” said Bob Glassheim, a mortuary specialist at AFMAO.

Out-of-date information for an Airman or Guardian’s relatives can seriously affect the process, added Glassheim.

Taking the time to make the appropriate updates to a VRED is one of many ways service members can make sure their loved ones will have access to resources if anything happens to them.

Ensuring the proper people are receiving benefits and entitlements following a member’s passing is a small piece that can prevent extra burden following a loss, Quintana added.

To review and update your vRED, go to the Air Force Portal and select Virtual Military Personnel Flight. On the home screen, click “Record of Emergency Data” on the lower left hand corner under “Most Popular Applications.”