Commentary

June 8, 2012

SHIRTS CORNER

Like Boy Scouts, be prepared

by Chief Master Sgt. Scott Leach
56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron

The Air Force does a great job in preparing Airmen when a deployment tasking comes down. Our members perform weapons qualification, ancillary training and even enact wills and powers-of-attorney for family members. The irony of this issue is that we do this to get ready for a deployment, but many Airmen forget to stay prepared at their home station.

The first step is checking the record of emergency data on the Virtual Military Personnel Flight or vMPF. This record contains personal information, emergency contacts, death gratuity elections and even the person who will be responsible for directing disposition of your remains. These items are difficult subjects to think about, but it is vitally important they are correct. When an emergency happens, the Air Force uses this data to make official contact with family members, determine who receives monetary benefits, and what funeral arrangements will be made. When this information isn’t current, it takes the Air Force days instead of hours to make proper family notifications.

Wills and powers-of-attorney are not just items that need to be completed for deployments, they should always be current. Anytime you move locations, get married or divorced, beneficiaries change or have new dependants, these items will need to be reviewed and updated. This ensures your wishes are carried out so your property or assets are given to the proper person. There have been cases where a person’s benefits and belongings have been given to a third ex-spouse because the will wasn’t current.

Another important item to consider is insurance coverage. Although military members and their families are automatically covered with life insurance policies, these policies need to be reviewed to ensure proper amounts and beneficiaries are selected. Additional civilian insurance can be purchased for special needs or to augment military coverage.

Renters insurance is a policy everyone should have if they are renting a home or apartment, living on-base or even living in the dormitories. These premiums are very inexpensive ($5 to $20 a month) but have a huge impact when a tragedy happens. Members without renters insurance are typically left with only a few smoke-damaged belongings and a family wondering what to do next. On the other hand, people who have a policy are taken care of immediately with a place to stay, and money for expenses. They usually receive full replacement for all items damaged or lost.

Luke Air Force Base has seen many tragedies in the last year with six active-duty deaths. There are many actions to complete for each situation, so the record of emergency data has to be correct. We have also had several household fires, and the members with renters insurance were able to rebound much better than those without it. None of us want to think about a tragedy happening, but we all have to be prepared, just in case. Your family’s future and well-being may depend on it.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

New form second chance to do EPRs right

Without fail, every time I am around a group of young NCOs, there is one subject guaranteed to come up — the enduring question of “How can I write a stronger EPR for my Airman?” My answer to this question is fairly standard and is one that a chief shared with me many years ago....
 
 

Plan for final out

How many of you are prepared for life outside of the military? Seriously, if you were told tomorrow was your final out, what would you do? We are currently in an environment where Defense Department rollbacks are a serious issue we must all contemplate. Fewer officers are being commissioned. Last year there was only one...
 
 

Dollars and Sense

As the economy has slowly moved along, the total amount Americans owe has increased 5 percent from last year. Revolving credit card debt has increased $12 billion in the last three months, according to the Federal Reserve. Airmen mired in debt may be tempted to take out payday loans or title loans, transfer balances to...
 

 
Stonewords-pic

Fly Over: Haus Murphy’s Authentic Bavarian food in Glendale’s historic district and ‘Stonewords: A Ghost Story’

Haus Murphy’s Authentic Bavarian food in Glendale’s historic district The West Valley landscape is dotted with fast food franchises, Mexican restaurants and Chinese super buffets, so it’s a rare treat to find a local rest...
 
 

Knocking it out of park means excellence

Over the past several years the Defense Department has seen an unprecedented reduction in force. Twenty years ago when I was a young Airman learning the Air Force ropes, our active-duty force was more than 421,000 strong. Today, our end strength stands at just over 323,000 Airmen, a reduction of roughly 100,000 personnel. Because of...
 
 

Gut check: Where do you stand?

Since the beginning of our Air Force careers, the majority of us have been taught that in order to lead, we need to lead by example and lead from the front. Today, that has not changed. However, as we all know, it is virtually impossible for all to be in front at the same time,...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin