Accurate contact information critical to mission, family

  • Published
  • By Capt. Christopher Chesser
  • 374th Mission Support Squadron
What happens when a service member fails to notify military agencies of a change to his or her phone number? Personnel databases become obsolete. Pyramid recalls fail. Hospitals can't contact or set up appointments for patients.

What if every service member on base was to change his or her telephone number at the same time? Sound improbable? Not so much. In fact, the very same scenario could play out on Yokota Air Base this spring, unless you do something about it.

With the Allied Telesis information services contract having taken effect, virtually every home on Yokota Air Base will soon (if not already) sign up for a new telephone number.

In order to maintain accurate information in personnel databases, on recall rosters and in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to effectively update TriCare databases, it is incumbent upon individual service members to ensure these sources are updated.

Inaccurate contact information has repercussions not only on mission readiness but impacts service members and their families' lives.

For example, if one failed to update DEERS, he or she could run into continuity of care issues with base medical providers. DEERS data wouldn't allow doctors to contact patients for follow up care.

Another significant point is emergency data updates. Emergency data updates to vRED are required via vMPF anytime changes or updates are made to personal information to ensure proper personnel notifications in time of emergency.

Outdated contact information can cause breakdowns in communication between the member, their families and the mission.

Fortunately, the Web makes the process of updating phone numbers quick and easy. Why wait in line at the commander's support staff, Military Personnel Flight Customer Service or Tricare office, when people can update information quickly at their desktop?

By taking five minutes to follow these simple steps, members can ensure their contact information is 100 percent correct. Service members should ensure records are accurate at these three sources:

1) For personnel records update: Go to Click on vMPF Self-Service Applications. Look for "Record Review/Update" tab.

2) For recall roster update, people can contact a supervisor and commander support staff.

3) For info update to DEERS/TriCare: Go to:
Unit commanders, commander support staffs and supervisors should encourage routine personnel data verification. However, in light of the Allied Telesis conversion, contact information update is particularly critical now. For more information contact the CSS or MPF.