WASHINGTON -- Active-duty, and eligible Reserve and Guard Soldiers soon will have the ability to adjust their Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Family SGLI coverage with just a few clicks on a computer or smart device.
The Department of Veterans Affairs collaborated with all the Services to develop the SGLI Online Enrollment System, or SOES. This self-service system replaces the antiquated, paper-based process currently used by all the Services. Soldiers will now use SOES to manage the amount of their SGLI and spouse coverage and to name and update beneficiaries.
"Total force readiness remains the Army's top priority, and financial readiness is a part of that," said Larry Look, chief of compensation and entitlements in the G-1. "Fielding innovative personnel systems such as SOES is an investment toward enhancing the financial readiness of individual Soldiers and the respective departments."
SOES is being implemented in phases meaning that each service will not automatically have access upon the system's launch. Marines are scheduled to gain access in early-Fall 2016. However, the Army will be the last of the services to gain access on or about April 2017 because of the Army's larger population in comparison to the other services.
"Soldiers will receive a notice from their unit leadership announcing SOES access is available to them," Lock said. "It is fast, easy, and safe for our members' use."
SOES can be accessed by logging onto www.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect, signing in, and then clicking on "SOES" under the "Benefits" tab. Soldiers may log in to SOES with their CAC or DS Logon to verify their SGLI coverage and beneficiaries are up-to-date.
This modernization to the Army's Human Resources system at large also serves as an admin tool for commanders and Army HR personnel to better support Soldiers and Families. It is expected to enhance the Army's capability to lessen and ultimately eliminate "out-of-service" debt. These cases often include Servicemembers who are ineligible to receive coverage due to an AWOL status.
Under the old system, errors have cost the Army more than $2 million annually in overpayment claims and more than $9 million annually in claim payments due to incorrectly processed coverage restoration.
"Commanders, unit HR specialists, and appointed administrators can better validate, monitor and report SGLI elections for an entire unit or a single Soldier," Lock said. "Additionally, Casualty Assistance Officers will have a central source to obtain beneficiary and coverage information in the unfortunate event of a Soldier's death."
"The Army is modernizing many of its HR systems to be more user-friendly and aligned with 21st Century HR best practices," he added. "SOES will give Soldiers greater flexibility and freedom in managing the entitlements they have earned and enhance mission focus and readiness."
Soldiers who enlist into the Army on or about April 2017 will still be required to use DD Form SGLV-8286 to manage their SGLI and Family SGLI coverage.