The Armed Forces Covenant isn’t a dusty relic, it’s an ongoing promise from the Nation towards those who have Served our country. A great deal of effort is put into making sure that it is as robust and relevant today, as it was when it was introduced, almost 20 years ago.
The 2018 Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey (AFCAS) was distributed to a random sample of 27,333 trained UK Regular Armed Forces personnel between September 2017 and February 2018 to establish the thoughts of personnel that might help in improving conditions for Service personnel.
Data is always subject to interpretation so while the survey concentrates on
issues pertaining to Serving personnel it can give us a small clue as to how confident people are as they prepare to become Service-leavers.
For instance, using the survey figures, it can be estimated that 76% of personnel have heard of the Armed Forces Covenant, an increase of four percentage points since 2013.
Royal Navy and RAF personnel are most likely to have heard of the Armed Forces Covenant (85% and 83% respectively) compared with the Army and Royal Marines (71% and 67% respectively). It’s likely that they would have heard about the Covenant in the context of an event, service or product, specifically made available for the Armed Forces family – or in other words, they have some awareness of the positive contribution the scheme has made to the lives of Service personnel and their families.
The effort that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) puts into making sure that the general public on civvy street know about the Covenant is continuous and has gained positive results over the years.
This approach, for example, has seen more companies and organisations joining and designing special products and services for the Armed Forces family as a result, including 100% of local authorities in Great Britain having signed the Covenant.
Organisations and companies that have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant commit to “acknowledge and understand that those who Serve or who have Served in the Armed Forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they Serve with their lives.”
In practice, the Armed Forces Covenant can include a huge variety of support and services for Forces personnel and their families. Key areas include help with some of the more crucial aspects of resettlement such as finding a civilian home, access to health care and financial advice.
Organisations that have signed the Armed Forces Covenant operate in all sectors and industries. The Armed Forces Covenant website has a useful search tool to help you find organisations that have signed up within your local area.