Armed Forces Covenant close-up: myth-buster


    The Armed Forces Covenant is rather confusing for many of us veterans and serving personnel too. I’m aware of many former service personnel who question it’s practical application.

    It’s obvious that no human being should be disadvantaged because of background, culture or work etc, it’s a given.

    A big question is what teeth does the AFC have? A number of companies sign up for it perhaps because it gives them another badge to stick in the footer of their company stationary. we need to ensure that they are in it for the long haul and are practically demonstrating their support for service leavers.

    There are those companies and individuals who genuinely care about service personnel and veterans but I’d like to see some form of follow up review carried out by the AFC awarding team in order to ensure that the signatory wasn’t paying lip service during initial sign-up.

    In terms of social housing and service leavers/veterans it’s a mess. No nationwide joined up policy with different councils doing their own thing. Five years out from leaving the Army you lose the Local Connection exemption too, some might say that’s only fair, it’s open to debate. Of course veterans in need often seek help maybe, two, three or four years plus out of the services not necessarily at the point of departure.

    Col Bob Stewart also stated in Parliament that perhaps time served should equate to time accrued on a social housing register.

    The MoD are still playing catch up, way behind the US approach where veterans and serving personnel even have an airport lounge in most major hubs, guaranteed interview schemes and much more.

    That said hat off to Johnny Mercer for sorting out the railcard and his work with the VA dept, it’s a start in the right direction.

    I note an earlier comment which asked what practical help the AFC can bring to service families and veterans……that’s the money shot for sure

    Moving over to Cyprus all seems sunshine and roses but believe me it’s not. We have had LOA dropped so by 2024 it would of gone down half. Post is an absolute nightmare. Small gifts are taking approx 6 weeks to get here then have to pay tax on item. Now cannot order with Amazon as can’t guarantee they will attach CN22. Even if is attached depends on if someone having a good or bad day it seems as some get through some don’t. We only order items from UK that we cannot get here or the price is higher.

    Dear Sue, thank you for leaving your feedback, it will be passed on to our overseas team. If you ever need to speak to AFF locally, do get in touch with our Cyprus regional lead, Leah Ann on

    What exactly does it mean raising awareness with NHS dental to avoid service families being disadvantaged from accessing NHS services? How does that physically help the service family with finding a dentist? Do they get different positions on waiting lists if moving on postings? What about returning from overseas postings & trying to access routine dental care?

    I contacted my local council (Fareham) and they do not offer the council tax discount at all. On the Government website it does say it depends if the local council support it.
    Is this correct as there seems to be a lot of confusion around this.

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