CGS thanks AFF for 40 years of support

The Army Families Federation celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith KCB CBE ADC Gen has thanked AFF for everything it has done over the past four decades:

“It all started with a determined individual. Elizabeth, Lady Kitson, motivated by her experiences accompanying her husband around the world, was the pioneer who envisaged a network to support the families of our nation’s soldiers. The mettle of the organisation she created, the Federation of Army Wives’ Clubs, was immediately tested against the backdrop of the land battles of the Falklands War. Its value was undisputable.

“I am pleased to say that in the 40 years since, Lady Kitson’s concept has evolved into the Army Families Federation (AFF) and has gone from strength to strength. The Army and the needs of Army families have evolved significantly over 40 years but the importance of the AFF has remained constant. It has proved itself more than capable of adapting to changing social trends and generational needs.

“In November 2021, we launched the most significant transformation of the Army in a generation, Future Soldier. It laid the blueprint for a modernised Army capable of operating routinely across the globe, designed to meet the challenges of the digital age. Yet even at a moment in our history characterised by the exponential pace of technological change, the Army remains reliant on the will and trust of our soldiers and their families.

“For every soldier deployed, there will be a family at home missing them and I continue to be grateful for the support our families give. It is, after all, the support of our families that enables each of us to serve the nation.

“The AFF is still actively supporting soldiers and their immediate families to ensure that those who need help receive it. This is testament to the enduring commitment of the supporters, volunteers and staff without which the organisation would simply not exist.

“As we move into the third decade of the 21st century and I reflect on the importance of family during my own service, I am confident that the Federation will continue to flourish and provide the same high levels of support to new generations of our soldiers and their families.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the support that you provide our soldiers and wish the AFF a very happy 40th anniversary.”

For more on AFF’s 40th anniversary, see


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