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The Armed Forces Covenant

The Armed Forces Covenant is how society recognises the unique obligations of, and sacrifices made by, the Armed Forces and Armed Forces Community and provides support to them.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation that the Armed Forces Community should be treated fairly and face no disadvantage when accessing public and commercial services, with special provision made in appropriate cases for those who have sacrificed the most, such as the injured and bereaved.

The principles which underpin the Covenant are:

  1. The principle that it is desirable to remove disadvantages arising for Service people from membership, or former membership, of the Armed Forces
  2. The principle that special provision for Service people may be justified by the effects on them of membership, or former membership, of the Armed Forces

Every Local Authority in Great Britain, more than 200 NHS organisations, nearly 200 schools and over 11,000 businesses and charities have signed the Armed Forces Covenant.  

Locally, The Armed Forces Community Covenant was developed and signed in June 2012 by a range of statutory agencies, voluntary and military charities in support of the national Armed Forces Covenant. These agencies have formed a partnership to progress the Covenant across the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire sub-region.

The partnership is chaired and led by Warwickshire County Council and has both strategic and operational (coordination) level groups.

A variety of organisations from across the sub-region participate in these groups.

All Local Authorities have signed up to the Covenant.



The issue the Covenant is addressing is the fair and equal access to goods, services, information and support whether from statutory, voluntary or commercial organisations. This means:

  • ensuring that service personnel, ex-service personnel and their families are NOT disadvantaged through military service
  • ensuring a level playing field so that there is equal access to any form of service or support or information
  • special consideration is given on a case by case basis and is at the discretion of the organisation providing it.

The purpose of the Armed Forces Covenant is to put the individual (or family) in a position comparable to that of an equivalent citizen (or family) that is not in the Armed Forces. This is about bringing the Armed Forces individual/family up to the level of the ordinary citizen rather than getting them beyond what an ordinary citizen may be entitled to. There is no special treatment apart from the support to reduce any disadvantage members of the Armed Forces and their families may experience.

The Armed Forces Covenant does not confer a legal right to the provision of services and support over and above what is the legal right and entitlement of an ordinary citizen.

Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given the most such as the injured and the bereaved.

Special consideration is proportionate and related to the sacrifice the individual or family have made. This is discretionary and provided by the organisation to which the request for special consideration is made on a case by case basis. It does not confer any right or entitlement; it can only be asked for and not enforced.

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