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 (co-ordination) level groups.
A variety of organisations from across the sub-region participate in these groups.
All Local Authorities have signed up to the Covenant.
About The Armed Forces Covenant
The Armed Forces Community Covenant is a promise from the nation ensuring 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.
Those who serve in the Armed Forces, whether Regular or Reserve, those who have served in the past, and their families, should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services. Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given the most such as the injured and the bereaved.
This obligation involves the whole of society: it includes statutory, voluntary and charitable bodies, private organisations, and the actions of individuals in supporting the Armed Forces.
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 the disadvantage members of the Armed Forces and the 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.
The Armed Forces Community
The Armed Forces Community is made up of:
- Those serving in HM Armed Forces or Armed Forces Reserves: the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, the Royal Air Force and the Regular Army plus their constituent reserves
- Ex-Service Personnel (‘veterans’). Those who have served at least one day in HM Armed Forces as a Regular or Reservist, or Merchant Mariners who were part of a legally sanctioned operation
- Their dependants including spouses, civil partners and children, but can, where appropriate, be extended to unmarried partners, parents and other family members
- The bereaved: The immediate family of Service personnel and ex-Service Personnel who have died, whether or not that death has any connection with service.
Supporting the Covenant
There are a number of ways organisations and individuals can support the Covenant such as:
- Signing a Covenant pledge
- Gaining an award through the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme
- Participating in events such as Armed Forces Week/Day, Remembrance Sunday and others.
- Signing the Armed Forces Covenant.
Organisations (Public, private and voluntary) can make and sign their own pledge to support the Armed Forces Covenant.
Pledges can cover the following:
- Be an armed forces-friendly organisation
- Support the employment of veterans and service leavers
- Offer flexibility in leave for service spouses and partner before, during and after deployment
- Support reservist employees, allowing leave for training and deployment
- Offer discount to members of the armed forces community.
This scheme encourages employers to support the Armed Forces and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses Bronze, Silver and Gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the Armed Forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.
Participating in events
There are a number of national and local events that members of the public can support such as:
- Flag raising and Reserves Day during Armed Forces Week (3rd week of June)
- Armed Forces Day (3rd Saturday in June)
- Remembrance Day/Sunday (11th November)
- Bramcote Open Day (3rd Saturday in July).