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The Armed Forces Covenant

On 16 December 2013, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced the publication of the second Armed Forces Covenant annual report. In this video Brigadier John Connelly, DPS(A) announces its publication. A second video is a Questions and Answers interview available to view at this link: http://youtu.be/sBmcGDTue_w


Stoke-on-Trent Community Covenant Signing.The Armed Forces Covenant sets out the obligation that the Government, the Nation and the Armed Forces Community – those who serve, whether Regular or Reserve, Veterans and their families – have to one another.

The Covenant is not simply a package of benefits: rather, it is the government’s aspiration of the Armed Forces Community. Its key principles are that they should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services; and that special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given the most such as the injured and the bereaved. The Covenant belongs to the whole Nation, and it is not just for the government to deliver. Local authorities, local communities, public services, businesses, charities, individuals and the Armed Forces themselves have a role to play.

The Armed Forces Act 2011 enshrines the principles of the Covenant in law and places an obligation on the Defence Secretary to report to Parliament each year on the effects of the membership of the Armed Forces Community. The Annual Report meets that obligation.

The second Armed Forces Covenant Report was published on 16 December 2013 and covers the four areas specified in the Armed Forces in the Armed Forces Act 2011: healthcare, education, housing, and the operation of inquests.

It also covers a number of other topics that are relevant to the members of the Armed Forces Community.
The Armed Forces Covenant is delivering real benefits for the Armed Forces Community. Over the last twelve months the Government has amongst other things:

  • Announced that funding for the Covenant will be made permanent, with a further 10m per year from FY 2015, with a further £100M for the Armed Forces Community and Blue Light Services including £40million for the Veterans Accommodation Fund.
  • Increased participation in the Community Covenant: around 403 Local Authorities have now signed Community Covenants and are building links between units and the communities in which they are located. To help with that there is the Community Covenant Grant Scheme valued at £30 million over four years.
  • Launched the Corporate Covenant enabling businesses and charities to make a tailored pledge to support the Armed Forces Community;
  • Spent £35 million of LIBOR money to support 96 charitable projects that work with the Armed Forces Community;
  • Given a further £3M for State Schools with Service children, bringing the total across the UK to £9M;
  • Increased the Service Pupil Premium to £300 per service child this year, and expect to spend £17M over the current financial year;
  • Widened access to the Service Pupil Premium to include any child in England who was eligible in 2011 but whose serving parent has for whatever reason since left the Service;
  • Provided £150M for the purchase of over 700 high quality properties for use as Service accommodation in areas of high demand;
  • Increased the Funeral Expenses Grant in order to help bereaved families with the cost of incidental expenses associated with a funeral; and
  • Launched MoneyForce, in conjunction with The Royal British Legion and Standard Life Charitable Trust, to provide financial advice for Service personnel.

Over the year ahead the Government will amongst other things:

  • Launch a new £200 million Forces Help to Buy scheme in April 2014.
  • Establish a fully operational Defence Primary Healthcare Service to improve patient care.
  • Review the provision of Service accommodation as part of the New Employment Model to consider whether there could be more flexibility in the provision of Service accommodation, such as extending entitlement to those in long-term relationships;
  • Extending access to the Standard Learning Credits scheme to all members of the Reserve Forces.

There remains a concern that awareness of the Covenant in the military community is still low and Chief of the Defence Staff recently issued The Armed Forces Covenant and You leaflet to every serving member of the Armed Forces in order to address this problem.

Covenant achievements

A huge number of positive changes have been made since May 2011, but sometimes you might not recognise them as covenant commitments.

Visit: ‘What the covenant means to you’ to find out how the covenant has helped the armed forces community and what commitments the MOD are working on.

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Regional support HQ locations

4th Infantry Brigade and HQ North East

The Brigade trains and administers over 10,500 Regular and Reserve soldiers and is the largest regional brigade which covers the North-East of England.

Title|4th Infantry Brigade and HQ North East;Lat|54.372559;Lng|-1.719747;Url|/structure/35600.aspx

38 (Irish) Brigade

Headquarters 38 (Irish) Brigade is based in Lisburn and provides the support network known as the 'Firm Base', for all Defence assets based in the Northern Ireland.

Title|38 (Irish) Brigade;Lat|54.521847;Lng|-6.049717;Url|/structure/32637.aspx

42 (North West) Brigade

42 (North West) Brigade is the regional Army brigade which looks after the Army's interests in North West England covering Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire and the Isle of Man.

Title|42 (North West) Brigade;Lat|53.779843;Lng|-2.686452;Url|/structure/32721.aspx

HQ 1 Artillery Brigade and HQ South West

The Brigade area covers the 7 counties of Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. This includes the Channel Islands to the South and Isles of Scilly to the West.

Title|HQ 1 Artillery Brigade and HQ South West;Lat|50.71123;Lng|-3.511387;Url|/structure/32746.aspx

7th Infantry Brigade and HQ East

With its Headquarters in Chilwell, Nottingham, the Brigade covers twelve counties in the East Midlands and East Anglia from the Humber to the Thames.

Title|7th Infantry Brigade and HQ East;Lat|52.910430;Lng|-1.252806;Url|/structure/32747.aspx

51 (Scottish) Brigade

51 (Scottish) Brigade has regional responsibility for TA units in Scotland with its Headquarters at Forthside, Stirling and is part of the Army's Support Command.

Title|51 (Scottish) Brigade;Lat|56.11644;Lng|-3.926781;Url|/structure/32748.aspx

11 Signals and West Midlands Brigade

The brigade headquarters is based in Donnington, Telford and covers the counties of Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and the Birmingham conurbation.

Title|11 Signals and West Midlands Brigade;Lat|52.710788;Lng|-2.772404;Url|/structure/28438.aspx

11th Infantry Brigade & HQ South East

11th Infantry Brigade & HQ South East is based in the South of England and is part of the Army’s 'Adaptable Force' meaning it has units under its command delivering operational effect and regional responsibilities across the South East of England.

Title|11th Infantry Brigade & HQ South East;Lat|51.258189;Lng|-0.761007;Url|/structure/34892.aspx

HQ 160th Infantry Brigade and HQ Wales

With its Headquarters at Brecon, 160 (Wales) Brigade is at the hub of the Army in Wales. Within this area are some of the Army's top training sites, including the Infantry Battle School at Brecon and Sennybridge Training Area.

Title|HQ 160th Infantry Brigade and HQ Wales;Lat|51.944253;Lng|-3.383583;Url|/structure/32750.aspx

HQ London District

HQ London District is the main headquarters for all British Army units within the M25 corridor of London. It is responsible for all Regular units, Territorial units and cadet attachment (ACF and CCF).

Title|HQ London District;Lat|51.505644;Lng|-0.125447;Url|/structure/33041.aspx

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