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.