Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed the publication of an independent report on innovative ways to support the Military Covenant
During a visit to HMS Ark Royal in June, Mr Cameron announced that he wanted to rewrite the covenant and enshrine it law.
Professor Hew Strachan, a military historian at Oxford University, was asked to lead an independent taskforce to develop ideas supporting this aim.
His report, published today, recommends support that can be provided across Government and throughout society and work will begin immediately on two of the recommendations.
Armed Forces Community Covenant
The first is the creation of an Armed Forces Community Covenant, which encourages communities across the UK to volunteer support for their local Armed Forces.
The second is to create a Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation Scheme, which will allow the head of the UK’s Armed Forces to thank individuals or bodies who give exceptional support to the Armed Forces.
The PM, who has recently returned from visiting troops in Afghanistan, said:
Our Service personnel make an extraordinary contribution to British life. Those serving on the front line risk their lives for us on a daily basis. So all of us - the Government, the private sector, and the voluntary organisations - need to go the extra mile for them.
I want to get to the root of their issues and make sure that the inevitable disturbance associated with military life does not lead to greater problems.
The government has also committed to ensuring that progress is made on rebuilding the covenant and has today brought forward legislation within the Armed Forces Bill for the Defence Secretary to present an Military Covenant report to Parliament every year. This will set out how the government is supporting our Armed Forces, their families and veterans in key areas such as healthcare, housing and education.
The government’s full response to the report’s recommendations will be published in Spring 2011.
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