Barriers faced by Veterans and Reservists

Members of the Armed Forces Community face a number of disadvantages as a direct result of military service, they span across many areas such as employment, access to health care, housing, education, and more. Here are some firsthand experiences from both Veterans and Reservists in just one of these areas.

Anonymous, 31 Years of Service, Royal Marine

“I went on 3 Tours, Iraq x 1 and Afghan x 2 as a reservist. The only contact I had with my Employer was one or two of my co-workers who kept in touch. Not one, not one of the senior management team (I am referring to service heads) contacted me, no one from HR contacted me, absolutely no return-to-work system was in place other than my immediate managers taking an interest. Over 30 years at the time as “Twice the citizen” and it meant nothing to this employer. I would hope that the introduction of the Covenant will address this”

Anonymous, 10 Years of Service, Womans Royal Army Corps

“I served 10 years and am a veteran. I was a corporal in the WRAC as a combat medical technician. I served in Bassingbourn, in Northern Ireland for two years, Cyprus, Canada and Germany. After working in a Primary school under the council from 1998 to 2012 when we became an Academy. When they knew I was a medic they made me principal first aider for the school. They seemed to think this was the main skill I possessed. I became designated safeguarding lead – a job I enjoyed due to someone having the foresight to look at the other skills I had. I decided to take redundancy after working there for 20 years.

As a member of the forces and very proud that I was, I feel that it is not communicated well enough or skills are not always taken into account. As either veterans or serving members of the forces we are proud that we served in whatever capacity we did but then you are just forgotten.”

Anonymous, 4 Years of Service, Royal Artillery

“I joined the army straight from school at age 16 so did not receive a college level education. Upon leaving my CV was nothing but skills and qualifications I gained in the forces. I found that potential employers either don’t, or don’t bother, to try and understand what these mean, what they entail, and what I could offer their organisation. It is hard to articulate this experience to someone who has no military experience, and the qualifications mean nothing because again, they make no sense to a civilian.”

Anonymous, Currently Serving Army Reservist in Headquarters

“Before the Armed Forces Covenant was introduced one of my employers said of my service with the Reserves “I am not sure that I approve of you going away with the Reserves.” You will probably come on Monday tired”. What that employer neglected were the skills I gained and the benefits to my health. Equally no comments were made on an individual who chose to spend the weekend drinking”


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