What is the Covenant?

What is the Armed Forces Covenant and who can it help?

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation to those who serve or who have served, and their families, which says we will do all we can to ensure they are treated fairly and are not disadvantaged in their day-to-day lives.

The Covenant has 2 principles:

  1. The Armed Forces community should not face disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services, and
  2. Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved.

The Armed Forces Covenant outlines the moral obligation between the nation, the government and the Armed Forces. It encourages local communities to support the Armed Forces community in their area and promote understanding and awareness among the public of issues affecting the Armed Forces community.

The Essex Armed Forces Covenant was formally signed in November 2012. It is one of the largest ever Armed Forces Covenant pledges made by the public, private and voluntary sectors including the leaders of Essex County Council, Essex’s city, city and district Councils, the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, representatives of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, Essex Police, Essex Fire Service, the NHS, the business community and Armed Forces charities.

Who does it support?

  • Regular Personnel - Naval Service (including Marines), Army and Royal Air Force.
  • Reservists - both regular and volunteer.
  • Merchant Navy - staff and officers on particular operations.
  • Veterans - anyone who has served for at least a day as either regular personnel or Reservist.
  • Families - spouses, civil partners, children but where appropriate can extend to include parents, unmarried partners or other family members.
  • Bereaved - immediate family of the deceased, whatever the reason for their death.

Does it apply to you?

If you are a member of the Armed Forces, a Veteran, or a family member, the Armed Forces Covenant offers a wide variety of support to ensure you are being treated fairly.

If you are a business, or a community organisation, you can find out how to show your support.

If you have any ideas about work you would like to do in the local community to support the Armed Forces, then we may be able to help you access support from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund.

Visit Armed Forces Covenant guidance and support for information on the breadth of the covenant and the support it provides.

Useful documents

Page last reviewed: 27 September 2022


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