Accession Number:



The British Armed Forces Covenant - Protection for Tommy or a Civil Military Battleground

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

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Air Command And Staff College Mawell AFB United States

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The Armed Forces Covenant has existed as an unwritten psychological contract between the UK government and her military for time immemorial. Following ten long years of war, the media had drawn attention to the poor conditions in some of those in the British military, both while deployed and back at home base. This eventually resulted in a legal, codified Armed Forces Covenant, when the Armed Forces Act passed into law in November 2011. This paper examinees whether a formal written Armed Forces Covenant will weaken the historically good relationship between Britains military and her government and consequently not bring the promised material benefits to the rank and file. The paper asserts that while the process that brought the Armed Forces Covenant into being was damaging to British Civil Military Relations CMR in the short-term, that in the longer-term it provides a useful mechanism in which the civil military debate can take place, thus making it less likely that military leaders will resort to subjective, unprofessional means to defend their subordinates. The paper begins by detailing the genesis of the Armed Forces Covenant and how the State came to bear this obligation, followed by an outline of what is contained in the Armed Forces Covenant and how it achieved its current status.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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