Make the Military Covenant Law, and underpin with the NDM

Comment 8th July 2010

During the past sixty-five years, millions of personnel have taken the oath of allegiance or affirmation to Her Majesty the Queen, accepting either through compulsion in the case of National Service personnel or voluntarily in the case of regular and reserve forces to place their lives on the line to ensure the United Kingdom and its interests are kept safe and secure.

I condemn the last Government who priding itself in its support to our armed forces refused to provide the commitment and recognition by recommending to Her Majesty the Queen the award of a UK National Defence Medal to veterans and for breaking the Military Covenant.

So I therefore call for the government to:

1.         Acknowledge the significant personal sacrifice our Armed Forces personnel make in their service to the Nation once they take the oath or affirmation of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen.

2.         Acknowledge the failure to officially recognise the commitment and sacrifices made by service veterans who have contributed to the safety and security of the United Kingdom since the ending of the Second World War.

3.         Call on Her Majesty’s Coalition Government to rescind the decision made by the previous Labour Government to refuse to recommend the award of a National Defence Medal to our armed service veterans and instead, establish a working group to work with the Committee on the Grant of Honours Decorations and Medals, with a view to implementing the award as soon as possible.  

4.        Enshrine the military covenant in UK Law.

Why does this matter?

It is important because:

  1. The acute need to support and display public recognition to all those who serve or have served their country as a Member of the Armed Forces.
  2. The total disruption to the lives of millions of men and women, compulsory conscripted into National Service, without appropriate recognition. Many are now deceased and the tens of thousands surviving are in their 70s and 80s.
  3. The service of those who took part and gave their lives in the Berlin airlift; the demands of the Cold War which saw hundreds and hundreds of service men and women killed in North West Europe on duty and thousands more injured; and the servicemen and women who served through the murder and maiming by the IRA of colleagues and the threat of such attacks against them and their families on the streets of England, Germany and Holland in terrorists bombings and shootings.
  4. The ‘Armed Forces Veterans Badge’, originally issued by MOD to Second World War veterans to commemorate the 60th Anniversary celebrations for the ending of the Second World War has been made available for all veterans. It was not designed for and is considered inappropriate as the only form of recognition for those who gave service to this nation in the Armed Forces.
  5. Her Majesty the Queen, at the request of the Australian Government, has already awarded a medal of official recognition of service to all Australian veterans and is about to do the same for Kiwi veterans at the request of the New Zealand Government. 
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