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Opposing a Private Member's Bill to authorise an armed forces representative body, a former defence minister argued that in addition to service charities there already are "a plethora of existing families federations across each of the services that do a very good job and exist to advocate on behalf of forces personnel and their families".

Read more: 'No need for staff association, because service family federations do the job'

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Welcome to British Armed Forces Federation - BAFF - independent all-ranks staff association for members of any branch of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force, including the reserves. All current UK service personnel of any rank are eligible to join and, as BAFF is not a political organisation, to take an active part in its activities if they wish. Former regular or reserve forces personnel are also very welcome. Use the secure online form to join.