Independent staff association for regular, reserve and veteran UK armed forces personnel

Working towards true representation for armed forces personnel

Welcome to British Armed Forces Federation - BAFF - the only independent representative all-ranks staff association open to serving members of any branch of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force, including the reserves. All UK forces 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 like. Former regular or reserve forces personnel are also welcome.

BAFF applauds the work of the best service charities, supports the evolution of the Service Complaints Ombudsman, and continues its campaign for legal recognition of sensible representative arrangements for armed forces personnel, as in an armed forces representative body.


Some quotes collected by British Armed Forces Federation (BAFF) about representation for armed forces personnel, electoral participation, and other topics.

Read more: Quotes

'No need for staff association, because service family federations do a very good job on behalf of forces personnel'

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".

But the very fact of the forces family federations, to varying degrees, increasingly taking on an individual and collective representative role on behalf of service personnel - including single personnel - is, we would argue, proof of the actual need for representation.

Read more: 'No need for staff association, because service family federations do a very good job on behalf of...

The British General and the Bosnia 'Mutiny'

In 2006 the then Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Michael Walker (now Field Marshal Baron Walker of Aldringham), in evidence to the House of Commons Armed Forces Bill Committee, told MPs that an unnamed foreign contingent which had been part of his command in Bosnia had laid down its arms over a pay deal, and "That is the sort of trouble you get into when there is a representative body".

At the time some MPs accepted this as a valid argument against representation. Were they right?

Read more: The British General and the Bosnia 'Mutiny'

'Armed Forces Federation': Half a century 1956-2006

The founding members of BAFF didn't invent the idea of a representative staff association for armed forces personnel. Neither does BAFF claim to have created the term 'armed forces federation', which has existed in the English language for more than half a century. The idea of some form of independent representation for British service personnel has been mooted many times since the Second World War.

Read more: 'Armed Forces Federation': Half a century 1956-2006

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