The Ministry of Defence has published the first interim report on the Military Covenant, as required by the Armed Forces Act 2011. We quote in full this copyrighted story by Huffington Post UK, because of its obvious interest, but also because of its multiple references to "those representing rank-and-file-officers".
They mean the Mod-supported service family federations - but not any federation representing personnel. In fact, the MoD's report goes out of its way to say that personnel are not entitled to (collective) representation by a federation.
Download the Armed Forces Covenant Interim Report 2011 here. The Huffington Post report is here:
Military Covenant Report Shows Many Areas Of Concern for Service Personnel
As David Cameron visits British forces in Afghanistan, issues surrounding the Military Covenant - the moral imperative to support service personnel during and after their service - have surfaced at home.
An interim report from the Ministry of Defence on the covenant has been published on Tuesday afternoon, and suggests there's still a long way to go in achieving a proper support structure for British troops and families. Problems with housing, education and access to healthcare appear to persist, although the government says it's accelerating work in these areas.
Those representing rank-and-file officers contribute to the report on a pay freeze for many service personnel, saying they "remain deeply concerned at the cumulative effect of the pay freeze, allowances cuts and changes to pensions indexing."
It's acknowledged in the report that failures in other areas are having a real impact on the morale of service personnel and their readiness to serve. Federations representing all three sections of the armed forces contributed to the report, and described themselves as "extremely disappointed and frustrated" in the ongoing problems with Service Family Accommodation (SFA), where there has been a so-called "pause" in funding.
The federations say that "higher priority must be given to maintaining and enhancing the quality of Service-provided accommodation, since where and how an airman/soldier/sailor lives has a direct impact on his or her operational effectiveness and willingness to serve."