The founding members of BAFF did not invent the idea of a representative staff association for armed forces personnel. Neither does BAFF claim to have originated 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.
In 1994 Michael (later Sir Michael) Bett QC was appointed by the Secretary of State for Defence to head a review of the manpower, career and remuneration structures of the Armed Forces. The Bett Review report included a section on Representation. In a survey of serving personnel, conducted by the Review team at a time of some concern for the future, 66% of respondents had agreed either strongly or slightly with a statement that the Services would benefit from a representative organisation. The report stated that:
The British Armed Forces Federation (BAFF) aims to operate as a professional staff association. It is not, and does not aim to be, a military trade union.
The BAFF Ten Point Plan was first published in 2006 on the unofficial 'Army Rumour Service' website as a draft for consultation, mainly with serving personnel. June 2017: With BAFF currently in need of a refresh and reboot, this could be a good time to revisit the aspirations set out in the Ten Point Plan, to what limited extent they have already been achieved and how they can be more effectively achieved going forward.
Almost three quarters of British soldiers support the creation of an independent armed forces federation to represent their interests, according to a poll conducted by the Army. The Telegraph reported that:
British Armed Forces Federation - BAFF - is the totally unofficial, independent, all-ranks staff association for regular, reserve and former UK forces personnel.
BAFF would be glad to hear from anyone affected by the issues raised in the BBC article below. Membership of the British Armed Forces Federation is available to any serving or retired members of HM Forces whatever their nationality, residence status, or place of birth.