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Armed forces and veterans

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The Armed Forces community is an integral part of Welsh society.  We are committed to ensuring that public services in Wales take full account of their needs.

While defence remains a UK Government responsibility, several thousand military personnel are based in Wales. The nation demands a lot from its Service men and women.  They are required to follow orders without question; they and their families are often separated for long periods; frequent moves – often at short notice – can disrupt family life; while Forces’ accommodation is sometimes remote, making it difficult for partners and children to mix with civilian communities.

Service personnel are entitled to expect as normal a family life as their military obligations permit.  However, public services have not always taken account of their particular needs.  The Welsh Government is committed to putting this right.  We are working hard to create a level playing field so that Forces families suffer no disadvantage.  

In recognition of the debt of gratitude which we owe to members of the Forces, past and present, it is also right that we should sometimes offer them an enhanced service.  As an example, military veterans are entitled to priority NHS treatment for any health condition which arises from their Service.

To assist us in understanding the needs of the Armed Forces community and ensure that account is taken of these in policy and programme development, the Welsh Government has:

  • Established an Expert Group to advise on how public services can best meet the Service community’s needs. Chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, the Group includes serving officers from the three Services, along with representatives of the Army, Naval and RAF Families Federations, and of third-sector organisations who are active in supporting the Forces community; and
  • designated Reg Kilpatrick, Local Government and Communities, as Armed Forces Advocate.  In this capacity, it is Reg Kilpatrick's role to identify and resolve policy or legislative issues that might affect the Service community.

For further information on the Armed Forces and support for the Service community, you can visit the following websites:

For further information relating to the Armed Forces and Veterans in Wales, please contact ArmedForces@wales.gsi.gov.uk.