Question about BAFF

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Grad, Mar 1, 2007.

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  1. Sorry if this is in the wrong place but I was wondering why a person who was no longer a serving soldier can join but a spouse of a serving soldier can only be a friend? It isn't a problem or a complaint just curiosity (glad I am not a feline ;) )
  2. Hi Grad, interesting question.

    BAFF's main focus is on issues affecting serving personnel of the three armed services - not only soldiers, by the way. Most members are currently serving, but there is a fair number of ex-serving, some of whom are still on one of the long-term reserves so are arguably somewhere on the spectrum between "serving" and "ex".

    When setting up a membership organisation like BAFF, it is important for legal and tax reasons to be very precise about who is to benefit and who is entitled to join. Every BAFF member whether serving regular, serving reserves or ex-serving shares a very simple and precise qualification - namely that they have enlisted at one time or another in the armed forces of the Crown.

    The BAFF Constitution can be found here, and was the subject of off-line consultation with a group of about 40 serving personnel before being adopted.

    It was always intended that BAFF would take a close interest in family-related issues and this is indeed how things have turned out since the launch in December, with the Federation actively campaigning on issues such as Service Family Accommodation, the treatment of ex-forces families under homeless persons legislation, and, sadly, inquests for deceased personnel.

    As non-serving partners are for many purposes covered by the serving partner's membership of BAFF, it seemed unlikely that many "spouses" would wish to pay the extra subscription in order to join in their own right. Having said that, I am aware of at least one couple having both joined, and there may well be others.

    I accept there is no mechanism for a widow or widower to join as a member in that capacity, even though BAFF is campaigning on issues which may be of relevance to them. As you point out they can however affiliate as a "Friend".

    Grad, I hope this explains some of the background to the membership rules. Your question has certainly given food for thought. Ultimately any changes would be a matter for the BAFF membership, but if any partners of serving personnel have any further thoughts on this I will be very happy to reply and as appropriate report the views expressed.


    Douglas Young
    Chairman, British Armed Forces Federation (BAFF)
  3. Thanks for answering :D I am planning on joining myself at the end of March as I want to be more involved with Forces Welfare issue's which affect all our serving men and women.