Should there be a minimum requirement to be classed as 'Veteran'

Should 'Veteran' status have a qualifying criteria

  • Yes, criteria not captured below

    Votes: 37 15.8%
  • Yes - Must have minimum 5 years or operational tour

    Votes: 83 35.5%
  • Yes - Must have operational tour regardless of time served

    Votes: 41 17.5%
  • No

    Votes: 41 17.5%
  • Yes - Must have minimum of 10 years or operational tour

    Votes: 18 7.7%
  • Yes - Full contract service of 22 years

    Votes: 14 6.0%

  • Total voters
    234
The men who fought the the two wars organised themselves around the legions
They were a huge proportion of the civilian population of this nation, forced either by circumstance or by conscription (perhaps both) to participate in titanic struggles in which the survival of this nation and of democracy itself hung in the balance, and everybody in the nation was aware of the stakes and shared in the risks.

The issues that have driven latter day deployments have been less clear, and less immediately understandable for most people, and the scale of deployments so small that only a minuscule proportion of the UK population has ever known a soldier.

Yet the risks faced by the soldiers who make up our tiny army should not be underestimated: look on YouTube for "The Fallen" to see what I mean.

I don't see how it is a bad thing to remind a population that is almost totally disconnected from its soldiers, that there are still rough men, willing to do violence in the night, at great risk to themselves, so that Joe Civvy and his family can sleep feeling safe in their beds, and that those same rough men often pay a high price, in life-changing currencies unimaginable to non-combatants.

I've no difficulty at all with the notion of constantly reminding the taxpayer of this.
 
that there are still rough men, willing to do violence in the night, at great risk to themselves, so that Joe Civvy and his family can sleep feeling safe in their beds/QUOTE]

When I read that oft quoted line I always think, coppers, firemen, paramedics to be honest

The last existential threat to the British Isles was Hitler
 
I would say Honourable completion of at least one term of service, whether that service is completed by contracted time, medical discharge due to service related illness or injury, or death in service for similar, should qualify one for the title of Veteran.

I may be of the opinion that the title of Citizen should have similar, or higher, service requirements. Does anyone else feel a bit "Heinlein" about such things?
 
Bearing in mind that only a small percentage of armed forces personal, including regulars ever see combat, even though they may have been in a war zone they were in the rear with the gear.
You hear this a lot from men of a certain age. Perhaps it's wilful ignorance about recent ops, or perhaps they are just uncomfortable that 18 year-old AGC Ptes called Lucy have heard shots fired in anger and they haven't.
 
They were a huge proportion of the civilian population of this nation, forced either by circumstance or by conscription (perhaps both) to participate in titanic struggles in which the survival of this nation and of democracy itself hung in the balance, and everybody in the nation was aware of the stakes and shared in the risks.

The issues that have driven latter day deployments have been less clear, and less immediately understandable for most people, and the scale of deployments so small that only a minuscule proportion of the UK population has ever known a soldier.

Yet the risks faced by the soldiers who make up our tiny army should not be underestimated: look on YouTube for "The Fallen" to see what I mean.

I don't see how it is a bad thing to remind a population that is almost totally disconnected from its soldiers, that there are still rough men, willing to do violence in the night, at great risk to themselves, so that Joe Civvy and his family can sleep feeling safe in their beds, and that those same rough men often pay a high price, in life-changing currencies unimaginable to non-combatants.

I've no difficulty at all with the notion of constantly reminding the taxpayer of this.
I think we get into trouble because the UK is happy to talk about the debt we owe service personnel but there is not much of an effort to define what that debt is.
 
I think we get into trouble because the UK is happy to talk about the debt we owe service personnel but there is not much of an effort to define what that debt is.
How do you define it? Am I owed a 'debt' having served 25 years with zero 'action' (despite 2 tours in BAOR against the soviet hordes)? Mine was a very peaceful time to serve (Falklands war excluded) with very little action for the Air Force (GW1 excluded). Or how about a private, just joined his battalion out of training, sent somewhere hot & sandy, steps on an IED and has a leg blown off, invalided out. What 'debt' are we owe him? Money? Care?
For me personally I view my time in as just another job, did what was required and got paid. I think that for someone who was injured (including mental health) then we (the UK) have a duty of care towards that individual who was injured due to their service. I do actually think that we're there now (or thereabouts) with 'priority' treatment for injured servicemen. Of course I expect arguments that it's not enough, it takes too long, my mate Chalkie never had anything done for him and so on but I feel that the general thrust is there.

The question about Veterans, well some people seem to need it. You only have to look at the number of ex-service clubs set up after the war, generally now in decline as the members die off. I was chairman of the RAFA Club at Prestwick in Ayrshire for a while, 600 members in a little village! I'm not one of those who would even contemplate wearing a blazer with a badge on the pocket and talk about the old days. I enjoy arrse because it's a bunch of like minded people (mainly) but that's about it as far as military stuff goes.
 
Okay I'm confused. I joined the TA aged 17 teen as I had and still have Crohn's disease. My reasoning for this was that I would be found out if I had joined the regs and I thought that if WW3 happened, we would not live long enough for me to become a liability to my TA unit. However I was found out and I had to leave one year later. After another year I had recovered enough so that I joined 6 RRF. I stayed there for 3 or 4 years after which I them transferred back into the Queens Own Yeomanry which was the unit which originally told me to leave. I stayed there for about 5 years before moving into 201 General Hospital and after a few years with them I moved once again back into QOY.

So all in all I have served from the age of 17 right up to the age of 34 with a break of about three years in all that time. In the first Gulf war they took my CVRT and sent that off to war and I would have went along with it had I been asked, but I and my unit were not. So does my service in three different units count towards me being a vet or do I need to have killed someone? Bearing in mind that only a small percentage of armed forces personal, including regulars ever see combat, even though they may have been in a war zone they were in the rear with the gear.
What do you want? A medal?
 
How do you define it? Am I owed a 'debt' having served 25 years with zero 'action' (despite 2 tours in BAOR against the soviet hordes)? Mine was a very peaceful time to serve (Falklands war excluded) with very little action for the Air Force (GW1 excluded). Or how about a private, just joined his battalion out of training, sent somewhere hot & sandy, steps on an IED and has a leg blown off, invalided out. What 'debt' are we owe him? Money? Care?
For me personally I view my time in as just another job, did what was required and got paid. I think that for someone who was injured (including mental health) then we (the UK) have a duty of care towards that individual who was injured due to their service. I do actually think that we're there now (or thereabouts) with 'priority' treatment for injured servicemen. Of course I expect arguments that it's not enough, it takes too long, my mate Chalkie never had anything done for him and so on but I feel that the general thrust is there.

The question about Veterans, well some people seem to need it. You only have to look at the number of ex-service clubs set up after the war, generally now in decline as the members die off. I was chairman of the RAFA Club at Prestwick in Ayrshire for a while, 600 members in a little village! I'm not one of those who would even contemplate wearing a blazer with a badge on the pocket and talk about the old days. I enjoy arrse because it's a bunch of like minded people (mainly) but that's about it as far as military stuff goes.
For me the problem in this country is that much of the stuff we use to support the armed forces community (when it needs that support) lies in the charitable sector.

The states have a defined set of criteria of what constitutes a veteran because there are tangible benefits which hang off the back of it. We don’t seem to have been bothered about what the qualifying criteria were because there wasn’t any real cost (to gov) associated with who is and who isn’t a veteran.

If you go on ops for 27 days then come home then tough luck, you’re a day short and don’t qualify for a medal. Sucks to be you but turns the rules.

If you told gov they need to give £100 to everyone they define as a veteran then the criteria would tighten up pretty quickly.
 
I think we get into trouble because the UK is happy to talk about the debt we owe service personnel but there is not much of an effort to define what that debt is.
There are also those that served that expect the UK to treat them like a King and scream blue murder when they are not.
 
There are also those that served that expect the UK to treat them like a King and scream blue murder when they are not.
I suppose that it’s a matter of getting the balance right. HM Forces are an all volunteer outfit, with good pay and TACOS. There is a plethora of publically-funded help available for transition and now medical and mental health care.

I have yet to find a need to stress I’m a veteran or, indeed, wear my veterans’ badge in order to ‘access’ public services. Having said that I was in hospital yesterday for a cardiac procedure and part of the admittance process included asking whether I was a veteran. I felt like saying “do I stink of wee and Special Brew, swear profusely and talk in TLAs?”
 
I'd just appreciate prompt help from the NHS when my injuries kick off. Most of the time I end up going private and claiming back.

I'm uncomfortable witht the term Veteran. I don't consider myself that special.
 
I'd just appreciate prompt help from the NHS when my injuries kick off. Most of the time I end up going private and claiming back.

I'm uncomfortable witht the term Veteran. I don't consider myself that special.
I am undergoing both cancer and cardiac treatment (for a degenerative disease) at the moment and can’t fault the care or the responsiveness of the NHS. Adding a veteran banner to my notes would not have changed anything, although this all started when I was working overseas for HMG and the consultants were very good at bundling appointments together and fast tracking treatment.
 
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There are also those that served that expect the UK to treat them like a King and scream blue murder when they are not.
Yeah you’re right, that’s why I think we should be clear about what veterans are entitled to and what they are not.

Why don’t we get the police etc banging on about how they serve the country and should therefore be treated differently? Society has spent the last +10 years telling veterans how special they are so it shouldn’t be any surprise if that some have come to expect special treatment.
 
I suppose that it’s a matter of getting the balance right. HM Forces are an all volunteer outfit, with good pay and TACOS. There is a plethora of publically-funded help available for transition and now medical and mental health care.

I have yet to find a need to stress I’m a veteran or, indeed, wear my veterans’ badge in order to ‘access’ public services. Having said that I was in hospital yesterday for a cardiac procedure and part of the admittance process included asking whether I was a veteran. I felt like saying “do I stink of wee and Special Brew, swear profusely and talk in TLAs?”
Bizarrely my Mrs was filling out a form last year when my son was starting school and it was asking about family stuff, ethnic background, language spoken at home and finally if there either parent was a veteran.

No idea why.
 

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