Unmarried partners

My first post - so here goes........ ;D

Has anybody else experienced difficulties being the long-term partner of a serving soldier/officer in the army - but not being married?

Do you get upset that you do not qualify for the same welfare services while he/she is on deployment?

For example: I recently discovered that if I was injured/killed while my partner was OOA - he wouldn't be allowed back on compassionate leave because I am not officially a 'spouse'.

Am I part of a large group of army 'partners' who feel neglected by the system? Or is it just me?

How do we stand now that the armed forces is admitting homosexuals into the ranks - surely their partners (male and female) must be afforded the same rights as married spouses (housing, healthcare, welfare, etc.)

Any though/feelings would be much appreciated.


(PS: My partner and I are engaged... but we keep having to cancel our wedding because he's always being deployed! We'll get there eventually.....)
Very, very simple.  Get your partner to include you as his or her's Next of Kin.  Forget all that shiite about NOK only being father, mother, etc, blah.  I said I had no contact with my Ma and Pa what so ever, so I was able to include my then girlfriend.  In the event of anything happening: 'Sir, my next of kin has been run over/shot/abducted by aliens (delete as applicable) can I go home'.  And it works in reverse.
I have mentioned before that I was a partner for quite some time before getting married. The welfare system does to suck generally - that is for both spouses and partners.

The next of kin bit was the only way that we could get around it too, but what the best thing I found was, get involved, chat to other spouses/partners and become part of the furniture. Yes, some of the conversations with some wives will be as inane as it gets, but it is worth it. You have to network as much if not more in this life than you do in commerce etc!

Make one of the welfare officers (cause there are some nice ones) your friend and make a point of getting yourself on mailing lists and going to the odd thing they arrange during deployments.

Lastly, don't expect much support when you do get married - especially if you live out. They seem to think if you're not in a pad then you're not really someone they need to give a frick about.
Thanks for the feedback folkes

As for getting myself changed to Mr-Chickidee's NoK - I'll look into it.

In the meantime, socialising with the other wives is a smidge difficult because I live 3 counties away from where my other half is based. That being said, I'll try to make friends and influence people at the next function I go to (assuming that himself is in the UK long enough to attend one......)

Thanks again for the replies. Keep 'em coming......
know exactly what you mean are expected to do the grunt work but are insignificant when it comes to welfare, I tried to go to the gym at my blokes place and was refused admission because I had no family pass when i enquierd about getting one they said no chance! ???
Get a life girls...................you wouldn't expect or get that kind of treatment in civvy street.

What makes you think the mil should be beholding to you just because you are into a bit of 'green'.

3 counties , 4 counties if you want in get with the plan. Its  a nomads life and if you cant heck the pace dont join the club.
BK what does that stand for - Blantant Knob by any chance???

Nobody is moaning and it's not a case of fancying a bit of green either. By the way I don't anyone thinks that people should be beholden to them, we just expect the support that we are told we will get that's all, and for those who live out, away from where husbands/partners are based every bit of inforation and support is even more appreciated... That's not too much to ask is it?
I fully respect the fact that my bloke has to go away that's not the issue, it's becasue e don't have a bit of paper to say that we are married that causes the shit,
Long term partners are now recognised by the Army as proper spouses and who are entitled to the majority of the benefits that a wife has.

The long term partner must demonstrate 'long term' and that their is commitment. There are more details on this in the puiblic domain. Let me know if you want more and I will post to the forum accordingly.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his written ministerial statement of 20 March 2003, Official Report, column 54WS, on the Armed Forces Pension Scheme, whether the system of ex-gratia payments will apply to all partners irrespective of sex or sexual orientation; who will make the decision on eligibility for the payments; and if he will make a statement. [105834]

Dr. Moonie: The policy change announced on 20 March applies equally to same sex and opposite sex partners; for eligibility, personnel will need to demonstrate that the relationship was substantial. It will also need to be confirmed that the death related to conflict. Decisions on eligibility will initially be taken by the scheme managers using evidence provided by the partner. The partner will be notified of the decision and reasons behind it; where the claim is not accepted, the existing appeals procedures can be invoked including, where the Internal Disputes Resolution Procedures have been exhausted and where otherwise appropriate, reference to the Pensions Ombudsman. The policy change will not be retrospective with respect to deaths occurring before 20 March.

Thay slipped it in now, however well done Tom and Anna
Round two soon. ;)

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