Military Covenant

The Military Covenant is a term introduced in 2000 to refer to the mutual obligations between the nation and its Armed Forces. Britain does have a duty of care to its armed forces and the unspoken pact which existed between society and the military dating back some 400 years was formally codified as a covenant in 2000. The covenant is not legally enforceable but more an informal understanding.

Reference to the Army is known also to include the RAF, Royal Navy and Reserve Forces.

Soldiers will be called upon to make personal sacrifices – including the ultimate sacrifice – in the service of the Nation. In putting the needs of the Nation and the Army before their own, they forego some of the rights enjoyed by those outside the Armed Forces.

In return, British soldiers must always be able to expect fair treatment, to be valued and respected as individuals, and that they (and their families) will be sustained and rewarded by commensurate terms and conditions of service.

In the same way the unique nature of military land operations means that the Army differs from all other institutions, and must be sustained and provided for accordingly by the Nation.

This mutual obligation forms the Military Covenant between the Nation, the Army and each individual soldier; an unbreakable common bond of identity, loyalty and responsibility which has sustained the Army throughout its history. It has perhaps its greatest manifestation in the annual commemoration of Armistice Day, when the Nation keeps covenant with those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in action.