The UK now has a written tri-service Armed Forces Covenant. Defence Secretary Liam Fox has revealed a formal document, set out proposals for annual reports on the progress of the agreement itself and outlined a Covenant support package.
For many years the Covenant existed as an unwritten understanding between the nation and the Armed Forces, but now a document can be produced to be referenced, distributed and pored over by all. It is, as governments like to say, a step change in relations between the Government and Armed Forces.
It is not the detailed, legally binding covenant some had called for. Fox was clear that any such covenant could tie the Ministry of Defence up in European courts for years, but it is progress, and the Government must now endeavour to live up to it.
The document itself sets out the Government’s obligation to service personnel and their families. 11 pages of text and diagrams give a broad outline of some of the key principles whi