The Armed Forces and Society: The Military in Britain - through the eyes of Service personnel, employers and the public
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Based on extensive research on both sides of the Atlantic - including the biggest ever independent survey of serving personnel - The Armed Forces & Society offers a compelling insight into the views of our Armed Forces and the public they serve. The experience of wearing uniform in public, how society could show its appreciation for Service personnel in a more tangible way, their career expectations in civilian life and the attitudes of employers towards those leaving the Forces are among this issues discussed in this unique exploration of the relationship between our society and its military.
qualities.” UK former personnel groups “Employers only see us from what they watch on TV. One of my sergeants manages £50 million of tanks. A fleet worth fifty million quid. How many guys in other organisations at that level would be doing a job like that? If he was managing fifty million quid’s worth of assets out there, he’d be on a much bigger salary. In the Army it’s ‘Crack on Sergeant X, this is your job’.” British Army groups “In Air Engineering, on your first complement job you’ll
same of officers. One quarter of SME employers thought it unlikely that other ranks would have people management skills or the ability to make decisions independently. Poll of small and medium sized companies Overall, 78% of employers regarded those who had spent several years in the Forces as “capable, experienced individuals with a lot to offer”; only 10% said they thought of them more as “aggressive, institutionalised or likely to have problems” (though a further 11% said they did not
characteristics they thought Service leavers were most likely to possess to a greater degree than their civilian counterparts were rather generic: ability to follow instructions, the capacity to work well under stress, time management, a positive attitude to work. They do have these characteristics, and they are important. But they have more to offer than that. Bluntly, there is more to former Service personnel than reliability and shiny shoes. This is particularly true when it comes to
years. Just over a quarter of UK personnel said they expected the relationship between the Forces and the public to improve further in the next five years, and more than half expected it to stay the same. Higher ranks were less optimistic, however: they were twice as likely to think the relationship would deteriorate (24%) as they were to think it would improve (12%). In the focus groups, officers in particular felt that as the welcome increase in public support over recent years was due to the
For US personnel, being approached by members of the public was a routine and longstanding part of the culture. They appreciated this and said it was important for them to know they had people’s support. At the same time, some said it happened so often that it could be inconvenient – though they would always be respectful and take seriously their responsibility as an ambassador for their Service. “I don’t know how stars and athletes do it. You’ll be in uniform sometimes and it’s like ‘thank you,