Support for veterans: strategy

How we will take forward the Strategy for our Veterans and achieve the best possible outcomes for our veterans and their families now and in the future.

Part 1 The Strategy and Consultation

Aim and Objectives

The launch of the Veterans Strategy in November 2018 acknowledged the importance of supporting and empowering those who have served us in our Armed Forces. Veterans, young and old, offer a wealth of experience, skills and knowledge that are vital for civil society and it is important that the contribution of their families is recognised too.

By committing to this Strategy along with the other governments of the United Kingdom, the Scottish Government has pledged to achieve a shared Vision and Principles and the best possible outcomes for our veterans and their families in the future. Implementing the Strategy, however, will be tailored to the needs of our veterans population and the distinctive mechanisms for delivery in Scotland.

Taking forward our consultation in Scotland, we have been clear to emphasise the message that, first and foremost, veterans are assets to our society. And for the small proportion who find the transition to civilian life more of a challenge, we owe them all the support that we can to ensure that, regardless of their difficulties, they too are able to realise their potential and live full and successful lives after their military service.

We have focused on strengthening the excellent work being done every day by organisations across the public, private and charitable sectors to support and empower veterans. Our response to the Strategy builds on this work and recognises that the needs of our veterans are changing, both in terms of the reducing numbers and also with regard to the types of support that help them to integrate successfully into civilian society. Where veterans require help, their issues can be multiple and complex, emphasising the importance of effective collaboration and co-ordination by the many agencies that are available to support them.

Looking ahead, this document sets out how we intend to respond to these changes, across all of the services that impact on the lives of veterans and families of the Armed Forces community in Scotland.


This Strategy has a 10 year scope. Through the 10 year timescale, the Strategy addresses the immediate needs of older veterans as well as setting the right conditions for society to empower – and support – the newer generation. Initiatives and proposals will work towards
an enduring Vision articulated by three key principles.

Those who have served in the UK Armed Forces, and their families, transition smoothly back into civilian life and contribute fully to a society that understands and values what they have done and what they have to offer.


The Principles articulate in greater detail the strategic objectives of the Vision.

Veterans are first and foremost civilians and continue to be of benefit to wider society

Veterans are encouraged and enabled to maximise their potential as civilians

Veterans are able to access support that meets their needs when necessary, through public and voluntary sectors

These Principles encompass Regular and Reservist Veterans and where appropriate, their families and the bereaved. The focus is on those Veterans of the UK Armed Forces resident in the UK. In due course, we will consider encompassing Veterans who return to or choose to live overseas. These Principles are consistent with, and underpinned by, the Armed Forces Covenant.


That affect service provision for Veterans across all Key Themes

  • Collaboration
  • Co-ordination
  • Data
  • Perception
  • Recognition


That emerged as affecting Veterans’ lives

  • Community and relationships

  • Health and wellbeing

  • Employment, education and skills

  • Making a home in civilian society

  • Finance and debt

  • Veterans and the law

Summary of 10 Year Outcomes

1 Collaboration between organisations Improved collaboration between organisations offers Veterans coherent support.
2 Coordination of
Veterans’ services
The coordination of Veterans’ provision delivers consistent aims and principles over time and throughout the UK, ensuring Veterans, their families and the bereaved are treated fairly compared to
the local population.
3 Data on the Veteran community Enhanced collection, use and analysis of data across the public, private and charitable sectors to build an evidence base to effectively identify and address the needs of Veterans.
4 Public perception and understanding The UK population value Veterans and understand
their diverse experiences and culture.
5 Recognition of Veterans Veterans feel that their service and experience is recognised and valued by society.
1 Community and relationships Veterans are able to build healthy relationships and integrate into their communities.
2 Employment, education
and skills
Veterans enter appropriate employment and can continue to enhance their careers throughout their working lives.
3 Finance and debt Veterans leave the Armed Forces with sufficient financial education, awareness and skills to be financially self-supporting and resilient.
4 Health and wellbeing All Veterans enjoy a state of positive physical and mental health and wellbeing, enabling them to contribute to wider aspects of society.
5 Making a home in
civilian society
Veterans have a secure place to live either through buying, renting or social housing.
6 Veterans and the law Veterans leave the Armed Forces with the resilience
and awareness to remain law-abiding civilians.



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