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We recognise that leaving the Armed Forces can be a major, life-changing experience. Not many career changes need as much adjustment as leaving the military and returning to civilian life. The majority of service-leavers successfully transition back into civilian life, but a small number may find it very difficult. Others may find themselves needing help much further down the line.

There are lots of organisations which support veterans and their families, and it can be hard knowing which one to contact. Your first point of contact, no matter what support you need, whether you're based in the UK or abroad, should be the Veterans' Gateway. Many of the team are veterans themselves, so they understand the issues faced by people leaving the Armed Forces. Their aim is to put veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best placed to give them the advice and support they need.

The Veterans' Gateway team provides 24-hour support, 7 days a week, through the Veterans' Gateway website and their Contact Centre helpline (0808 802 1212). You can also contact them by email, text, and online 'live-chat'.

Veterans survey

We're carrying out a survey to help us understand some of the characteristics of the veteran population and their specific needs. This knowledge is crucial in making sure that local services can meet those needs. Although many veterans' health and healthcare needs are the same as those of the civilian population, they do face specific challenges. Stigma also has a major adverse effect on veterans' access to healthcare services, as well as perceptions of, and levels of understanding of, Forces cultures among healthcare staff.

A veteran is anyone who has served for at least one day in the Armed Forces, whether regular or reserve.

Complete the survey now.

Serving personnel and their families


As part of the national Armed Forces Covenant, several initiatives have been designed to provide support for military and defence personnel, and their families. Find out more about support for serving personnel and their families on the government website (GOV.UK).

GOV.UK also has a dedicated section about working, jobs, and pensions for the Armed Forces.

Other organisations are:

The Army Families Federation is the independent voice of Army families. It works to improve the quality of life for Army families around the world, looking at any aspect of life which is affected by the Army lifestyle. AFF is independent of the Army and offers confidential advice.

The Naval Families Federation are approachable, inclusive, non-judgmental, and ready to listen. They offer a confidential service to everyone who contacts them, and work to build and maintain the trust of those they work with and support.

The RAF Families Federation provides all RAF personnel and their families – Regular and Reserve, single or married – with timely and professional support, assistance, and an independent voice regarding issues or concerns that they may have.

Forces Compare lets you find and compare the best military insurance deals. Forces Compare is an independent search engine which specialises in comparing quotes for insurance to meet your requirements, from a select group of highly reputable insurance specialists.

Forces Families Jobs lists training and employment opportunities for family members of currently serving UK military personnel. Apply for jobs, and access employment and training opportunities, with companies and organisations who are Forces family friendly. All employers listed have signed the Armed Forces Covenant or are able to demonstrate their commitment to the Armed Forces.

Reservists and their families


Members of the Reserve Armed Forces (Reservists) and their employers have certain rights and responsibilities when a Reservist either joins up or starts a new job, is mobilised, or returns to work.

There is a great deal of support and advice available, which can be found on the rights and responsibilities for both reservists and employers page on GOV.UK. Some rights are governed by law (e.g. the legal right to reinstatement in civilian jobs after a period of mobilised service), so it’s important to be aware of them.

The ‘Defence Relationship Management’ (DRM) service is a single point of contact linking employers with the Ministry of Defence (MOD). It offers advice and support on employing members of the Armed Forces community.

If you have any questions which aren't answered on the 'rights and responsibilities for reservists and employers' page, or you're having difficulties with your employer, you can contact your Unit Employer Support Officer. Each unit has an Employer Support Officer who is the main authority on employer issues. Your detachment commander or Permanent Staff Administrative Officer (PSAO) will be able to put you in touch. You can also contact the DRM Helpline on 0800 389 5459 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or report disadvantage at work online.

Joining the Army, Royal Navy, and RAF Reserve



With a commitment of as little as 19 days per year, you can fit more adventure into your life in the Army Reserve. The Army Reserve is the largest of the Reserve Forces. The Army Reserve provides support to the Regular Army at home and overseas, and throughout its history, almost every major operation has seen reservists operate alongside their Regular counterparts.

Army Reserve Soldiers come from all walks of life and work part-time as soldiers for the British Army alongside full-time Regular soldiers.

Regular Reservists are soldiers who have left the Regular army but are recalled in times of need to come back and join operations alongside Regular soldiers.

Find out how to join the Army Reserve.

Royal Naval Reserve

For most people, the demands of a job and family life are challenging enough. However, some have ambitions that go beyond the everyday. You may be one of them. If so, you can learn new skills and contribute to vital operations in the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR).

And if that’s not tough enough for you, there’s the Royal Marines Reserve, where you could become one of our most elite soldiers, and wear the green beret to prove it.

Find out how to join the Royal Navy Reserve.

RAF Reserves

There has never been a more exciting time to be involved with the RAF Reserves, offering you the opportunity to work in rewarding and demanding roles alongside full-time Regular colleagues.

Whether providing relief and aid to countries that need it most or thwarting terrorist actions, being a force for good is what our work is really about.

Find out how to join the RAF Reserves.