W/c 1 February 2011
It’s been a very busy week at AFF since a concerned soldier faxed us a copy of the DASA Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) survey last Thursday. He was rightly shocked at the suggestions it contained. We immediately placed a warning on our website and asked people to ‘exercise extreme caution’ when completing it. AFF has been busy liaising with senior command over your views. We know that many of you have boycotted the survey due to the absurd ‘choices’ it offers.
We’ve been overwhelmed with response, mainly from serving personnel. It seems that our soldiers have had enough. Pension cuts, pay freezes, redundancies, allowance cuts, and now a badly communicated, poorly constructed CEA survey with seemingly sly questions, which have resulted in a deluge of comments telling AFF just how let down you feel.
Is it any surprise that soldiers are seriously questioning how much they are valued when the cuts we are being asked to endure are so deep? It seems that the uncompromising, sustained operational tempo has quietly been forgotten along with the promises of the Armed Forces Covenant, the nation's agreement to look after its soldiers, which lies in tatters, gathering dust in the ‘to do’ tray.
Soldiers and their families talk of betrayal and many have said that they would have left years ago had they known what was coming. The sad fact is that with no trade union to fight their corner, our soldiers are an easy target for cut backs.
We know that senior command are very aware of the lack of morale currently sweeping through the Forces and are listening to us. They understand that you don’t have to cut allowances on the frontline for the frontline to be affected. The promise that operations in Afghanistan will be protected from cuts is meaningless. Comments and enquiries we’ve been receiving demonstrate that morale everywhere is at an all time low. Soldiers and their families struggle to cope with financial pressures from all sides. It’s not just the money though, it’s that feeling that the Government is quickly forgetting the ten years of hard fighting, fatalities and casualties that soldiers and families continue to suffer, as they ask why it is that they must bear the brunt of the pain caused by other people’s financial mismanagement.
AFF will continue to highlight your concerns to senior command and the Government.
So if you want to add your views, email us in confidence at email@example.com
We say what you can‘t say, to the right people, to make sure your voice is heard.