Is There A Lack Of Understanding About The Role Of The Armed Forces?

Nearly seven in ten people surveyed say they have little idea about the military's work.

The number of people who understand what the military does is dropping, according to new figures.

A study conducted by military charity The Royal British Legion (RBL) suggested 69% of people know little about the role of the armed forces.

The findings have caused concern, as some believe it could lead to a decline in support for serving and ex-serving personnel.

Head of Armed Forces Engagement at the Royal British Legion, Alexander Owen, said: "If this figure continues to decline, I worry that support for those who serve will diminish too.

"They support us every day. The least we can do is support them in turn."

After a successful pilot operation training is now across two sites, Nkhotakota and Majete Wildlife Reserves
The research also suggests a lack of knowledge among civilians on the military's conservation work (Picture: Crown Copyright).

The work, carried out by YouGov for the RBL, also highlighted:

  • 44% thought serving members of the Armed Forces are involved in military-style fitness boot camps for the public in the last 10 years (which are in fact run by private companies).
  • 16% believed they spent time working as film extras in the last 10 years (which they do not)
  • Only one third (33%) know about the support of the British Armed Forces to the NHS in the last 10 years.
  • Only one quarter (25%) knew that the military have provided support in wildlife protection in the last 10 years. 
  • Awareness of what the British armed forces does on a day-to-day basis is lowest among the under 35s (76% know little or very little).
  • 80% of people agreed that serving members of the British Armed Forces make a valuable contribution to society in the UK.