British Soldiers

Veterans To Be Able To Apply For ID Cards From 2019

The ID cards will be given to veterans so they can show they served in the Armed Forces.

British Soldiers

Military veterans are to be given ID card to recognise that they have served.

The cards will initially be given to all personnel leaving the military, while veterans who have already made the transition to civilian life will be able to apply for a service leavers ID card from next year.

The initiative is designed to give veterans easier access to public and charitable support including healthcare and housing.

Veterans are also being asked to identify themselves with their GP as having served, so that they can receive appropriate support.

When the next stage of the ID card scheme was announced, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

"It's absolutely vital that we remain resolute in our support for those who have served our country so well.

"We must never forget the sacrifices they have made. So I am determined that the Ministry of Defence does all that we can to ensure those who struggle after serving their country are properly supported."

The plans were first mentioned by Tobias Ellwood, the minister responsible for defence personnel and veterans, in the Commons in October 2017.

He said the ID option was part of Government plans to improve the information it keeps about ex-military personnel.

Mr Ellwood, who was in the Royal Green Jackets for five years, serving in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Germany, told 'The Sun' newspaper last year he was "delighted" about the introduction of the initiative.

He said: "As a former soldier, I am aware of the personal attachment with the service ID.

"Carried at all times, it becomes symbolic of the responsibility and there is a strange sense of loss when upon departing the Armed Forces, it is taken from you.

"I'm delighted this initiative, which sits in the Armed Forces Covenant, will help us all better recognise our veterans and their service to our country."

It is being reported that the cards will give veterans better access to specialist services such as priority healthcare, housing and retail discounts as well as giving a sense of pride for having served their country.