Anonymous troops with Union Jack CREDIT MoD
Veterans

COMMENT: Are Forces Veterans Suited To Political Careers?

A new campaign launched by a former Army reservist hopes to encourage veterans to become actively involved in politics.

Anonymous troops with Union Jack CREDIT MoD

Campaign Forces hopes to encourage veterans into a political career (Picture: MOD).

By Ahmed Al-Nahhas, Head of the Military Team at Bolt Burdon Kemp

A new campaign, which has gathered support from Government, hopes to encourage veterans to become actively involved in politics.

'Campaign Force' has been founded by former Army reservist, Jonny Ball, who previously led the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) employer relationship management team.

The veteran campaigner and his team want to spread the word about the amount of talent leaving the forces every year, to encourage veterans into work, as well as provide coaching to those interested in politics and serving their communities.

Their mission is to "inspire, train and coach those who have served, to stand up, and serve again".

Anonymous Sailors Onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth with F35 In Background
Mr Al-Nahhas says those leaving the Armed Forces have skills suited to a career in politics (Picture: MOD).

There are around 15,000 service personnel transitioning into civilian life every year and the MOD invests a lot of time and money into training them.

After their service has ended, they will be equipped with many skills and qualities, such as leadership, communication, resilience, teamwork, loyalty and a strong work ethic.

Civilian employers are now increasingly starting to appreciate the benefits of employing veterans and reservists.

But there are also many reasons why veterans should get involved in politics, both on national and local levels.

RAF Pilots
Strategic and organisation skills can be key in political campaigns, according to Mr Al-Nahhas (Picture: MOD).

Veterans have the right skills and experience - many have been involved in peace-keeping operations, for example following the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The skills and qualities they developed in bringing communities together and positively motivating them will be invaluable in politics.

Their strategic and organisational skills will also help them to run campaigns.

Veterans are also better placed to campaign for the rights of service personnel and their families - they know what it means to serve and the pressures of service life, as well as the challenges faced in transitioning into a civilian one.

Veterans who are involved in politics will have a better platform from which to press for changes in the law, for example, to provide better medical care and benefits to injured veterans.

Victoria Tower Gardens is next to the Houses of Parliament.
Mr Al-Nahhas believes veterans could thrive in politics because of issues around Brexit.

Campaign Force also hopes to encourage diversity in politics and it is hoped that this will translate into more representation in politics for women, LGBTQ and ethnic minority groups.

Encouraging people to vote and take part in politics has been a challenge in the UK for many years.

Brexit has now cast a long shadow, with many communities split and much of the nation unhappy with the mainstream parties. Some say that the political system is broken.

Perhaps it will take a veteran, or a team of veterans, with their unique experiences and skills to help mend these rifts and bring our communities together.

Ahmed Al-Nahhas is the Head of the Military Team at Bolt Burdon Kemp, a law firm who regularly act for veterans on a number of issues. They also work with military charities to help settle individuals into civilian life.

Mr Al-Nahhas and Bolt Burdon Kemp often campaign for veterans to gain a greater platform to have their say on important issues.