Wednesday, August 17, 2011

HMForces Benefits, Advice and Support Section

Here, in one handy section, is all the information you ever wanted to know about the money related benefits for working as a member of the Armed Forces.

If there is something missing that you want to know, drop us an email at: notes@ and we’ll get working on finding the answer for you.

This certainly doesn’t trip off the tongue but it is a report presented to Parliament in July 2008 by the Secretary of State for Defence and the Minister of State for the Armed Forces. It lists a range of proposals that the government is planning to introduce in the near future. However, there are is a wide range of time scales for the introduction of the measures so these are summarised in the Nation’s Commitment section at the end.

Here're all the sections - have a browse through them and if you don't find what you're looking for check our forum posts as someone before you might have posted a specific question and got an answer from someone. Otherwise drop us an email at notes@ and we'll see if we can help.

British & Military Cultural Events

The British Armed Forces has a long tradition of custom, pagentry, and history. Like it or not, the naval and military services are bound up in the cultural life of the United Kingdom; its languages, architecture, religion, philosophical views, art, and music.

British Armed Forces Allowances

There are a wide variety of allowances to make up for expenses that service personnel may have to pay out in the course of their duties.

British Armed Forces Deployment

You knew this day might come when you first joined the Armed Forces. It's time to ship out, and serve the interests of your country. There's a lot of work to be done, not the least of which is getting your (and your family's) affairs in order.

British Armed Forces Reservists Deployment

Being a Reservist and balancing a civilian job, family obligations, and military duties is difficult enough. It only gets more difficult if you're called up to active duty.

British Armed Forces Pay Rates

The pay for the different services is broadly similar, but they are affected by a number of factors such as length of service, the particular trade or specialisation you perform and the level of responsibility.

British Armed Forces Pension

The pension scheme is one of the benefits of Armed Forces as you do not make any direct contributions towards it and your benefits are calculated from your final pensionable pay. There are two pension schemes for the Armed Forces depending on whether you joined before or after 6th April 2005.

Charities & Fund Raising

There was a time when the members of HM forces were not particularly recognised, it could be argued, for the duties performed in dangerous circumstances abroad. This has of course changed. Perhaps because of the controversy surrounding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan our Armed Forces became a prominent fixture in the media world, and all our worlds.

Family Issues in the Forces

A member is experiencing her first deployment and she feels a little lost. She asks some good questions, but one of them really caught my eye and made me think: When does the pain of deployment stop?

Finding a Job

In everyday life thousands of adults have difficulties focusing on the job. While more than 4 percent of working adults are diagnosed with ADHD, vast numbers of undiagnosed adults struggle with being successful in the workplace.

Golden Hellos & Pay Incentives

There are a number of different bonuses available for specific roles within the Armed Forces. These are due to simple supply and demand issues, the MoD have to fill key roles and if there are not sufficient numbers coming into the Service interested in those roles they are forced to offer extra incentives.

Military Discounts

There is so much to do ... and easy to have fun with friends and family. Enjoy your time!

Personal Finance

Dealing with Debt can be a difficult and lonely experience. However, there is always help and support at hand and it need not be a lonely experience. You can be sure that you are not alone in this, if you're facing debt or bankruptcy for example, there are many other people and familes facing the prospect of rising debt.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Royal Air Force (RAF)

The first RAF squadron (then as the RFC – Royal Flying Corps) was formed in 1912 and it upgraded to aircraft in 1914. The RAF is the oldest independant air force in the world with a long proud history, serving in all the major conflicts that took place during the 20th century, and continuing to do so in the 21st.

Now the RAF provide air support for a wide range of uses, both at war and in peace time. During the Cold War the RAF was an integral part of Britain’s nuclear deterrant.

British Army

The British Army has a long and distinguished history, not to mention a very complicated hierarchy for the Regiments and Corps. This section summarises the history and the functions of the different aspects of the modern British Army.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Poll: Do you think national service should be brought back to solve some of Britain’s problems?

The youth of today have too many rights and these should be taken away from them after all they're children and should not make their own choices until they can prove they're adults. Service will sort the wheat from the chaff.

A lot has been said about this already however, there hasn't been a poll so we can now vote on the issue and not see if we can get some results that would make someone in Westminster site up and listen.

"hi every one im only 14 and live in newquay and i think it a good idea it will stop all the under aged alcoholics in the uk today so bring it back to this proud country of ours".

Royal Navy

Royal Marines



Bring Back National Service - What Does it Offer You?

It's a new online space designed exclusively for the UK military and naval community: The British Army, The Royal Navy, The Royal Marines and The Royal Air Force, to connect and develop their careers.

However, if you're also civilian and have a member of your family in the armed forces, are a spouse or a friend or have a general interest, then there's lots of info available for you too.

So, What’s The Score?

Do you need advice on landing a great civilian job once you leave the Forces? Curious if you’re claiming all the benefits you’re entitled to receive?

Or, just want to banter about which Service really works the hardest? Or want to taste the nostalgia of the old days?

This site isn't just about the serving folk but the ones who have already served in whatever service. In addition, if you're civilian you can find a lot of advice and jokes about the life that you're comtemplating joining - and it is a different life make no mistake. Check out all the best and most up to date joining instructions for the Armed Forces.


for your intellectual side (but if you can't be bothered with your intellectual side there's some daft games in the FORUMS too), and a GEAR
section where you can review the latest military equipment available.

However, since the site will always be a work in progress and as it is entirely about and for members of the Armed Forces – your feedback is crucial.

Please drop us a line if you have an idea for a new feature, want us to investigate something, or even if you’ve found a broken link.


Stewart Thompson

General Manager

Monday, August 1, 2011

Armed Forces Allowances Update

The Armed Forces (Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force) do give a number of allowances (despite what you hear about Armed Forces cuts etc).

There are specific lead allowances for service personnel assigned to seagoing units to compensate for the extra time spent away from home; Travel expenses can usually be claimed for duty journeys from a normal place of work for all the services; there is the Local Overseas Allowance (LOA) – Contributes to the additional costs of day-to-day living in an overseas county; Special Messing Allowance (SMA), and Overseas Furniture Provision Scheme (OFPS). These are only a few of them that are actually available.

There are many more allowances available and you'll find them here in our British Armed Forces Allowances section. Here's a few more:

General Allowances for Service Personnel

Travel Expenses In The Armed Forces
Travel and Subsistence when Living Overseas

Child Related Benefits In the Armed Forces

The links above take you to sections where you'll find articles explaining the different types of allowances open to you. However, in the previous 12 months there have been many changes.

This article describes some of those changes that directly affect the Armed Forces and their families.

As part of a comprehensive spending review, a direct consequence of 2010's Strategic Defence and Security Review, the changes all began end of 2010. It was announced that more than £250 million would be stripped from the armed forces' £880m allowances budget ordered by the Treasury.

Needless to say, the first to go, deemed too extraneous were perks for senior officers, such as payment for chefs and cleaners, drivers or gardeners.

Military personnel of all ranks have been asked to make personal financial contributions to allowances such as those which cover travelling from home to work.

Payments to cover travel to sports events and training facilities are also considered to be vulnerable to culling. Military travel allowances last year cost the government £54 million.

Defence chiefs accepted the cuts with regret but also claimed it could 'seriously damage troop morale'.

Some senior defence sources have criticised the move but others have welcomed it - our opinion is that the Armed Forces cannot be compared to MP's claiming expenses. However, cuts have to be made, and naturally expenses and perks are always the fist to be culled. This is replicated right across the private sector too. In fact some within the Armed Forces have claimed many officers are 'living beyond their means' and that the cuts will prevent fraudulent claims.

One issue however that has thrown up opposition is the examination and possible culling of the Continuity of Education Allowance, which helps pay for the private school fees. CEA costs the taxpayer £180m a year and is claimed by 5,500 service families.

As well as allowances, all forms of the armed forces specialist pay – which makes up a significant proportion of the salaries of pilots, comms crew, divers, bomb disposal experts, submariners and members of the special forces – is also to be examined and it looks like there will be inevitable cuts to these looking towards 2012. However, in our view the cuts cannot be too severe for specialist pay, as part of the remuneration for taking on extra duty and skills is the specialist pay rate in the first place. Take too much of that away and how can recruiters attract candidates into the specialist trades?

Qualified aeroplane and helicopter pilots, as well as specialist aircrew, can earn up to an extra £40 a day on top of their salaries even if their job does not involve flying.

Politicians argue that Pilots for example should only be paid the extra specialist pay when they are flying.

Under the current allowances scheme pilots are still paid the full "flying pay" for three years once they have left a "flying job". SDSR considers this too 'generous', the extra pay is worth millions of pounds to pilots who do not fly and submariners who no longer serve at sea. George Osbourne described this as 'staggering'.

Local Overseas Allowance, is paid to troops serving abroad where the cost of living is more expensive than the UK, will also be reduced (but the number of places that are more expensive than the UK are disappearing). In 2009/10 LOA cost the MoD £224m.


When dealing with expenses you must pay up front and then claim back what is owed by providing a valid receipt. Otherwise, if you can't provide the receipt you'll get nothing.

There are still many good allowances available to the Armed Forces but in these unsettling economic times those perks are slowly disappearing. However, some essential perks will stay but don't let all this put you off, the Armed Forces still offers what many jobs in the private sector cannot.