The Military Covenant in action? part 1: military casualties

17 February 2011

The Defence Committee today announces a major new inquiry into the support given to members of the Armed Forces and civilians wounded in the service of their country and to their families

Since 2003, the Armed Forces have been operating in two very hostile environments in Afghanistan and Iraq resulting in many personnel being put into harm’s way, and many Armed Forces personnel and MoD civilians have been killed or seriously injured in action.

Since the start of the mission in Afghanistan in 2001, 357 members of the UK Armed Forces and MoD civilians have been killed and a further 493 were seriously injured or wounded. In Iraq from January 2003, 136 Armed Forces personnel or MoD civilian personnel have been killed as a result of hostile action and a further 222 were seriously injured or wounded. An unknown number of personnel have also suffered mental health problems, in particular, post-traumatic stress disorders.

The Armed Forces and the MoD have a responsibility to ensure that Armed Forces and civilian personnel are provided with the best treatment and support including rehabilitation and that their families are also supported.

This inquiry will the first in a series of inquiries looking at the military covenant and the welfare support given to members of the Armed Forces including members of the Reserve Forces and veterans.

The Committee is particularly interested in:

  • how the Armed Forces and the MoD treat and rehabilitate injured personnel once they are evacuated from the battlefield;
  • how they treat and rehabilitate personnel in the longer term;
  • the effectiveness, or otherwise, of the processes involved in supporting personnel when they either return to work within the Armed Forces or, if being medically discharged, require support finding work, accommodation and further medical support;
  • how effectively the MoD works with local authorities and health authorities to put the right level of support in place and whether different levels of support are provided in different regions of the UK;
  • the role of the charitable sector in providing support to personnel and their families, in particular, whether the demarcation between the state and the voluntary sector in the provision and funding of services is appropriate;
  • how well the MoD and the Armed Forces identify and treat mental health problems which develop in personnel returning from areas of conflict;
  • how the MoD and the Armed Forces support the families of those wounded in action, in particular, those families of bereaved personnel;
  • if there are differences in the way that members of the Reserve Forces are supported; and
  • how injured members of the Armed Forces, civilians and their families are compensated.  

How to respond

The Committee is inviting written submissions on the above and other matters relevant to the inquiry. A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to and should have ‘The Military Covenant in action? Part 1: Military Casualties’ in the subject line. Submissions should be received by Monday 21 March 2011

If you have any queries on the submission of evidence contact Karen Jackson, Inquiry Manager, tel: 020 7219 6168, email:

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