A definitive demographic profile of the serving and ex-officer community in the UK has been commissioned to help understand the size, nature and needs of present and future officer communities…

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has awarded £43,149 to the Officers’ Association, the charity supporting the welfare of those who have held a commission in HM Armed Services and their dependants.

The six month study will be conducted by the Institute of Public Care at Oxford-Brookes University, and project managed by Mazia Yassim, Research Associate at the Officers’ Association.

This study seeks to create a definitive demographic profile of the serving and ex-officer community in the UK across all three branches of the Armed Forces, and will take into account several demographic variables, such as age and disability.

Specifically, the research will aim to:

  • identify the size and variables of the current officer community;
  • predict the size of the serving and ex-officer community for the next 20 years; and
  • explore the implications in terms of current and future needs.

It is expected that the findings from this research project will help all those involved in supporting the Armed Forces Community, including policy-makers and service deliverers, to better understand the needs of the officer communities in the UK now, as well as help to predict how these may change and develop in the future.

The project will use a number of techniques to build a picture of the officer community, including using data from the Ministry of Defence and other sources, holding focus groups with current and ex-serving officers, as well as interviews with service charities.

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, says: “Improving our understanding of the profile of the current and ex-serving officer community is an important piece of work. Without a proper knowledge of the size, composition and needs of the officers’ community, and a forecast of how that might change, we cannot understand how best to support them and their families in leading successful and fulfilled civilian lives. This is an exciting and broad-ranging piece of independent and credible research, which we are very pleased to support.”

Lee Holloway, CEO of the Officers’ Association, said: “We are delighted to be involved in a study that will give us a better understanding of the demographics of officers who may need the support of the Officers’ Association and other organisations in the future. From employment services to benevolence, the OA offers a wide ranging level of support to former officers; the outcomes of this study will help us to plan how to provide our services most efficiently and effectively in the future, whilst also benefiting a wider community.”