Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood MP, a former Army officer, says we must challenge false perceptions of veterans…

Tobias Ellwood said: “That is the real challenge that we have, because too many people out there think because we served we are damaged.”

The Minister’s concerns about the public perception of veterans are supported by a YouGov poll commissioned by Forces in Mind Trust and the Ministry of Defence. The survey found that an alarming 64% of civilians think that veterans are more likely to suffer from more mental, physical and emotional issues than those who have never served.

However, the reality is that veterans are resilient and are more likely to be employed, according to a recent study by the Veterans Work consortium.

The Minister praised the officer community and stated that they offered great commercial value to employers. He said: “You’re leaders; you know all about teamwork, you’ve grit, tenacity and determination. You may start at 9 o’clock in the morning, you won’t finish at five, you’ll finish when the job is done. You have a sense of determination. Now who would not want to have those skillsets?”

The Minister made his comments at the recent Officers’ Association Careers Forum.