"Are You a Veteran?" Understanding of the Term "Veteran" among UK Ex-Service Personnel: A Research Note

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Different countries have varying definitions of the word veteran, which in turn influence the benefits that ex-Service personnel receive. However, public opinion does not necessarily reflect official definitions. This article seeks to identify whether characteristics by which UK ex-Service personnel self-identify as veterans are aligned with official policy/public opinion, and which factors are associated with self-identification as a veteran. This article utilizes data from a structured telephone interview survey of UK Armed Forces personnel. All those who had left the military by the time of interview (n = 202) were asked whether they considered themselves to be a veteran. Their responses were recorded and analyzed. Only half of the sample considered themselves to be veterans. Definitions used by UK ex-Service personnel do not align with the official UK government definition or public perceptions of veterans, which tend to focus on older veterans and/or those who served in both World Wars.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)751-759
Number of pages9
JournalArmed Forces and Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • veterans
  • UK military
  • identity
  • ex-Service personnel
  • CARE
  • Acknowledged-BRC
  • Acknowledged-BRC-13/14


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