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Who is a ‘Veteran’? Understanding Definitions of the Term Among the British Public: A Research Note

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Rachael Gribble, Simon Wessely, Susan Klein, David A. Alexander, Christopher Dandeker, Nicola T. Fear

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalRUSI Journal
Issue number7
Early online date16 Dec 2019
Accepted/In press28 Aug 2019
E-pub ahead of print16 Dec 2019


King's Authors


There are currently an estimated 2.8–3.8 million people in the UK who fulfil the UK Ministry of Defence definition of a military veteran (a minimum of one day’s military service). Despite these numbers, there is little research on who the public views as a veteran and how this differs across society. Rachael Gribble, Simon Wessely, Susan Klein, David A Alexander, Christopher Dandeker and Nicola T Fear examine public conceptualisations of the term ‘veteran’ compared with definitions from the Ministry of Defence and those of ex-service personnel themselves. Factors associated with commonly endorsed definitions are identified.

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