Understanding the lived experience of non-UK veterans

British troops remembering the fallen in Afghanistan, photo by Corporal Andrew Morris (RAF)/Crown Copyright

Members of all three services gathered at Kandahar Air base to pay their respects during a service of Remembrance in November 2014.

Corporal Andrew Morris (RAF)/Crown Copyright

What is the issue?

In 2018, the UK Government published its Strategy for our Veterans. Its overall aim is to ensure that all those who served in the UK Armed Forces are able to make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life. A key part of this is to ensure that veterans are able to access support where necessary.

However, the UK Government has recognised that there is limited evidence available on the needs and experiences of certain cohorts within the Armed Forces Community, which constrains understanding of the full spectrum of potential support needs of ex-Service personnel. This includes non-UK veterans, i.e. former Service personnel who come from outside of the UK. In order to create policies and foster practice that effectively support non-UK veterans, more research is needed to characterise the lived experience of this cohort.

How are we helping?

RAND Europe has received a grant from the UK Office for Veterans’ Affairs to conduct qualitative research on the lived experience of non-UK veterans. This includes research to:

  • Understand why non-UK veterans choose to join the UK Armed Forces and how they view public perceptions of the military in the UK and their home countries.
  • Understand how non-UK veterans perceive their experience of service within the social and cultural context of the UK military.
  • Understand how non-UK veterans navigate change in their social environment during transition, in the UK or in their home countries.
  • Understand the role of community for this cohort during transition.
  • Assess the implications of the findings for the UK Government and service charity sector.

To address these aims, the team will conduct a literature review, as well as interviews and focus groups with veterans and other stakeholders.

Contact us

The research team is hoping to gather insights from a large number of non-UK veterans through narrative interviews or focus groups to understand their experiences of service and transition. If you are a veteran or family member or if you work with the veteran community and would be interested in engaging with the research team, please contact the Project Manager Livia Dewaele by email, ldewaele@randeurope.org.