Military Community Service

Serving in the military is a very tough but necessary job for a country's citizenry. Whether volunteer or conscript, duty often takes the military person away from home for extended periods of time.  Sometimes the deployment allows for families to join the service member.  Regardless those married service members have additional needs and concerns not encountered by their unmarried peers.

These hardships can be mental (dealing with the separation and anxiety of the danger the service member is in) to such daily matters as handling finances, child raising and similar needs.  If the family is accompanying the service member to an overseas assignment, there are needs in dealing with living in a foreign country.  The military realises that service members will not be effective in the primary mission if their thoughts are about their families.  Therefore the military created various community service organisations and groups to assist service members and their families with the issues they face.

What is Military Community Service?

Military community service is provided by each branch of the military, RAF, Royal Navy, and British Army.  The name of the department or organisation may be different, but the mission is all the same.  Families of service members are considered part of the overall military community.  As such, the military branches take care to ensure the families are taken care of as best as possible.  The service member can then focus on their primary mission knowing that there is someone who is available to help their family.

 

The British Army has the Army Welfare Service and Chaplaincy Support as the major venues for providing support to British Army families.  The Royal Navy has similar support through their Naval Personnel and Family Services department and Royal Marines Welfare department.  And the RAF has a community support department too.  The Ministry of Defence established the HIVE Information Service which is used by all branches to provide a wealth of information to military families.

 

Besides taking care of family personal needs, military community service also helps families by arranging various events to foster camaraderie among the families.  This can be various fund raisers for charities, group tour activities to local sites, and sports competitions. 

What do the Military Community Service Groups do?

The military community service groups provide support to meet the spiritual, psychological, and physical needs of military families.  These include such basic needs as:

 

  • Relocation assistance when service members are transferred between bases
  • Housing assistance domestically and internationally
  • Financial assistance
  • Child care services
  • Employment and career development assistance
  • Bereavement services

Where are Military Community Service Groups Located?

Military community service is available on every UK military installation.  Additionally each branch's website has information regarding military community service.  The Ministry of Defence HIVE Information Centre website is also available for use by authorised personnel.  Authorised personnel are those who are serving within the UK military or are dependants of service members.  There is generally no cost for most of the services provided.

 

For members serving in the UK armed forces, worries about their family's well-being are greatly reduced through military community service.  The families too know that if they have questions or need assistance they have a ready resource available to them regardless of where they are.  Nations owe a great deal to the men and women who serve in the armed forces, often at great personal risk.  Providing proper and plentiful resources to address family needs through the military community service function allow the service member to focus on their mission knowing their family is being cared for adequately.