The Military Covenant

by otmg on Saturday 20th October

Every year in November, thoughts turn to Remembrance. Although this is a special time for those who have lost loved ones, Odiham and the surrounding parishes have always honoured the occasion with gratitude, dignity and respect. But this year with the Forces of the Crown so heavily committed to operations, which are more intense than anything experienced since 1945, I ask you to pray for peace of the world, remember with gratitude the warriors of the past, and pray for the safety of those bearing the burden of war today, especially remembering the men and women from RAF Odiham on active service, and their families at home.

Much has been said recently about the Military Covenant. In spirit this dates back to the days of the first Duke of Wellington, and if applied to all three of services, is as relevant today as it was then. With the permission of the Ministry of Defence I quote the words of the Covenant below:

“Soldiers will be called upon to make personal sacrifices - including the ultimate sacrifice - in the service of the Nation. In putting the needs of the Nation and the Army before their own, they forego some of the rights enjoyed by those outside the Armed Forces. In return, British soldiers must always be able to expect fair treatment, to be valued and respected as individuals, and that they (and their families) will be sustained and rewarded by commensurate terms and conditions of service. In the same way the unique nature of military land operations means that the Army differs from all other institutions, and must be sustained and provided for accordingly by the Nation. This mutual obligation forms the Military Covenant between the Nation, the Army and each individual soldier; an unbreakable common bond of identity, loyalty and responsibility which has sustained the Army throughout its history. It has perhaps its greatest manifestation in the annual commemoration of Armistice Day, when the Nation keeps covenant with those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in action.”

I therefore ask you to give generously to the Poppy Appeal, and to show your support for our servicemen and servicewomen both at the War Memorials, and in the local’ Churches on Remembrance Sunday, 11th November, and pray for the Peace of The World.

Roger Jones