The Transition and Reinvention of British Army Infantrymen.
Social sciences approaches to the study of Armed Forces Veterans and their capacity to cope with social reintegration, have tended to focus on medicalised accounts of post-service trauma, characterised by Veteran mental health, homelessness, and suicide amongst our Short Service Leavers. Whilst the findings of these largely quantitative projects continue to present new and compelling data, they have a tendency to neglect key aspects of observable phenomenon and often fall-short in representing the broader experience of Veterans transitioning from martial to civilian space. By contrast this study draws on a mixed-methods approach to reveal a more authentic picture of resettlement, indeed the project proposes that resettlement is better understood when viewed as a component of a much broader occupational life-story; one that has a past, a present and importantly a future.
With few notable exceptions (Ashcroft, 2014; Walker 2012; NAO, 2007) research into the British experience of Armed Forces resettlement is extremely difficult to locate, in a sense the process is hindered further by the outsourcing of Resettlement to Right Management Limited in 2015 and delivery, at a cost of £100 million, of the ‘Career Transition Partnership’ (CTP). And whilst the CTP claim to have helped thousands of veterans into sustainable employment within six months of leaving the Armed Forces; beyond such un-evidenced claims made in their own literature, neither UK government nor CTP has published any evidence based research representative of the degrees of success claimed by the CTP, in delivering cost effective programmes of resettlement.
Moreover in the absence of empirical data, and on the basis of this analysis, an alternative account of resettlement is proposed, one that tests the assumption that the MoD’s approach to the resettlement of Armed Forces personnel is either fit for purpose or relevant to the contemporary Armed Forces Veteran. Whilst aspects of the martial life-course have been explored, knowledge of the broader journey that carries the schoolchild to the point of being a veteran has not. Nor have notions of transitioning into and out of the Armed Forces been articulated as public and profoundly sociological issues, as opposed to the medical and psychiatric accounts that dominate this field of study.
You can read the full research: Transition & Reinvention of British Army Infantrymen (Meek, 2018).
Meek, B. (2018) The Transition and Reinvention of British Army Infantrymen. Doctoral Dissertation. Cardiff University. Available from World Wide Web: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/111875/2/Barrie%20Meek%20Final%20Thesis%20ORCA.pdf. [Accessed: 06 November, 2018].