Category: News

Announcing our new Army LGBT+ Forum Veterans’ Rep

Announcing our new Army LGBT+ Forum Veterans’ Rep

We’re delighted to announce that as part of our continued commitment to supporting past and present lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender soldiers we have introduced the new role of Veterans’ Rep and that Dougie Morgan has taken on this role for the coming year.

Dougie MorganDougie has previously held the role of Forum Vice Chair and retired from the British Army last year after joining the Black Watch in 1980. His dedication to the Forum and his commitment to this role will provide real benefits and we’re excited for what follows in the coming months.

This new Veterans’ Rep role is an important part of our wider engagement with the Royal British Legion and a number of other organisations in supporting those who have left the service.

The Royal British Legion launched a new LGBTQ+ branch this year to help tackle isolation and build connections in communities. The new branch will act as a safe space for people from across the LGBTQ+ community to share experiences and support the work of the Legion – you can find out more about this on the RBL website.

The British Army secures another year in the Stonewall Top 100 Index

The British Army secures another year in the Stonewall Top 100 Index

Stonewall Top 100 Employer 2019The Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2019 is the definitive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace – and The British Army has once again secured a place in the Top 100 Employers at 51st position.

Now in its fifteenth year, Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall states ‘the list of over 400 organisations showcases organisations leading the way in making workplaces more LGBT inclusive and ensuring that LGBT employees, customers and service users can be safe, accepted and respected across the UK.’

The workplace is a fantastic way to show your commitment to LGBT equality. It demonstrates that making your workplace, services and products LGBT inclusive is a priority.

This year also marked one of the Army LGBT+ Forum’s previous committee members, Capt Hannah Graf being named as Trans Role Model of the Year 2019 for her ongoing support, dedication and championing of Trans equality. Stonewall remarked ‘Hannah has supported the army with updating its facilities and policies, including developing a new guide to gender identity. Alongside her work commitments, for five years she has been the trans representative for the Army’s LGBT+ forum.’

The Army LGBT+ Forum is delighted with the success of The British Army once again this year and the many positive benefits that inclusion in the Top 100 Employers list will bring to colleagues and those working with the organisation.

For further information on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index refer to the Stonewall website.

 

Handover of the Army LGBT+ Forum Chair

Handover of the Army LGBT+ Forum Chair

A message from Maj Rob Ridley, our outgoing Forum Chair…

Rob Ridley & Jamie CarrAfter six years on the Army Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Forum Committee, initially as Media Rep to Major Damian Jenkins RAMC, Vice Chair to WO1 Karen Styles AGC(SPS), and two years as Chair; it is time to hand over leadership in order to maintain the Forum’s momentum and exploit fresh ideas and direction.  I look forward to seeing the Forum continue to evolve and innovate in delivery of the, still essential, advice and support it provides to Army Headquarters, unit commanders and individual personnel under the leadership of Captain Jamie Carrahar AGC(ETS), the core Forum Committee and growing network of Regional Leads and sub-groups.

All those involved with the Forum; ChampionsArmy Headquarters Diversity StaffCommittee members, wider community of personnel identifying as LGBT+ and our Allies, can be rightly proud of what has been collectively achieved since the small, discreet, enthusiastic origins of the Forum, to the professional team of today.  Whether it is the lived-experience aware guidance to Army Headquarters on policy development; advice to the chain of command on inclusive leadership education, welfare or discipline; practical support for regional Brigade engagement with their local LGBT+ communities; facilitating volunteers to feature in Army recruiting campaigns; advice and training support to the Army Cadet Force adult volunteers; Prides; supporting articles from Soldier Magazine to the Forces Pension Society feature on Armed Forces pensions application to same-sex couples, or the move from small meetings at Oxford colleges, to the well-attended annual conferences at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, there is much to be proud of.

The most important work of the Forum, remains the advice, guidance and support the network provides to those personnel serving or contemplating ‘coming out’ as openly LGBT+ in their teams.

The most important work of the Forum, remains the advice, guidance and support the network provides to those personnel serving or contemplating ‘coming out’ as openly LGBT+ in their teams.  In an organisation such as ours, where we are so utterly dependant on each other and where our working and social lives are so heavily intertwined, the ability to serve authentically and to be respected for your ability as a soldier, regardless of who you love, isessential for strong teams, and ultimately operational effectiveness.

The Forum has benefited from two exceptional Champions during my time; both Lieutenant General Patrick Sanders CBE DSO and General Sir James Everard KCB CBE have provided considerable, and genuine, support that whilst potentially unnoticed by many has certainly improved the lived experience of personnel across the spectrum of diversity.

Whilst I shall continue to support the team, from the side-lines, I wish thank all who’ve made the current Army Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Forum what it is and wish the Chair, Committee and wider network of LGBT+ personnel and allies every success in continuing to mainstream inclusion for the benefit of individual personnel, their teams and the Army.

Major Rob Ridley CEng MICE RE.