IN EARLY November, I was proud to take the reins of the Army Families Federation (AFF) as its new CEO, just a few weeks before the government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) was released. It was a motivational start and I am so delighted to now be fully on-board and taking AFF through this new phase, writes AFF Chief Executive Sara Baade.

My Army life
I am equally excited to occupy a role where, through AFF, I represent Army families! My late husband was still serving with the 9/12th Lancers when he passed away five years ago, so I know what it is like to live the “Army life”.

Personally I loved it and those were some of the best years of my life: the friends I made; the places we visited and the community I was welcomed into were all very positive for me.

I was lucky that I was able to continue my career in investment banking and later as a senior civil servant, whilst I had the security of the Army at home.

Yet I appreciate that my experience is not shared by everyone. I therefore feel very privileged to be in this position where I can draw on my business skills in order to fly the flag for Army families.

It’s my role to work with you, with commanders, politicians and civil servants to ensure that the voice of the wider Army community is consistently heard.

More to achieve
My first few months here have been very positive, and I feel reassured that families are being given increasing consideration in the development of Army policy and strategy. However, there is much more to be achieved and many areas where AFF will continue to raise concerns, champion the needs of families and push for change.

Objectives include the development of the new accommodation model (as proposed in the latest SDSR) and the work of the Armed Forces Covenant team to ensure equal opportunities for Army families. We will continue to represent you in these, and many more, discussions and we will keep you updated on progress.

Here to help
Although this is a new challenge to me, I am surrounded by an excellent and experienced AFF team and together we will work hard to ensure we represent all families and the vital role you play in supporting our Armed Forces.

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