The Sandbag Times Issue No:58


The Veterans Magazine


Johnny Mercer MP appointed Minister of Veterans

Story: Plymouth Live

Plymouth Moor View MP

Johnny Mercer has been appointed

Minister for Veterans

of the Royal Navy, Army and

RAF - and will head-up a new

Government department dedicated

to the issues they face.

The new Office of Veterans’

Affairs will sit inside the Cabinet

Office and will be jointly

run by Mr Mercer - who is

now a Parliamentary Under-Secretary

of State in both

Image: Greg Martin

the MOD and the Cabinet

Office - and the Cabinet-attending

paymaster general

Oliver Dowden.

Mr Mercer, a former captain

in the British Army, will be

asked to focus on ending the

legal pursuit of former service

personnel, amid anger in the

Conservative party over the

treatment of those who served

during Northern Ireland’s


MOD Announces Pay Rise For The Armed Forces


The Defence Secretary has announced

an above-inflation, 2.9% pay rise for the

Armed Forces.

It will be implemented in September’s

salaries and backdated to 1 April 2019.

The lowest-paid soldiers, sailors and

airmen and women will receive a 6%

increase to bring them in line with the

living wage.

This increase means that after basic

training, new and junior personnel will

receive an annual salary of £20,000 a year.

For the ‘average’ salary of personnel (at

Corporal level), the pay rise represents an

annual increase of £995.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

No soldier, sailor, airman or woman

should be asked to serve our country and

not be properly rewarded, which is why

I’m pleased we have accepted the pay

review body’s recommendation for an

above-inflation rise this year.

More here...

The starting salary for an officer will see

an annual increase of £769.

Army rejects call for mental health checks

Story: BBC News: By Andrew Hosken

The British Army has

rejected calls for mandatory

mental health

screening for serving

soldiers, the BBC has


Regular screening was

recommended by a coroner

following an inquest

into the deaths of two infantrymen

found hanged

in the same Northern

Ireland barracks. But

in a leaked letter, Gen

Sir Nick Carter, head of

the armed forces, said

screening was “potentially


Human rights charity

Liberty, which represents

the mothers of the

soldiers, said it was concerned

by the decision.

An inquest this year

found that Corporal

James Ross, 30, died

an accidental death in

December 2012, while

the coroner recorded

a verdict of suicide on

the death of Rifleman

Darren Mitchell, 20 - less

than three months later -

in February 2013.

Both men were serving

with the 2nd Battalion

The Rifles and had

previously been in active

service in Afghanistan.

Read more here...

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