Monday 2nd November 2020

During November and December we are turning our focus to what it means to be a ‘modern’ RAF family. Kicking it all off, we explain what it is to be a modern family and how the RAF is adapting to accommodate new dynamics.

What is a Modern RAF Family?

Gone are the days when a ‘family’ meant Mum, Dad and 2.4 children. Modern RAF families mean spouses and partners with meaningful careers, co-parenting and caring responsibilities, same-sex couples and single parents.

‘The Selous Report’

The Living in Our Shoes Report from Andrew Selous, coined ‘The Selous Report’, recognises the need to find ways of bringing the demands of military life and family life into closer harmony. There has been an increased focus on the impact of military life on families.

The report makes over 100 recommendations for changes. Many of the areas of focus are already being examined and progress is evidenced by several initiatives.

How is the RAF adapting?

Despite the RAF being 102 years old, there are clear signs that it is modernising to remain an attractive career choice and to be supportive to ‘modern family life’.

Examples of this, include:

  • Policies such as Flexible Working and Flexible Service allow Serving personnel with family commitments to be more hands on.
  • The recent recognition of Long Term Relationships.
  • The launch of the RAF Gender Network, alongside other networks like Freedom, BAME, RAF Living and CANDID for those with illnesses and disabilities.
  • The acceptance of well groomed beards (love them or loathe them!)

All of these changes demonstrate that the RAF is adapting and, most importantly, aware of the challenges of modern family life has on the morale and satisfaction of our Serving personnel.

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This story comes to you as part of the RAF FF’s themed months over November and December on all things relating to modern families. You can keep yourself up to date with the latest information and advice shared by signing up to our (free) weekly eBulletin and our quarterly Envoy magazine.

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