AA salutes armed forces with pledge

The AA is among the first 50 UK companies to commit support to the military through the armed forces corporate covenant

The AA is among the first 50 UK companies to commit support to the military through the armed forces corporate covenant

The AA is among the first 50 UK companies to commit support to the military through the armed forces corporate covenant

The AA is among the first 50 companies in the UK to commit its support to the military through the new armed forces corporate covenant, launched on 29 October at a Downing Street event.

The covenant is a voluntary pledge of support from businesses and charities to the armed forces community and includes two key principles:

  • No member of the armed forces community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen
  • In some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate, especially for the injured or bereaved

The UK’s biggest motoring organisation conducted an extensive review of the support it provides and its wide-ranging covenant includes:

  • introducing new working practices to better support its reservists
  • armed forces discounts off AA membership, and
  • ongoing work to place former service personnel in civilian employment

The AA has published its covenant and will publicise its commitment to employees, customers and business partners. It will invite feedback on its performance.

We have great respect for the contribution and sacrifices made by the armed forces, including our own reservists, and their families

Andrew Strong, AA CEO

Close ties and respect

Andrew Strong, chief executive officer of the AA, says: “We have great respect for the contribution and sacrifices made by the armed forces, including our own reservists, and their families.

“We also value the additional skills, confidence and experience that military service brings and actively seek to employ former service personnel, as there’s a natural fit with the AA.

“The AA is very proud of its close ties with the military and we are committed to working hard to support the armed forces community.”

The AA was represented at the Downing Street Launch by Steve Sharpe, a former regular and reserves soldier, its main liaison with the armed forces.

Cheshire patrols (1910)

Cheshire patrols (1910)

The AA and the military

The AA’s long relationship with the military dates back to its formation in 1905. For many years, most AA patrols were ex-regular or national service soldiers. They wore khaki, military-style uniform, gave members the famous AA salute and the association was organised along regimental lines.

In 1909, the fledgling AA transported a battalion of soldiers from London to Hastings to test the viability of moving troops by motor transport. During the First World War, many patrols enlisted – often returning to their former regiment – and the AA organised converted ambulance cars provided by its members.

In 1938, a Supplementary Reserve to the Corps of Military Police was recruited entirely from AA patrols, whose chief duty was traffic control, and they served in virtually every theatre of the Second World War.

Many patrols joined the reserves in the post-war period and these close ties continue with the AA working with SaBRE (Supporting Britain’s Reservists and Employers) to promote the benefits of the reserves among its employees. It also works with The Poppy Factory charity and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) to place injured soldiers in work.


(29 October 2013)

 

History of the AA

Need AA Breakdown Cover?

We fix more cars by the roadside than anyone else. Get a quote »

Need AA Breakdown Cover?