If you have left, or are leaving, the Forces at the age of 50 or over, we want to hear from you.

This research project aims to investigate the employment challenges and barriers faced by servicemen and servicewomen of all ranks aged 50 or over at the point of discharge from the UK Armed Forces. It is being conducted by the Centre for Research into the Older Workforce (CROW) on behalf of the Officers’ Association.

Individuals from within this demographic are invited to participate in a series of focus groups and an online survey.



Around 15,000 servicemen and servicewomen leave the UK Armed Forces every year, roughly 1,000 of whom are aged 50+ when they leave [source:].

Anecdotal evidence and previous research indicate that this group of Service leavers face particular challenges during transition in all areas including deciding on a career, selling their experience to employers and dealing with work / life balance.


What would we like to achieve?

We would like to better understand what specific transition challenges and employment barriers these Service leavers face.

The output from this research will help military charities, the veteran community and employers to gain a better understanding of how to support 50+ Service leavers in their transition to civilian life. The results of the research will be shared with the Ministry of Defence (MOD), and MOD will consider the report’s recommendations.


What are we doing about it?

We are conducting a research project to explore these barriers and challenges in a structured way, following best practice research methodology.  We are taking a cross-service, all ranks approach. This is the first study of its kind to examine this issue.

We have planned this research in two stages:

  • Stage 1 consists of focus groups with 50+ transitioning and ex-serving personnel, and employers.
  • Stage 2 will consist of online surveys for each of the three groups mentioned above.

The findings of this research will be widely circulated, and the MOD will be provided with the research recommendations.

How can you help?

If you have left or are leaving the UK Armed Forces, aged 50+, we would like to hear from you. To take part in one of our group discussions, our surveys or both, please register with us above.

To take part in the group discussions you would need to be able to physically attend the event.

The surveys will be conducted online.

Travel expenses and light refreshments will be provided to those attending the focus groups. There are a number of Amazon vouchers that will be given to participants of the focus groups and those completing the online surveys will be entered into a draw.


Who is behind this project?

This is a project of the Officers’ Association (OA), funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), using an endowment awarded by the Big Lottery Fund. The OA has commissioned the Centre for Research into the Older Workforce (CROW) to carry out the research.

The OA and FiMT are both registered military charities, also registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.


Your data

This study has received an ethical approval from the Faculty of Business, Law and Politics Research Ethics Committee at the University of Hull.

Any personal data collected during the course of registration or during the research will be handled and processed in accordance with data protection regulations. > Project Privacy Notice