What is a military veteran?
In the UK a military veteran is defined as anyone who has drawn one day’s pay from the Armed Forces. This means all personnel, male or female, who have served for one day or more, in any occupation in the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, or the Army, including Reservists and National Service personnel, and the Merchant Navy if involved in a conflict.
A veteran is therefore not defined by the length, nature of their service, or when they left. They also remain veterans even if discharged from the forces for a serious or criminal breach of the 1955 Army Act.
In the NHS we use the term ‘veteran’ to describe ex-forces who are entitled to priority access under the UK Military Covenant, the UK Government's promise of a duty of care to British armed forces.