Posted on October 17, 2019
Former British Officer Injured In Afghanistan To Head New Veterans’ Office
Colonel David Richmond is a former Commanding Officer of 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.
The UK’s most senior officer injured in combat in Afghanistan is to head up the Government’s new Office for Veterans’ Affairs.
Retired Colonel David Richmond will lead efforts to improve veterans’ services in areas such as mental health, employment and housing.
Colonel Richmond is a former Commanding Officer of 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.
He also served in Iraq and went on to work as the recovery director at the Help for Heroes charity after leaving the Army.
“As a veteran, I understand the struggles that some face and leading the OVA [Office for Veterans’ Affairs] will provide a unique opportunity to serve our veteran community as they transition to civilian life,” Colonel Richmond said.
“I want the OVA to champion veterans and ensure that their skills and talents are recognised fully by employers, business and wider society.”
The OVA, which was set up by Boris Johnson in his first week as Prime Minister, is jointly-run by ministers Oliver Dowden and Johnny Mercer.
Mr Mercer, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, told Forces News: “He’s [Colonel Richmond] got a unique insight into this sector and we’ll be able to use all his expertise to make sure we get this to a place where the Prime Minister wants us to get to.
“We’ve known for a long time in this country that, actually, there is some extraordinarily good veterans’ care but it’s always been a struggle to get people to understand how to access that system.
“The Office for Veterans’ Affairs is going to try and pull it all together”.
Meanwhile, Mr Mercer also said the Government is “making progress” in ending repeated investigations of soldiers facing historical abuse allegations, where there has been no new evidence brought forward.
The OVA was given £5 million of funding to secure staff and resources.
Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO at military charity SSAFA, said the organisation “look forward” to working with the office.