September 11, 2018 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces / Veterans Affairs Canada
Today, the Government of Canada is responding to a call for action by Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans, and the Veterans Ombudsman, through his report in 2012, with the introduction of the Veteran’s Service Card.
The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence announced that the new Veteran’s Service Cards will be distributed to former and releasing Canadian Armed Forces members who completed basic training and have been honourably released.
The new Veteran’s Service Card will provide a tangible symbol of recognition for former members, encourage an enduring affiliation with the Canadian Armed Forces and ensure linkages to Veterans Affairs Canada support programs as members transition to post-service life.
The new Veteran’s Service Card will be distributed in stages beginning in September, 2018. The first stage includes all newly releasing Canadian Armed Forces members.
Interested Veterans who released from the Canadian Armed Forces between April 1, 2016 and September, 2018 can apply for the card during stage two beginning in December 2018.
The third stage will begin Summer 2019, and will see cards produced and issued upon request, to all eligible Veterans released prior to February 2016.
Taking care of our women and men in uniform and their families is our number one priority. Through our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, we have committed to providing the best possible care and support to our military personnel as they transition to post-military life. Today we are delivering on that commitment by bringing back the Veteran’s Service Card. We recognize the courage and dedication of our Canadian Armed Forces members, and the Veteran’s Service Card is an important acknowledgement of their service to our country.
Time after time, at the 40 town halls, meetings, and roundtables I’ve had with Veterans and their families since January, we heard the need for reintroducing a Veteran’s Service Card. We listened and we are taking action. We are committed to improving how members transition from their service in the Canadian Armed Forces to life after service and this Card will provide a valuable link to VAC programs and offer a recognition of their service to Canada.”
- The Veteran’s Service Card is being introduced under an initiative of Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE) and is one of the elements being put in place to help ensure a smooth transition to post service life.
- For more information about the Veteran’s Service Card, visit: canada.ca/veterans-service-card
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Major Travis Smyth
Military Strategic Communications – Personnel and Legal Services
Canadian Armed Forces
Department of National Defence
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defense