Canadian Armed Forces members who have recently released can now request the new Veteran’s Service Card.
The government announced today that they are now in stage two, Veterans that released from the CAF between February 2016 and September 2018 can request the Veteran’s Service Card.
The Veteran’s Service Card provides a tangible symbol of recognition for former military members and encourages a continuous affiliation with the CAF. The card is for former and released CAF members who have completed basic training and have been honourably discharged.
The card is an initiative of Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, that will allow 26,000 honourably released Veterans to be eligible during the second stage of distribution.
“Through our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, we are ensuring that the women and men of our Canadian Armed Forces receive the professional, customized and personalized support they need as they transition to post-military life. We introduced the Veteran’s Service Card in September, and the distribution for stage two begins today, on schedule. We owe a lot to our women and men in uniform, and the Veteran’s Service Card is an important acknowledgment of their service to our country,” says Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister.
Previously, the card was only available to Veterans who served more than 10 years in the CAF.
The Veteran’s Service Card is being released in three different stages. The first stage began in September 2018. All newly releasing Canadian Armed Forces members now receive their card upon release.
Another estimated 450,000, who have honourably released prior to February 2016, will be able to request their Veteran’s Service Card during stage three, in summer 2019. The staged approach allows the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada to ensure that all necessary resources are in place to verify, produce, and distribute the Veteran’s Service Cards.
“Veterans and their families have told me at dozens of town halls, meetings, and roundtables that they wanted a Veteran’s Service Card. We listened, and we took action. We work every day at improving how Canadian Armed Forces members transition to life after their military service. The stage two distribution of the Veteran’s Service Card marks another milestone in recognizing their service to Canada and gives these veterans a valuable link to VAC programs,” says, Seamus O’Regan, minister of veterans affairs
For more information about the Veteran’s Service Card, or to apply, visit their website.