Missed an edition of our monthly newsletter? Don't worry we've linked all out previous newsletters below in full!

May Newsletter: Veterans and Families

Welcome to this edition of the Defence Research Network newsletter, dedicated to the theme of "Veterans and Families." We extend our thanks to committee member Lucy Robinson for leading this theme and coordinating the contributions.

This  issue features a series of researcher spotlights focusing on the  experiences of service children and young people as well as veteran  transitions and cultures. Ranging from researcher bio's to books,  reports and research snapshots, the contributions share accompanying  articles, publications and contact details should you wish to explore  further.

Alongside these spotlights, we present a collection of  podcasts that offer in-depth discussions and perspectives on the  experiences of military families.

We encourage you to explore the  collated events and opportunities section, which details prospective  conferences and webinars that will be of interest to our community.  These events are excellent opportunities for further learning and  networking.

Thank you to all for your valuable contributions. As  always, we value your inputs and insights, essential to the success of  our network. Please do not hesitate to send us any ideas or submissions  for our upcoming themes.

Thank you for reading and we hope you enjoy another fascinating newsletter edition!

Stay cool,

Tegan Watt Harrison
Newsletter Editor
Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Veterans and Families

April Newsletter: The Military Body and Mind

Hello and welcome back to our latest DRN newsletter  edition on "The Military Body and Mind". We are excited to share  contributions showcasing some of the remarkable work being conducted by  our network members and related organisations.

In the researcher  spotlight section we are thrilled to introduce y two of our network  members, Oliver Sullivan and Pete Ladlow both based at the Defence  Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) Stanford Hall. The accompanying  feature offers some more insight of what the DMRC do as part of the  Academic Department of Military Rehabilitation (ADMR), advancing  rehabilitation medicine and technologies.

The feature from the  Museum of Military Medicine provides historical perspective tracing the  development of military medicine in peacetime and conflict from the  1640s to present day. It also has a great podcast series which we'd  highly recommend!

Our final two features both offer institutional  and personal reflections on the military body and mind. Nicky Murdoch  MBE describes her work with the Armed Forces Public Patient Voice Group,  their objectives and intersection with academic research. We also share  an anonymous Reflection from the Post-Operational Stress Management  programme for British Army Counter-IED and Search teams returning from  Op Herrick in Afgahanistan.

Our events and opportunities section  is packed with exciting projects for you to get involved with and  include all the relevant information and contact details of the  organisers.

Thank you to all for your valuable contributions. As  always, we value your inputs and insights, essential to the success of  our network. Please do not hesitate to send us any ideas or submissions  for our upcoming themes.

Thank you for reading and we hope you enjoy another fascinating newsletter edition!

Stay cool,

Tegan Watt Harrison
Newsletter Editor
Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: The Military Body and Mind

March Newsletter: International Women's Day

Hello  and welcome to our latest monthly newsletter! March marks a month of  celebration and reflection as we honour the achievements and  contributions of women worldwide. At the Defence Research Network, we  are proud to dedicate this month's edition to International Women's Day,  a time to recognize the remarkable women who inspire us and drive  positive change in our lives and communities.

Thank  you to Veronika and Hannah for their leadership in curating this  month's theme. We hope you enjoy reading the reflections shared by some  of our committee members on inspiring women who have influenced their  work and lives. We invite you to take a moment to reflect on your own  encounters with inspiring women and the  impact they might have had on  shaping your journey.

Additionally,  we are excited to present a range of events and opportunities for you  to engage with throughout the month. Whether it's participating in  discussions, attending seminars, or joining initiatives, there are  numerous ways for you to contribute to the celebration of women's  achievements and advancement as well as the wider defence community.

It  was wonderful to witness the vibrant interaction during this month's  Twitter Hour, where members shared their thoughts, experiences, and  advice on empowering women in the field of defence research. Thank you  to all who participated and contributed to the enriching dialogue.

In  our research spotlight, we shine a light on a series of PhD researchers  and members of an informal forum with the Female Veterans'  Transformation Programme. Their research delves into the experiences of  female veterans, gendered cultures, and the role of servicewomen,  offering valuable insights into an often overlooked aspect of military  studies. We are confident that their work will captivate and inspire you  as it has us.

As  always, we welcome your contributions to our newsletter. Your insights,  experiences, and perspectives enrich our community and drive meaningful  conversations forward. We encourage you to share your thoughts,  research, and achievements with us, fostering a collaborative and  supportive environment for all.

As  we celebrate International Women's Day and the remarkable women who  shape our world, let us continue to champion gender equality, diversity,  and inclusion in defence research and beyond!

Stay cool,

Tegan Watt Harrison
Newsletter Editor
Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: International Women's Day

February Newsletter: Space

3...2...1...liftoff!  Welcome to another edition of the monthly Defence Research Newsletter. I  am especially excited to introduce the February theme on Outer Space.  This is the thematic domain of my own PhD thesis as well as my fellow  DRN Committee member, Scott Mackey. We have both very much enjoyed  taking the lead on this month's newsletter therefore.

Before we  proceed (I promise this editorial won't take long!) I just wanted to  reflect on the positive reception our 'space' theme received. We have  welcomed all of your contributions and it has been wonderful to see the  DRN's cosmic expansion into Earth's orbits! As I hope the 'In  Conversation' and 'Researcher Spotlight' sections will highlight in  particular, outer space is an ever growing academic field garnering  interest from an array of research disciplines and scholarly  backgrounds. All I think, have exciting and important insights for our  encounters with outer space.

In this edition, we are thrilled to share our In Conversationwith  Dr Bleddyn Bowen, Associate Professor, Astropolitics and Space Warfare  at the University of Leicester. We thank Dr Bowen for his generous  responses concerning his own research experience on space strategy,  space policy and military thinking. It is also a pleasure to Spotlight researchers from varying stages of academic career who are working or  have worked on space-related issues. Here too, there is a rich and  diverse collective of research that we hope will inspire and launch your  own reflections on our (international) relations with space.

Before  we delve into all of this however, we would first like to share our  timeline of Newsletter themes for the coming months. As usual, please do  reach out if there is something you would like to contribute or share  with us regarding the thematic areas listed. Your feedback and  suggestions are always welcome so please drop us a line!

Stay cool,

Tegan Watt Harrison
Newsletter Editor
Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Space

January Newsletter: Planning and Running Events

Welcome back everyone! We hope this newsletter finds you refreshed and ready to take on the exciting challenges that 2024 will undoubtedly bring. We also hope that each of you had a wonderful Christmas break surrounded by family and friends. Our community is the backbone of the Defence Research Network, and we want to express our heartfelt appreciation to each member for your continued support and contributions.

As we kick off the new year, we are thrilled to present another edition of the Defence Research Network Newsletter. This month, our focus revolves around planning and running events, a topic that plays a crucial role in fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange within our community. A special thank you goes out to Lucy Robinson and Veronika Poniscjakova for taking the lead on this month's theme. We also extend our gratitude to the committee for their inputs and tips on orchestrating successful events in their respective fields.

In this edition, we are pleased to share the latest news, upcoming events, and exciting opportunities within the defense research community. As you navigate through the pages of this newsletter, we hope you find valuable insights and practical guidance that resonate with your own experiences. Your feedback and suggestions are always welcome so please drop us a line!

Thank you once again for being an integral part of the Defence Research Network. We look forward to another year of collaboration, growth, and shared success!

Stay cool,

Tegan Harrison
Newsletter Editor
Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Planning and Running Events

December Newsletter: Wrap Up and (Re)introductions

You will notice that this editorial is not authored by our Chair  Hannah West but me! Tegan Harrison, the new Newsletter Editor. Any  mistakes are unfortunately therefore, my own! More on our committee  roles below.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! On  behalf of the committee, I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas  and are able to take a bit of a break from everything before the new  year commences. But we appreciate too that not everyone will have had  the same experience over Christmas, perhaps because of being ill,  feeling lonely or working to deadlines early in the New Year so we hope  that if this is how it is for you that you are able to reach out and  find support. And please know that we are a supportive bunch so if you  are struggling with your studies or work, have just got stuck on  something or need a friendly chat with someone who is going through  something similar please do message us. We hope that our reintroductions  to the committee below can show what an eclectic set of members we have  and that you can find someone who shares a similar interest, background  or vocation as you.

You will notice that this is a much shorter  version of our newsletter than usual. Between work, holiday plans and  various other engagements, this time of year is always a busy one so we  thought it a perfect time to wrap up another fantastic year of the DRN,  share some of our aims for what we're sure will be an exciting 2024 and  reintroduce our super committee. I hope you enjoy reading the summary  from our most recent committee ‘Big Meeting' which includes some  information about our 2023 growth, how we will operate and make  decisions going forward, our aims for the new year as well as the latest  biographies of some of our committee members. Below you will notice a  few committee changes but in particular you will see that Veronika  Poniscjakova and Baris Celik have joined Hannah West as DRN Co-Chairs. I  would like to thank all three for your continued dedication to the DRN.  You’ll make for a wonderful team and I for one, feel very assured under  your leadership!

Of course, my biggest thanks go to you all!  Your support and readership is invaluable and we would love to hear from  you if you have any ideas you would like to work with us on ahead of  our 2024 program. We have made it our mission to try and connect with  different networks and organisations so if you are part of one we  haven't been in touch with then do give us a shout, we would love to  have a chat and share what you do with our network. And if you think  that you would be interested in being more involved with the DRN then we  are always on the look out for new committee members both to share the  workload but also to make new friends.

Our newsletter readership  of continues to grow as does our X (previously Twitter) interaction.  This is great news for all of you too because it means we have a  platform to share your research to an interested audience and we know  from the responses we receive that it is read far beyond the ECR  community. So please don't forget to share your publications (we love to  promote these!), calls for papers, events and anything else you have  been up to (from reviews of events, books, podcasts).

All the best for a refreshed start to 2024!

Tegan Harrison
Newsletter Editor of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Wrap Up and (Re)introductions

November Newsletter: Conferences

Hello again everyone! I am delighted to welcome you to another  newsletter and a topic which I know will appeal to all of you because in  one way or another we all have to navigate conferences once in a while.  And whether that is an exciting prospect with the chance to connect  with colleagues or a daunting prospect as you prepare to present for the  very first time, this newsletter finds space to reflect, share  experiences and top tips so enjoy! Thank you to everyone for their  contributions.

Last week saw us hold our planning meeting for our  2024 programme and I am really excited about what we have in store. We  are going to dedicate our December newsletter to sharing this plan with  you but for now I just wanted to share some committee news. I want to  say a huge thanks to all of the (all volunteer) committee for giving up  so much of their time to preparing newsletter content, arranging events,  and doing everything else in the background that makes this network  possible. I also wanted to say a big thank you to Andre Carvalho for his  hard work, particularly in contributing to past newsletters and  coordinating the events and opportunities section. Andre has had to  stand down due to other commitments but we wish him all the best for the  future.

I am delighted to say that Veronika Poniscjakova and  Baris Celik are going to be co-chairing with me as we look to make space  for some more strategic work through partnership and collaboration.  They are going to be amazing and are raring to go with our 2024  programme. I am also really pleased to say that Tegan Harrison will be  stepping up to be the newsletter Editor so you will be hearing more from  her in future editorials too!

Take care,

Hannah West
Co-Chair of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Conferences

October Newsletter: Teaching Defence, Military and Security Studies

The end of October already - I hope you are all settling into the new  academic year okay and into the swing of teaching, if teaching is a  part of what you do. We are delighted to be able to turn our attention  to teaching defence, military and security studies and I'm really  grateful to Baris Celik who has championed this cause since joining our  committee.

Whether you teach in a University, Professional  Military Education  or other setting and whether that takes the form of  seminars, guest lectures or convening modules it is great to be able to  make the space for a conversation about what it means to be teaching  about war and conflict to military or civilian scholars. This newsletter  bring together experience from across this space and you will find lots  to reflect on including resources and advice. We hope this is just the  start for the Defence Research Network plans to do much more in  facilitating a continuing conversation, hopefully through future  workshops.

As ever, we'd love to hear from you, whether about  teaching or anything else you have been up to. The end of November will  see the committee get together to plan our programme for the next year  so if there is a theme you'd like us to cover or collaborate on, then do  get in touch.

Take care,

Hannah West
Chair of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Teaching Defence, Military and Security Studies

September Newsletter: Creative Research Dissemination

This is a monthly theme very close to my heart as creativity, both as  method and for dissemination, have been something I have increasingly  embraced in my research. I only got into it because I made the mad  decision to collaborate with my husband on a music video as a public  engagement exercise in the middle of my PhD and have ever since got so  much from such collaborations which have helped me to see things  differently, whether my research or my own positionality. I hope we can  inspire you with our theme this month and encourage you to give  something new a try.

I am extremely grateful to Lucy Robinson and  Veronika Poniscjakova for their hard work with this month's theme, for  filling this newsletter which such a fantastic array of content and for  arranging such a great live event on creative research dissemination. It  has been great to hear from our DRN community too about all you have  been doing along these lines and are delighted to share some of that  here too.

I also wanted to say that whether you are just starting  out on your Masters or PhD journey or are returning for another year of  lecturing or research, good luck for the start of the new academic  year. And from someone who is in the thick of this right now, solidarity  with all those seeking the next step whether into, out of or onwards in  academia - we wish you every success with whatever comes next.

Take care,

Hannah West
Chair of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Creative Research Dissemination

July Newsletter: Military Leadership

Hello again everyone! I am excited to be sharing this month's theme  of Military Leadership with you and want to thank Georgie Eckersley,  Jeff Tibbett and Tamiris Santos for their 'leadership' of this theme!  Thank you to all of the wonderful contributors to the theme, we are  really grateful to hear about their research and experience in this  field.

I always find it fascinating the common misconceptions  about military leadership, dominated by the expectation of the 'drill  sergeant' approach of leadership by direct orders. Away from basic  training and emergency situations, such as firefighting, my experience  has been of a far more collaborative form of leadership. Certainly, as a  military engineer I observed far more effective leadership from those  who sought specialist expertise from their team to make their decision,  fostering an open dialogue and safe space for raising concerns and  thinking through risks. I would encourage reflection on the tension  between the expectations of military leadership and the realities and  how these apply in the very different settings the military operates in,  as you consider our monthly theme.
Finally, I am delighted to  introduce Rupak Pathak as the newest member of our committee. Check out  the 'News from our Committee' section below to hear more from Rupak.

Hannah West
Chair of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Military Leadership

June Newsletter: Military History and Museums

Hello again everyone! I am excited to be talking about military history  and museum this month especially as this is something I’ve really been  enjoying getting more and more involved with this last year. I  appreciate some of you may be doing your PhDs in collaboration with a  museum and others may have had no cause to even visit one but hopefully  this edition will have something for you all to inspire you to visit  somewhere new or consider what collaborating with a museum could look  like.

When you think of a military museum I expect you think  either of the big attractions, the Imperial War Museum for example, or  maybe you think of a museum local to where you live or grew up. If you  stop and think about it military history is available all around for us  and the public to engage with whether it is a local war memorial,  battlefield tours, virtual galleries, military history and, of course,  military museums themselves. And it is not just about a day trip out,  military museums have some of the most amazing archives, run fantastic  programmes of events as well as temporary exhibitions.

Some of  the bigger military museums are Independent Research Organisations  themselves and as such have their own research agendas. The national  museums of the single services all have leads for academic outreach also  so they can be a great starting point for talking about what you and  they are working on.

When you read the various stories of  working with museums in many different guises contained within the  newsletter, with any luck you will feel inspired to reach out to one and  consider how you can help each other. Perhaps you bring some specialist  knowledge that could inform a display or exhibit they are working on,  maybe they are looking for trustees, speakers for their events  programme. With impact and public engagement in mind (and not because  it’s a university buzzword but because it can be fun and fulfilling!), a  military museum can be a fantastic place to share your research with a  new audience, helping you to build new connections that can help with  your research.

So read on, enjoy and let us know about your future work with museums.

Hannah West
Chair of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Military History and Museums

May Newsletter: Academic Publishing

Hello everyone! I'm delighted to be able to share with you another  packed newsletter on the subject of academic publishing. We have pooled  our knowledge and are sharing with you all the things we wished we'd  found out about earlier or were not confident enough to ask about. It  has been a learning process for us all and I think we have all picked up  some tips along the way. Thank you to all those who have contributed,  from the journal editors, book authors and to you, our network, for all  you have contributed to this edition.

And do sign up below for  our "Demystifying academic publishing workshop' being hosted by Dr  Natalie Jester on Wednesday 28th June from 1000-1200. We are delighted  that Natalie has kindly offered to share this with us and look forward  to seeing you there.

Take care,

Hannah West
Chair of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Academic Publishing

April Newsletter: Researching with Minoritised Groups in Military Contexts

Hello everyone! I am going to keep it quick this month as we have a  bumper edition for you and I don't want to hold you up getting to it. A  massive thank you to Lucy Robinson for coordinating this one single  handedly and to all the amazing contributors. It has been fantastic to  read about such a cross section of research in this field - we hope you  enjoy it as much as we have.

I just have one thing I wanted to  share and that is our priorities for the network for the next year, as  agreed at our recent AGM:

(1) Well-being and support. We want to  continue to be here for our community and provide opportunities to  connect with others, to share worries and to find support and guidance.
(2)  New focus on increasing links between policy, practice and academia. We  are going to be rebooting our work on collaboration across these  boundaries.
(3) Secure funding. We plan to reinvigorate our push for  some funding to help us to sustain what we can offer our community and  have exciting ideas for what we would like to do.
(4) Conference  Opportunities. We would like to do more to bring together early career  researchers to put together roundtable and panel submissions for major  conferences in our field as we know it can be daunting and conferences  are more fun if you know some people going!)

We'd love to hear  from you if you are interested in getting involved in any of the above  or have something you'd like to share for a future newsletter.

Take care,

Hannah West
Chair of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Researching with Minoritised Groups in Military Contexts

March Newsletter: Recruiting and Interviewing the Military Community

Hello everyone! This month we have been talking about recruiting and interviewing in military contexts which I'm sure is something many of you have some experience of or are working towards.

We have lots of top tips throughout the newsletter but one of the things I often hear is an anxiety from researchers without a military background about making the first step to reach out to possible military interviewees or conducting their first interview. Whilst it is easy for me - being ex-military and having completed my doctoral interviews a while back - to say reach out and go for it, they don't bite, I think a more practical tip is to try and find other researchers who are also planning to make a similar step. Through our online workshops, I have seen how much confidence and reassurance come out of getting together and hearing the same anxieties and how others have overcome them. We hope that we are able to continue to provide a space for you to find a community so that you are not alone in your research.

Thank you so much to Lucie Pebay for all her hard work on this month's theme, and Georgie Eckersley for her input too, and thanks again to everyone who has been in touch sharing with us their writing, events, experiences and recommendations, we really appreciate it. This month also saw us hold our AGM and we look forward to sharing more about this with you in our April newsletter.

Hannah West
Chair of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Recruiting and Interviewing the Military Community

February Newsletter: NATO

Hello everyone! In searching for an image to accompany a newsletter with a NATO theme, I came across this photograph of the 1949 foundation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The more I have looked at it the more it has made me think about who we can see around the table, how they got to be the one in the chair and, importantly, who is not there. It is a strikingly white, male image, 'of its time' some might say but I think there is a lot we could learn if we were to really interrogate this founding moment. Over seventy years have elapsed since and, if nothing else, NATO remains high on the global news agenda, it's prominence coming and going over the decades. I hope the insightful commentaries from all those contributing to this newsletter trigger new reflection on NATO's history, challenges and relevance today.  

Thank you so much to Veronika for coordinating the theme this month, with help from Ann also. Wishing everyone a good month ahead and we look forward to hearing from you with anything you would like us to share in next month's newsletter.

Thank you,

Hannah West
Chair of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: NATO

January Newsletter: Researcher Wellbeing

Hello everyone! It has been super to connect with so many of you this  month. Thank you for the great response to our themes on Twitter, we  have loved hearing your enthusiasm to collaborate and work with us on  many of them and it is brilliant to have so many new ideas coming  forward. We have enjoyed exploring researcher wellbeing this month and  had such a warm and supportive conversation with everyone who joined us  for our online event - so many practical tips came from this and the  Twitter hour so check it all out later in the newsletter. Thank you so  much to Veronika Poniscjakova and Lucie Pebay for leading the theme this  month.

Sadly, my Co-Chair, Lucy Wray has had to stand down from  the committee due to the pressure of other work commitments. We are  really sorry about this, me especially, because Lucy has done so much  for the DRN since joining (without Lucy we wouldn't have a Twitter  hour!) but we understand how important it is to prioritise when you have  a lot on your plate, and this feels like the perfect example for our  theme of wellbeing, and from someone who has done so much to look after  the wellbeing of our committee and network. Thank you, Lucy and keep in  touch.

Happily, we have welcomed Baris Celik to our committee in a  new role as teaching lead. We are really excited about this and are  looking forward to starting a conversation about teaching in defence and  military related fields, as well as in academic and military settings  so watch this space!

In keeping with our theme, take care and reach out if we can support you in any way.

Hannah West
Chair of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Researcher Wellbeing

December Newsletter: Knowledge Exchange

Happy New Year everyone! We hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas  and managed to have a bit of a break from everything. But we appreciate  too that not everyone will have had the same experience over Christmas,  perhaps because of being ill, feeling lonely or working to deadlines  early in the New Year so we hope that if this is how it was for you that  you are able to reach out and find support. And please know that we are  a supportive bunch so if you are struggling with your studies or work,  have just got stuck on something or need a friendly chat with someone  who is going through something similar please do message us. And, of  course, sign up for our forthcoming researcher wellbeing event later in  the newsletter.

You will notice that whilst the broad theme of  this newsletter is 'knowledge exchange', our research spotlights and 'in  conversation' pieces have a more specific research theme of 'nuclear  weapons' so we hope you enjoy reading some fascinating insights into a  new area as well as learning a bit more about some of the researcher's  in our community. Thank you so much to Laura Rose Brown, Emily Faux and  Dr Laura Considine for their contributions to the newsletter.

We  are excited to share our plans for this year's programme later on too  and would love to hear from you if you have any ideas you would like to  work with us on. We have made it our mission to try and connect with  different networks and organisations so if you are part of one we  haven't been in touch with then do give us a shout, we would love to  have a chat and share what you do with our network. And if you think  that you would be interested in being more involved with the DRN then we  are always on the look out for new committee members both to share the  workload but also to make new friends.

And we have the fantastic  news to share that we now have a readership of over 400 for our  newsletter (and we tweet the content to our 3400 followers too). This is  great news for all of you too because it means we have a platform to  share your research to an interested audience and we know from the  responses we receive that it is read far beyond the ECR community. So  please don't forget to share your publications (we love to promote  these!), calls for papers, events and anything else you have been up to  (from reviews of events, books, podcasts).  

All the best for a refreshed start to 2023!

Hannah West and Lucy Wray
Co-Chairs of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Knowledge Exchange

November Newsletter: Life after a PhD

Hello everyone! It feels a bit early to be sending festive greetings but  since our next newsletter will be out early in the New Year we hope you  all have a smooth run up to the Christmas break and a chance to switch  off for a bit and enjoy some festive cheer towards the end of the month.

We  are pleased to share with you another jam-packed edition hopefully  answering lots of your questions about what life looks like post PhD. We  are so fortunate as a community to straddle the PhD - Early Career  Researcher divide and share what we have learnt between these two  cohorts. We know it sometimes can feel like a big step between being a  PhD 'student' and being in some way 'postdoc' but in many cases there  are often only months between the two. Reaching across this divide can  give a sense of perspective on closing out one's PhD and provide renewed  motivation for the 'final push'. But wherever you are along the PhD  'journey' there is so much to be gained from mentorship, formal and  informal, from others further along the way. We have been so fortunate  in experiencing this ourselves and encourage those of you who feel  nervous about reaching out to someone ahead of you to go for it, it will  be worth it and undoubtedly they had similar help along the way to get  them to where they are now.

We are excited by our recent  committee meeting planning for 2023 and look forward to sharing with you  a new programme of events and themes in the New Year- we have plans  afoot to provide both a research and skills theme to bring even more  opportunities to our fantastic research community. Do get in touch if  you have any specific ideas you would like to see us do, and as ever,  any of your own work you would like us to share (from books and articles  to calls for papers or participants) - we love hearing from you!

Finally,  if you are free next Thursday at midday, come along to our virtual  Christmas social. All the details are in the newsletter below but we'd  love to see you there to catch up with some festive fun!

Hannah West and Lucy Wray
Co-Chairs of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Life after a PhD

October Newsletter: Policing and Private Security Companies

Greetings  everyone! It has been super to get stuck back in to all  things DRN this  last month and we have so enjoyed hearing from you all  with questions,  sharing publications and telling us about events. When  we first started  out those in our little team were all at the start of  our PhDs and  struggling to single handedly keep an eye out for all the  amazing things  that were going on. We were missing new publications,  exciting  events and calls for papers. This was one of our main  motivations for  setting up the network so that as a group we could  share these things  and help each other.

It is great to receive  so many messages each month sharing your  publications and successes as  well as your questions. Our newsletter  goes to over 400 people now so  hopefully we really are performing the  function of becoming that one  stop shop to find out what is going on in  the defence research world as  well as sharing what you have been up to.  This month we received two  separate questions about interviews and focus  groups with veterans and  military personnel, leading to us setting up  an informal lunchtime  session for some good old peer to peer support.  So, do keep sending  your questions in or getting in touch if you'd like  to co-host or run a  session. We like to keep things simple and are  always open to new  ideas.

And please read on to find out more about the DRN at the  Defence and  Security Doctoral Symposium being held next week. We will  have a stand  so do come and say hi and let us know if you are  presenting, taking part  in the 3MT or entering the vairous poster and  image competitions.

Enjoy the newsletter and do get in touch if  there is anything you'd like  to share with us for the November  newsletter, going out at the end of  the month. Thanks as ever to  everyone who has contributed to this one  and, of course, to Tami  Santos, who does such a great job editing and  pulling it all together!

Hannah West and Lucy Wray
Co-Chairs of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Policing and Private Security Companies

September Newsletter: Qualitative Research

Welcome back! After a pause over the summer we are now raring to go  and delighted to welcome a new cohort of Masters and PhD students, in  particular. This month we are all about 'qualitative research' and have  lots to share with you from our own experiences and as recommendations  for reading. A great place to start if you are just setting out with  your research.

For those who are new to our network and perhaps  reading our newsletter for the first time, we'd love to hear from you.  Let us know what you'd like to see us doing and tell us what you are up  to. We started out because we realised that we were missing things  individually because no one person can keep track of all the calls for  papers, events, articles and news but together we can share these  things. And love nothing more that to hear from you about events you are  running (or have seen advertised and think others would like to know  about), work you have published or created (and it doesn't have to be an  academic paper - we love to hear about blogposts, podcasts, images,  exhibitions and more). You can get in touch on twitter (@DefenceResNet)  and by email ([email protected]).

And  as we welcome those new to the DRN, we also say a massive thank you to  our super former Co-Chair Jemma Humphries who is now heading off to  America on the road trip of a lifetime with her husband and will be  stepping back from the DRN (although she has promised to keep us posted  on her travels!). Jemma is one of our longest standing committee members  and has worked really hard to keep developing the DRN from developing  our collaborations with other networks, keeping on top of the website  and working on the foundations for our future plans. She has been a  fantastic ally and friend and we wish her well (and hope to welcome her  back on her return!).

Lucy Wray is now stepping up to Co-Chair  with Hannah West and we are really excited to be working together with  our dedicated committee to keep moving the DRN forward. We have lots of  plans for the months ahead and look forward to sharing these in due  course. For now, enjoy the newsletter, thank you all for your ongoing  support and do talk to us about anything you need help with.

Hannah West and Lucy Wray
Co-Chairs of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Qualitative Research

July Newsletter: Military Transformation

'Military  transformation' is a theme many of you are working on and even if it is  not a term you directly identify with through your work, you would  probably be hard pressed not to find an aspect of 'military  transformation' that didn't relate to your research in some way. Perhaps  'military transformation' takes the form of changes in policy impacting  on work with veterans and families or maybe it is about how militaries  have learnt lessons and adapted through history, or even the  applicability of 'military transformation' to other security  institutions. However your path crosses with this theme you should find  plenty of diverse material to stimulate thought and conversation in the  rest of the newsletter. We were delighted to see a panel on the theme  convened by our committee member, Lucie Pebay at the recent British  International Studies Association conference and populated with  participants drawn from an earlier DRN workshop. It is great to continue  that conversation here on our newsletter - we hope you enjoy the read!

Moving to our committee, our super Co-Chair Jemma Humphries will be  heading off to America on the road trip of a lifetime with her husband  from October and will be stepping back from the DRN (although she has  promised to keep us posted on her travels!). Lucy Wray has kindly agreed  to step up to Co-Chair with Hannah West and we will be in a period of  transition for the next couple of months as we work together as a three  and Jemma hands over to Lucy. We are really grateful for all Jemma's  hard work in moving the DRN forward, supporting the committee and her  dedication to the website, thank you and good luck for your travels.

And finally, we will be having a break in August and we really hope that  you will be able to as well. We recognise the important of  breaking with routine, stepping back and putting our feed up for a bit  so that we can come back refreshed in September. We hope that you will  be doing the same at some point and wish you all a well deserved break.  There will be no theme for August and no twitter hour or newsletter but  we will be raring to go come September and look forward to engaging with  you all then. Have a lovely summer!

Thank you all for your ongoing support and do talk to us about anything you need help with.

Hannah West, Jemma Humphries and Lucy Wray
Co-Chairs of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Military Transformation

June Newsletter: Finishing a PhD

This month we are going to use this editorial, not to trail what is  coming up in the newsletter (as we are sure you will figure that out)  but to start a conversation about how the DRN is attempting to breakdown  barriers. As our network has matured and the PhD students that set it  up have increasingly completed their PhDs, we want to hear from you  about how you have been affected by these barriers, what you would like  to see done to respond to them and how you would prioritise them.

  • The Masters student - PhD student Divide. We recognise that this is a big step up and commitment. It can be  daunting if you don't have others you can talk to about what this is  like. We want to open up the conversation that enables current PhD  students to share their experiences with those thinking about taking  this step.
  • The PhD student - Early Career Researcher Divide. We know that some of us have found that the 'Dr' title can seem to  widen this artificial gap, blurring the fact that often the 'Dr' is only  a few months further on. ECRs have so much to offer the PhD student  having recently bee in their shoes so we want to help facilitate this  conversation to demystify writing up, vivas and the early career steps  that follow.
  • The Policy/Practitioner - Researcher Divide. As a network we      recognise we are well placed to bridge a gap  between government/MOD/charities and academic research. Many of the  spin-off initiatives we have started, for example the Counterinsurgency  Forum, do exactly this and to the mutual benefit of those involved. We  are really keen to champion this and ask some difficult questions to  make sure that research is reaching those writing policy or working in  the fields being written about.

We have spent much of the  early part of this year working on reaching out to partner organisations  to explore collaborations. Building on our discussions we really want  to move these conversations forward and would love to hear from you if  you have ideas you would like to talk to us about or if we can work with  you or your organisation on these themes. Drop us an email ([email protected]) or connect on twitter!

Thank you all for your ongoing support and do talk to us about anything you need help with.

Hannah West and Jemma Humphries
Co-Chairs of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Finishing a PhD

May Newsletter: Intelligence

This month we are returning to a popular theme of 'intelligence' and have been delighted to collaborate with the Secrecy, Power and Ignorance (SPINS) Research Network and the Women's Intelligence Network (WIN) on our Twitter Hour. Reflecting on intelligence, reminds us of the  unclear boundaries surrounding what is classified as intelligence rather  than mere information. How is it that something becomes intelligence?  Are all voices listened to in the gathering and sharing of intelligence?  Who and what are acceptable subjects about which intelligence is  gathered and how do they become so? We've enjoyed reflecting on  different perspectives on intelligence this month and you can explore  this theme further through our recount of the twitter hour below. Our  news section also considers contemporary uses of intelligence and, in  particular, its application in the war in Ukraine.

We have some  fantastic opportunities to get involved with our network this month. We  are delighted to share that we will be at the British International Studies Association conference being held in Newcastle from 15-17 June so come and say hi at our stand  there. Do let us know if you are going to be presenting there so we can  promote your panel/roundtable? And, we are thinking of arranging an  informal social gathering in the margins of the conference so ping us a  message or email if you'd be interested in meeting some friendly faces  in person and we will keep you posted.

This month sees the launch of the first DRN Monthly Writing Group!  We are really excited to see some of you there and share a supportive  space to help you along with your writing. Check out the section below  with more information about this and how to register. We will also be  holding our next online seminar in the 'Roads to and from a PhD' seriesthis  month followed by our first face to face event since 2019 at Kings  College at the end of the month (see the following section for more  about these).

Thank you all for your ongoing support and do talk to us about anything you'd like to see or need help with.

Hannah West and Jemma Humphries
Co-Chairs of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Intelligence

April Newsletter: All Things Maritime

This  month's theme of 'all things maritime' is new for the Defence  Research  Network! Throughout the past 6 years of the DRN we have  focused on  themes that have been key areas of research for the  membership and the  committee. Focusing on 'All Things Maritime' is not  only our way  of exploring a new area of research, it is also a poignant  time to  reflect and better understand an important Maritime operation -  the Falklands/Malvinas war.

As many of you will know 2022 marks  the 40th Anniversary of the Falklands/Malvinas war. The conflict saw  649 Argentinian, and 255 British Armed forces personnel killed, in the  short space of just 74 days. The Falklands/Malvinas war is commonly  understood as a conventional war, deploying naval ships,  ground forces  and aerial attacks. A large part of the conflict played  out on the  numerous ships that formed the British Task Force, setting  sail for the  southern hemisphere.

Throughout this edition of the DRN  newsletter we explore diverse ways of understanding and making sense of  the Falklands/Malvinas war. From the Minefield documentary that explores  both Argentinian and  British perspectives of the war, to PhD research  that focusses on  southern hemisphere geopolitics. Alongside the  Falklands/Malvinas war, this issue focuses on other Maritime research  areas such as pirate groups, and first hand accounts of life in the  Royal Navy!

We hope you enjoy this step into the unknown with  the 'all things  maritime' theme! Also be sure to check out our events  and opportunities  sections!! There are lots of things to get involved  with!

Hannah West and Jemma Humphries
Co-Chairs of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: All Things Maritime

March Newsletter: Welfare of Veterans and Military Families

We  are so fortunate as a research network to meet many early career   researchers doing amazing work, one topic which always gets lots of   interest is the 'welfare of veterans and military families'. So we made   it our monthly theme for March to tie in with the Forces in Mind Trust   conference. So, why did we choose the 'welfare of veterans and  military  families' as our focus?

We've all heard of the shell  shock suffered by soldiers in the First  World War and in recent decades  the phrase 'Post Traumatic Stress  Disorder' (PTSD) has embedded itself  in the public lexicon. There is  now an acceptance that to be faced  with the horrors of war may mean the  ultimate sacrifice but for those  who return there is an increasing  recognition of the legacy of war.  But, reflecting the breadth of new  research, much of which is featured  elsewhere in this newsletter, we  wanted to open up a conversation  inclusive of PTSD but which goes beyond  it too, one that asks about the  whole person and recognises the impacts  on military partners and  families too.

We have another jam-packed newsletter for you with  'in the news' coming  from our very own DRN alumni, a very well attended  Twitter Hour to  report on, a focus on research clusters and centres, a  bunch of  fascinating reports and articles on our theme as well as an  early career  researcher spotlight. So, read on, enjoy and share with us  anything  you'd like to see in April's newsletter on the theme of  'maritime  operations'.

Hannah West and Jemma Humphries
Co-Chairs of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Welfare of Veterans and Military Families

February Newsletter: Defence Engagement

We're writing  this as the Russian military launches its invasion of  Ukraine, our  thoughts are with the people of Ukraine in these dark  hours and all  those affected by this war. As we await news on the  response of Western  governments, somehow our monthly theme of 'defence engagement' or 'the means by which the UK uses defence assets and activities short   of combat operations to achieve influence' seems more relevant than   ever.  Do check out our blogpost from Sorina Toltica reflecting on  'wars  at a distance'.

It is our continued aim into 2022 to continue to collaborate through increased engagement between our network and the research, practice and policy communities and we are delighted to share with you some of those we have been   connecting with later in the newsletter. We know that one of the   challenges for early career researchers is getting a sense of the   organisations and networks out there. So we have been working hard to   reach out to diverse and useful organisation, to share with you what   they do and how they could help with your research and work. We hope   we've found some you are interested in following up with. We are very   open to hearing from other networks and organisations - formal and   informal - who would like to connect with us or work with us so do get   in touch.

We are on the look out for new committee members to  join our friendly bunch and, in particular, to help us with the   newsletter and website. Check out the section below for more  information  about what we are looking for and how to get in touch.

We  have been thrilled with how many of you have been in touch to share   news with us of your books and publications and are delighted to  include  these all in the newsletter. We would love to hear from more of  you so  do get in touch by email or on Twitter to let us know what you  are up to  so we can share it in our next newsletter.

Hannah West and Jemma Humphries
Co-Chairs of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Defence Engagement

January Newsletter: New Connections

We are  delighted you have signed up to our newsletter! We're looking  forward to  getting to know you and supporting you any way we can this  year. We set  up our network back in 2016 because a few of us (based at  institutions  in the South West of England) felt a little isolated in  our PhD studies  on military-related topics. Fast forward 6 Years and  now we have  committee members in Australia, Brazil and Canada,   Amazing! We have each benefitted so much from connecting with fellow   early career researchers across such a broad range of fields, from   which spring writing collaborations and friendships. Our strength   remains the breadth of research interests and backgrounds that   people bring to this group and we really look forward to meeting more   of you this year, whether virtually or face to face. We thought we'd   share a few of our plans for the network in the year ahead...

We   spent the latter months of 2021 reaching out to different networks -   formal and informal - to make new connections and talk about ways we  can  collaborate in the future. If you are involved in other   networks, whether they are subject or region specific and you think we   should be connected then please get in touch. We would love to   showcase your network in our newsletter and have a chat about ways we   can work together. We will be sharing more about our new connections in   the months to come so keep your eyes out!

We  have also been  working hard to try and support early career researchers  in making the  step to present at major conferences by coordinating  informal  peer-to-peer workshops to prepare submissions and find fellow   panelists. So do check out 'What we've been up to' for more information about what we are planning next.

I know you will all want to join us in thanking Emily Clifford for her outstanding editorship of   our newsletter for the past two years - she has done a magnificent job   and we hear such lovely feedback about each jam-packed edition. Emily  is  stepping back from this role to concentrate on her studies (good  luck  for the final push!) but is thankfully staying involved in the   committee. For now we will be having a Guest Editor for each edition   with our usual committee contributions to the various sections.

Thanks also to Sorina Toltica who has been part of our Twitter Team for the last two years and has   been managing it single-handedly for the last few months. Sorina is  also  reaching the final stages of her PHD and is stepping back from the   committee to concentrate on this but hopes to rejoin us on the other   side - good luck! We are delighted to be welcoming some new committee   members and welcoming back some old committee members who we look   forward to introducing you to.

We  hope you are all getting into  the swing of 2022. We would love to hear  from you so do get in touch  by email or on Twitter to let us know what  you are up to so we can  share it in our next newsletter.

Hannah West and Jemma Humphries
Co-Chairs of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: New Connections

December Newsletter: Remembrance

I hadn't quite expected to be greeted by thousands of tiny pinks and red hearts as I strolled along London's Southbank earlier this month. The mundaneness of my day gave me a momentary respite from the headlines and, lost in a podcast, I had the strange feeling of escapism as I watched the sun bounce off the Thames. Contemplating the Londoners hurrying about their days around me, it felt, in some ways, like life moving on; there is Christmas shopping to be done, deadlines to be met, emails to send.

Yet, at the same time, it is undeniably, irreparably different. As the stretch of hearts so powerfully bring home, learning to live with the anxiety, uncertainty, and loss of the past two years, folding the memory into ourselves and attempting to carve some new semblance of 'normal', will alter how our journeys unfold into 2022 and beyond. I stayed a long time at the National COVID Memorial Wall, breathing in the aching pain of the past two years and trying to work out how I felt. Exhausted. Grieving. Overwhelmed. Tender. But, most importantly, loved. Each heart is a reminder that love has fuelled us through the darkest days of the pandemic, and will continue to do so as long as we don't lose sight of it.

2021, then, has been a year of remembrance. Collectively processing the horror of COVID whilst confronted by mutated threats, political upheaval, and intensifying racialised and gendered violence has left us questioning our place in the world. Who gets to be remembered? By whom? How are we remembered? And, what are we remembered for? The politics of memory determines not only how we know the past -  such as the failure to honour Black and Asian first world war casualties or the commemoration of slave owners - but how we know ourselves and our futures. This is particularly pertinent as serving and ex-serving personnel reflect upon the aftermath of the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Many see this year's Remembrance period as particularly difficult as they grapple with doubt over what their sacrifices were for and, importantly, what makes a British veteran today. We are incredibly lucky as a community to be involved in some excellent, timely work in this field and we look forward to supporting this throughout 2022.

As we enter this Christmas period, I urge you to be kind, to give yourself the space to rest, and be grateful for the love that you give and receive.

Have a very Merry Christmas,

The DRN Team

See the full newsletter here: Remembrance

November Newsletter: Women, Peace and Security

Last Sunday, the 31st October 2021, marked 21 years since the United Nations Security Council signed the landmark Resolution 1325, formalising what was a much longer fight to get the world to recognise the role of women in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. Growing out of the transformative climate established by the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the  Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda set its sights on convincing international security actors to commit to a more equitable, feminist peace project. Resolution 1325 urged states to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all national and UN peace and security efforts, putting women's conflict experiences at the heart of security analyses. The Agenda thus built its foundations on three Ps: women's participation in conflict resolution; gender equality as a conflict prevention mechanism; and women's protection from violence during and after conflict.

In the 21 years since this momentous day, resolution 1325 and its ensuing family of resolutions - 1820 (2009); 1888 (2009); 1889 (2010); 1960 (2011); 2106 (2013); 2122 (2013); 2242 (2015), 2467 (2019), and 2493 (2019) - has, in many ways, successfully brought women into the 'elite world of masculine high politics'. It has given us the language to talk about women's roles within politics and the armed forces, carved a seat at the table for women in conflict resolution, and enabled conflict-related sexual violence to be seen as a serious international crime warranting a serious international response. However, the story of this Agenda has equally invited much scepticism; conflicts are not being prevented, women continue to be both subject to gendered violence and routinely excluded from peace processes, the practice of 'gender mainstreaming' has largely undermined many of its goals, and, ultimately, gender equality remains a utopian ideal. Is a seat at the table enough when the order of business has a distinctly patriarchal feel?

The 'coming of age' of Women, Peace, and Security - reached poignantly during the height of the coronavirus and its associated 'disaster patriarchy' fuelled 'war on women' - brought much reflection on the success of this Agenda in securing the future promised a quarter of a century earlier in Beijing. And now, the world has watched Afghanistan be taken over once again by the Taliban, a move which puts at grave risk many of the rights and freedoms which had initially justified international intervention in the country in 2001. What, then, does this mean for the next decade of the feminist peace project? How will the Women, Peace and Security Agenda take to 'adulthood', and will this involve critical reflection on the mistakes of its youth?

My scepticism, however, does not preclude optimism. I am buoyed by the brilliant minds working in this space, a fact that was made abundantly clear during our recent Twitter Hour. We are extremely keen to hear from more scholars researching along the intersection of gender and violence, and we are dreaming up panels and paper opportunities in order to keep these conversations alive and, importantly, critically conscious as we enter the WPS Agenda's 22nd year. Don't hesitate to get in contact if you would like to be involved in this work.

As always, we wish you a happy and healthy month!

See the full newsletter here: Women, Peace and Security

October Newsletter: Counterterrorism

In February of this year, Amnesty International and Open Society Foundation published their Human Rights Guide for Researching Racial and Religious Discrimination in Counter-Terrorism in Europe. The guide, aimed at those working in the human rights and anti-discrimination fields, encourages its readers to "speak back to counter-terrorism", challenging the normalisation and acceleration of excessive and misdirected counterterrorism programmes.

In the forward, Tendayi Achiume and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin explain that "countering terrorism, which remains undefined, has been on a growth trajectory in Europe with no end in sight" whilst, at the same time, "the costs of securitization and counter-terrorism have had identifiable and disparate impacts on certain historically and socially marginalized groups perceived as ‘threats’ to national security". The guide offers a toolkit for applying anti-discrimination law to the counter-terrorism field, with the goal of protecting those subject to unjustified and illegal treatment under the guise of combatting terrorism.

The 20th anniversary of 9/11 provides an important contextualization for this publication. Alongside paying tribute to the thousands who tragically died in these attacks, we must reflect upon the ways that responses to this event have negatively impacted racialised communities (and Terrorism Studies as a discipline) over the past two decades. As the world celebrates Black History Month throughout October, it would be disingenuous and downright dangerous to dismiss the continued violence and discrimination experienced by marginalised individuals and communities in the name of (inter)national security. In this vein, recognising how the language of terrorism was used by politicians and security services to stoke fear and discredit the Black Lives Matter movement once again reveals the racist political work (for more, see our paper spotlight below), and the violent and long-lasting repercussions, of (counter)terror discourse.

This left me questioning: what is, or what should be considered, (counter)terrorism? How can counterterrorism be used productively to promote safer, more peaceful societies? If 2020 was the year of (supposed) racial reckoning, then 2021 was the year those in power faced up to their compliance in misogynistic violence. Catalysed in the UK by the abduction, rape, and murder of Sarah Everard, we seem to be experiencing a 'turning point' in the way violence against women is understood and responded to. However, and despite the outpouring of support and evidence to justify the move, the UK government has refused to label misogynistic violence a hate crime (scroll for more on this). Activism and scholarship on 'extreme misogyny', 'incel terrorism', 'misogynist terrorism', 'gender terrorism', and 'everyday terrorism' gives us the language to call out this refusal as just another example of 'state failure'. How, then, can we reframe counterterrorism to protect us all?

September Newsletter: Back to School 📚

I can't be the only one thinking that September 2021 came around very quickly? As the new term starts for many of us next week, we at the DRN have been reflecting on the journey we have been on as a network over the past two years. Just before the coronavirus took its various shapes across the world, December 2019 saw the DRN relaunch with the help of the Defence Studies Department at King's College London. Welcoming around 50 people, we were excited and ambitious to connect with as many scholars in defence and security studies as possible. Soon after, this newsletter was born. For those of you who have been with us since the beginning, your dedication is much appreciated!

This past year and a half have been - to reluctantly use the term - unprecedented. Our dreams of events, conferences, and meet-ups were put on hold as we collectively went into survival mode. However, in this time of global trauma, we have been so very overwhelmed by how many of you have engaged with and grown the DRN. We have felt more like a community than ever as we have helped each other navigate such a strange and all-encompassing situation. We have reached global audiences and learnt from so many varied and valuable perspectives - with our Twitter following reaching 2,629 at the time of writing! All of this would not have been possible without a dedicated committee, which you will see below is constantly growing. As the academic year begins we hope to continue working on our accessibility and the range of voices we include in our work.

In celebration of newness and embracing opportunities, then, this edition is particularly full of exciting job postings, calls for submissions, events, and participation requests. Whatever area of defence and security you are working in, there is bound to be something for you to roll with as you get into the swing of the new term. Unsure of what challenge to take on? Why not send a submission to our inaugural essay competition?! To give incoming Masters students an opportunity to take part, we have extended the deadline to 17th October - click here or scroll down for more information.

As always, we wish you a happy and healthy month!

The DRN Team

August Newsletter: Military Spouses

In the last decade since Gareth Malone and the Military Wives Choir appeared on our screens in their 2011 two-part BBC documentary, the British public's attention to, and empathy for, military spouses have skyrocketed.

After winning Christmas number one with "Wherever You Are", the group has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, expanded to over 70 choirs, produced 6 albums, numerous books, and was recently the subject of a film starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan. Beginning in 2010 as the 'Military WAGS Choir' based out of Catterick Garrison, they have been catapulted to the level of national treasures thanks to their mix of personal stories of sacrifice and "patriotic feminine stoicism". As the faces of "new British patriotic popular music", these women operate in a sweet spot between showbusiness and commemoration.

However, this increased attention makes a critical eye even more imperative. Building from the legendary work of Cynthia Enloe, who crucially asked "where are the women?" in military studies, a growing body of critical scholars are foregrounding the experiences of military spouses to generate new insights into the operation and diffusion of military power. As Alice Cree (2020: 305) astutely explains:

"the choir is perhaps the most prominent example of gendered militarized logics, which insist on the masculine heroic soldier as the protector of the nation, and the feminine military wife as the embodiment of all that is protected."

Attention to the narratives and expectations enveloping military spouses is thus crucial in order to better understand not only the lived realities of military communities, but also wider articulations of military power in politics and society.

To do just this, throughout July we were lucky enough to partner with the  Rethinking Military Spouses Research Group, a group of interdisciplinary early-career academics who officially established themselves in April of this year. The group is committed to enabling critical discussions on multiple aspects of military spouse research, such as unpacking the practical and emotional labour of military spouses, challenging homogenous framings of military spouses, and destabilising the relationship between military spouses, the military, and the state. It has been absolutely fascinating to share in the growing momentum of this group and we are extremely grateful for the insights they have already imparted on the DRN.

July Newsletter: Air & Space Power

This June we discussed all things airborne - and for once I don't mean a certain infectious disease... We also celebrate Pride month!

The United States Space Force is slowly becoming more than just political satire, although you'd be forgiven if your mind still wandered to Steve Carrell and John Malcovich's excellent onscreen partnership, or even Chris Pratt's glow-up. Taking over from racoons and extra-terrestrial trees, the newest Guardians of the Galaxy are United States citizens who, over the last year, have completed an adapted military training programme designed to "lay the foundation of a service that is innovative and can go fast in order to stay ahead of a significant and growing threat".

Despite being the world's first and (so far) only independent space force, the United States are not alone in their ambitions. In April of this year, the United Kingdom founded Space Command, a joint command of the British Armed Forces organised under the Royal Air Force. They are joined by China, Russia, Iran, India, and France in developing integrated air and space capabilities, indicating a shared feeling that space superiority is "critical to the modern way of war".

However, the laws and norms governing military operations lack clear precedents in an interplanetary context. This deficiency has provoked some commentators to urge strategic restraint rather than superiority, arguing that diplomatic solutions be exercised before space warfare is deemed an inevitability. Yet, others suggest that preparing for this inevitability is all the more pressing considering the extent to which satellites are relied upon for both military and civilian infrastructure. These emerging debates are overlaid with the ethical implications of space exploration, presenting a set of interesting opportunities for interdisciplinary cooperation within security and defence studies.

In other news, last month played host to the annual Pride celebrations, with LGBTQI+ communities across the world marking the occasion both virtually and in person. The British Armed Forces occupy a complicated position in this regard; built upon very specific understandings of gender and sexuality, the institution has not generally been known for its tolerance of diversity and difference. For example, despite its legalisation in 1967, homosexuality remained a criminal offence in the British military until 2000. Soldiers suspected of being gay were court-martialed, jailed, subject to invasive medical examinations, stripped of their medals, and denied their pensions. These soldiers are now are calling for royal pardons and financial compensation for the negative impact of this treatment on their livelihood and private life. One such campaigner is Caroline Paige, who in 1999 became the first openly transgender officer in the British Armed Forces. However, Paige's story, which ultimately saw her keep her job in the Royal Air Force, demonstrates the positive attitudinal change occurring across the Forces in recent years. In this vein, For Queer and Country is a series of articles, videos, and conversations recorded for audio and radio broadcasts looking at the transformations of equality and diversity in the British Armed Forces. I encourage everyone to take a look, and wholeheartedly hope that these steps towards inclusivity will contribute to meaningful support for LGBTQI+ personnel both past and present.

June Newsletter: Military Bodies

Here comes the sun! To celebrate the (almost) return of Summer and our collective emergence from hibernation, this May we have been discussing the body and its significance in military and defence research.

As I compiled this newsletter, the week's seemingly unrelated news of the bodies discovered at a Roman burial site in Somersham, Cambridgeshire got me thinking about the weight we place on bodies as instruments of both terror and information. The excavated bodies, believed to have been decapitated as punishment for crimes, are being lauded for shedding light on the activity of the Roman military, allowing us to ask new questions about the history of torture, capital punishment, and military occupation.

Despite such revelations, military, defence, and security studies have, for a long while, neglected talking about the 'fleshy' aspects of soldiering and the military, preferring to focus their attentions on the 'high politics' of machinery, strategy, and international security. Yet, bodies and their associated actions, injuries, and sacrifices are never too far from view, equally obscured and highly visible thanks to the physicality of military service. We owe a lot to critical feminist work on embodiment and aesthetics for prompting conversations on the corporeal dimensions of military and militarism research. Crucially, this work highlights the role of both military and civilian bodies in the reproduction of militarised norms, placing these bodies at the heart of their understanding of war and its aftermath. As is made clear by the Somersham discovery and the great contributions to this newsletter, grappling with the humanising aspects of conflict enriches our knowledge not only of tactics and outcomes but also of the people living through them.

Additionally, it was Memorial Day this week for our US readership, a day dedicated to remembering and respecting generations of fallen soldiers. As we discuss a little bit later, the body is so central to the practice of commemoration that the identification (or misidentification) of the remains of World War II casualties has a profound impact on families' processes of grieving. In a similar vein, the unprecedented number of deaths from COVID-19 this year has left many without the opportunity to achieve the closure of goodbye. Images of military trucks transporting coffins in Italy became a haunting (and embodied) example of war seeping into the 'everyday' during the early stages of the pandemic.

What, then, can bodies teach us about war, culture, and society? What new insights could be revealed if we paid attention to how our bodies move through the world, both in life and death? Within the DRN's membership, there are a growing number of scholars asking and answering these pressing questions. The breadth of new research on embodiment and the military is clearly demonstrated by our Researcher Spotlight and the brilliant conversations had during our recent Twitter Hour. We are extremely grateful to everyone who has engaged with us over the month and taught us so much. And for those of you who are new to this area, read on! We hope that this newsletter piques your interest.

May Newsletter: Military Children

The official flower of the military child is the Dandelion. Why? The plant puts down roots almost anywhere, and it’s almost impossible to destroy. It’s an unpretentious plant, yet good looking. It’s a survivor in a broad range of climates. Military children bloom everywhere the winds carry them. They are hardy and upright. The roots are strong, cultivated deeply in the culture of the military, planted swiftly and surely. They’re ready to fly in the breezes that take them to new adventures, new lands, and new friends.

Experts say that military children are well-rounded, culturally aware, tolerant, and extremely resilient. Military children have learned from an early age that home is where their hearts are, that a good friend can be found in every corner of the world and in every color, and that education doesn’t just come from school. They live history. They learn that to survive means to adapt, that the door closes one chapter of their life opens up to a new and exciting adventure full of new friends and new experiences.

The study of warfighting, militaries, and soldiering has been practised for millennia. Humans have lamented the rules and ethics of war, its motivations, equipment, tactics, and outcomes since long before academia took notice, and arguably before the advent of writing itself. However, what rarely gets a mention in conventional war studies courses is the impact of soldiering on children and families. The literature on war has historically largely addressed children as a suffix to women, framing them as either innocently (and silently) protected or as collateral damage in wartime. The voices of children within military communities can subsequently get lost, even while appearing central to both jus ad bellum and jus in bello.

Conversely, a brilliant body of research spanning psychology, psychiatry, education, and increasingly social and political sciences puts these voices at the centre of their understanding of the military. This has opened up new avenues of inquiry into the sociological and psychological impacts of war and militarisation. Celebrating Month of the Military Child this April, a number of DRN members have been hard at work in this field, bringing us thought-provoking blogs and asking important questions about how military children learn, support one another, and understand their situation. We really want to spotlight this work and, particularly as a community of researchers that includes ex-service personnel, join the conversation around military families. You will find a couple of calls for participants below which involve exciting research into the experiences of military children relating to both education and mental health. I encourage anyone eligible to volunteer their time and share these calls with your networks.

I began this month's newsletter with the Dandelion Poem, and particularly this rendition by British charity Little Troopers, to reflect upon and celebrate the resilience of military children. Whatever your situation or background, resilience is a virtue that many of us have had to muster this year more than ever. I would say that we have much to learn from these dandelions, and I am excited to see how they touch academia in the years to come.

April Newsletter: Conferences

Virtual meetings, webinars, quizzes, 'drinks parties' and conferences have been sown so deeply into our social fabric that it feels disorientating to imagine sitting down in an auditorium of people to listen to a hotly-anticipated keynote. A stranger offers a handshake? Unthinkable. Attending a buffet? Someone pass me the sanitiser. Yet, our growing familiarity with e-socialising has meant that we have, in many respects, seen more of each in the past year than ever before. The social restrictions that we have grown accustomed to have drawn us paradoxically both further apart and closer together as we navigated the last anxious twelve months.

The question that comes now is, what's next? What will socialising, networking, and researching look like in a post-pandemic world? At the time of writing this, the debate on vaccine passports grows hotter, bristling with concerns for privacy and inequality, as planning for the first large-scale events resembles a war game. Can we learn from the innovations born from emergency and reassemble our 'normal' in a way that is kinder to both people and planet?

To honour the UK's (hopefully) imminent ease of COVID-19 restrictions, throughout March we have been discussing conferences. Whether you were a conference regular pre-pandemic, or you began your postgraduate journey during 2020 and thus have yet to experience your first conference, the chances are things are going to be very different as we transition to a hybrid of physical and virtual events. Despite the numerous technical glitches, virtual conferences have been an overwhelming success, presenting new opportunities to share knowledge widely, inclusively, and with respect for our planet. The worldwide travel restrictions and our newfound digital competencies have demonstrated the exciting potential for collaborations and discussions which pay attention to our carbon footprint while freeing up time for those with busy schedules or caring responsibilities.

As a community, we have benefitted greatly from the pivot to the virtual space, giving us the chance to connect across countries and time zones with like-minded researchers. This has been reflected in our many Twitter Hours, webinars, and virtual meet-ups. As a testament to this, our committee has grown to encompass multiple cities and even continents! I am excited and grateful to say that this month this newsletter has surpassed 300 subscribers, while our Twitter following has flown past 2,000, with engagement in six of the seven continents (we are yet to reach Antarctica!). Nonetheless, we are also aware that the beauties of in-person socialising have been sorely missed by many of us. We have fond memories of our re-launch back in December 2019 - little did we know that this would be our first and last in-person event for over a year! We are looking forward to meeting you all in person as soon - and as safely - as possible.

March Newsletter: Counterinsurgency

Following the now-infamous events of January 6th in the US Capitol, the violent aftereffects of Myanmar's February 1st coup, and the world's ongoing 'war' against the coronavirus, the early stages of 2021 have provided much food for thought in terms of the applicability, efficacy, and ethics of counterinsurgency.

There have been many parallels drawn between counterinsurgency doctrine and the current security crises; renowned counterinsurgency scholar David Kilcullen has called the events of both January 6th and the summer of 2020 in the United States an "incipient insurgency", the impacts of which were "war-gamed" in preparation for a contested election; The UN Security Council is being urged to act to "end the military's stranglehold over democracy in Myanmar", raising questions over the 'Responsibility to Protect' and what international intervention can, and should, be deemed appropriate; What's more, General Stanley McCrystal has likened his model of counterinsurgency to the body's response to infectious diseases, telling Forbes that a network-based strategy was the best way to fight "the coronavirus war", saying "If this is war, we have to rally the resources of everyone who has something, knows something, or can do something to beat the virus".

Yet, the issue of counterinsurgency has long been a contentious one. As Sorina writes in our blog this month - more of which you can read below - in practice, counterinsurgency campaigns have often resulted in a 'fragility storm' of widening inequalities and ineffective military strategies which serve to intensify violent extremism. The classic 'hearts and minds' approach has received criticism thanks to a narrow conception of political legitimacy rooted in colonial practices. Furthermore, as many of you noted in our recent Twitter Hour, an ambiguous distinction between counterinsurgency and counterterror leaves academics, politicians, and practitioners contesting over how to proceed. How, then, can we use the 'lessons learnt' from past and present counterinsurgency campaigns to respond to recent events in ways which are holistic, context-sensitive, and lead to lasting security for all? This is a question we will be following closely in the coming months as political, security, and health crises continue to coalesce across the world.

As you may have guessed, then, counterinsurgency is an important theme for the DRN, and we were delighted to co-host another brilliant Counterinsurgency Forum last month. Bringing together academics and practitioners to discuss our research and share ideas is at the very heart of what the DRN is about. On top of this, it has been great to see so many of you engaged with our theme throughout February on Twitter and Zoom. We look forward to carrying these discussions both virtually and, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, face to face as the DRN continues to grow.

January Newsletter: Memory and Memorialisation

This week saw the sad news of the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore, the British Army Veteran who raised almost £33 million pounds for the NHS in the run-up to his 100th birthday. Captain Tom became a symbol of hope and patriotism for much of the UK as we navigated the early stages of the pandemic, and remained integral to the British narrative throughout 2020 thanks to his message of hope and positivity: "tomorrow will be a good day."

As well as receiving a Knighthood, he topped the charts and broke worlds records with his recording of 'You'll Never Walk Alone', was given the Pride of Britain award, earned at least two honorary doctorates from Cranfield and Bradford, and became the captain of the FA's Lionhearts squad, among many other accolades.

The nation has mourned his death with the same spirit in which they celebrated his life. A moment of silence in Parliament was observed and claps erupted from doorsteps across the country to show their appreciation for the 'dignity and determination' with which he supported the nation through the last year. After the news of his death on the 2nd February, a petition to give him a state funeral has already received over 200,000 signatures. Prime Minister Boris Johnson seemingly signalled his support for a statue of the centenarian, while Health Secretary Matt Hancock said of the news:

"We should find a way to make sure we mark the memory of Captain Tom and thank him for the contribution he made to the NHS. [...] I will ensure that we mark his contribution properly and appropriately at the right moment. [...] I think everybody would welcome that... he touched the hearts of the nation and we should remember that."
With memory and memorialisation January's theme of the month, Captain Tom's passing reminds us that remembrance wears many faces. Questions of public versus private memory have been debated in reference to almost every war in history, and the COVID-19 struggle is no different. The political work that memorialisation can do was a major theme of our Twitter discussions this month, and the death of Captain Tom is an important contextualization of this. This was captured in the controversial (now deleted) comments by Reverend Jarel Robinson-Brown that the memorial 'National Clap' for was a display of the 'cult of White British Nationalism'.

There is no doubt that the memory of Captain Tom will live on in British history; the joy he brought to so many over the past year is a wonderful reflection of his generous and cheerful spirit. Nonetheless, at this time, we must ensure that our collective memory and resulting memorialisation is driven by the wishes of his family and loved ones. We at the DRN send our condolences to them. Rest In Peace Captain Tom.

December Newsletter: New Year Newsletter, Hello 2021

Happy New Year! It's been quite a year, hasn't it?!

As I prepared for this New Year's newsletter I thought back to its 2020 counterpart and I saw a year that began and ended with equal parts struggle, survival, and solidarity. Although none of us could have imagined the enormity of COVID-19 back in January 2020, the bushfires fires which ripped through Australia were our first taste of crisis. Dramatically highlighting the effects of climate change and setting the scene for what became one of the warmest years on record, fires also raged in Serbia and California, while Indonesia, Kenya, and Uganda suffered destructive flooding.

In other news, US drone strikes, the assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, and the corresponding deterioration of international nuclear relations saw us hurtling towards WWIII. In this environment, you'd be forgiven for taking David Cameron's warnings at face value as the Brexit transition period formally began. On the other side of the pond, the Black Lives Matter movement pierced through the coronavirus news, invigorating international outrage and civil unrest in response to the killing of Black people by police. The summer also saw the start of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as the devastating explosion in Beirut which tore through the city and toppled the Lebanese government. The US election turned communities against one another, and information warfare impacted states and civilians alike.

And, in all this, who can forget COVID-19? While writing our newsletters in March, April, and May on this 'invisible war' and the 'new normal', not for a moment did I think that I would still be in lockdown 10 months later. Although there is undoubtedly more to say about the disasters of 2020 than this brief editorial can hold, as security and defence researchers we must focus on both war and its aftermath. Our jobs took on new meanings as we attempted to navigate the rhetoric of war which has threaded together much of this year. While the meanings of pain, war, and violence have mutated in unexpected ways, security has also meant many things this year...

It meant a safe space to live
It meant a protected environment
It meant racial justice
It meant stable employment
It meant an end to hate and bigotry
It meant a vaccine

At the same time, our heroes were redefined as...

Key workers

While 2020 has taken so much from us - our loved ones, our jobs, our time, our ambitions, our freedom, our sanity, our security - I am eternally impressed by the strength and solidarity shown by so many. As governments across the world roll out their vaccines, the security community should train their eyes on these heroes to understand what peace could mean in 2021. The fireworks which lit up London this New Years shone the words 'hope' and 'together'. Despite this year of crises, these words clearly still hold enormous power.

November Newsletter: Veterans and Family Health & Wellbeing

Remembrance Day 2020 was a little different to previous years. With crowds prohibited and Royals masked, the scaled-back nature of this year's events seemed to reflect what has been an isolated year for many of us. Nonetheless, this did not make the day any less moving, with the pain of this year bringing a renewed sense of shared grief, but also solidarity and hope, to the country. To comply with national lockdown measures, this year's service was live streamed from the Cenotaph, with people all over the country taking part in remote and socially distanced Remembrance activities. We demonstrated our innate resourcefulness and will to connect across the country, for example the giant poppy mosaic filled with notes of thanks to military veterans. We also connected across lines of difference, with black poppies appearing more frequently as the nation attempts to confront systemic racism.

In a big way, then, technology has been a saving grace in this drive to (re)connect. Providing new ways to lived shared lives while geographically separate or shielding, we owe a lot to the power of virtual communication this year. The incredible impact of Sir Captain Tom Moore would not have been possible without the strength of social media, nor would families have been able to unite across counties, countries, and continents to celebrate Easter, Eid, and yesterday's Thanskgiving. With this month's theme of veterans and families health and wellbeing, recognising the significance of these connections is absolutely vital. It's also important to note the promising tech developments aimed at improving veteran's health and wellbeing, from the US's 'My Military OneSource' to 'HeadFIT' here in the UK.

What's more, November is 'arts in health' month, and we've been considering the role the arts and other creative activities can play in wellbeing for veterans. Below, we introduce the Defence Gardens Scheme Community Interest Company, the work of our lovely committee member Sally Coulthard. This initiative offers nature based therapy to service leavers and their families, drawing on the therapeutic benefits of gardening and the community building opportunities these gardens offer. Help for Heroes' 'Creative Force' Programme is built from the same principles, helping ex-service members to process and recover from the mental and physical ramifications of military service using art and other creative outlets.

October Newsletter: Ethics

If you are looking for a fright this Halloween, look no further than a MODREC application form. As I write this, I am two days away from submitting my ethics application, an extensive 16 page document for which I have laboriously trailed through file upon file of GDPR rules, simulated the risks for every possible scenario, and had more than a few sleepless nights. The prospect of receiving an unfavourable decision fills me with more dread than any potential monsters under the bed. COVID-19 has undoubtedly made this process even more of a minefield for PGR students, who are tasked with proving methodological rigour while entangled within a situation of which none of us have any control. How long is it until Christmas?

But, to give it its due, this process has done its job in making me reflect on the upmost importance of giving this tricky topic some attention. Particularly in the field of defence and security, questions of ethics are paramount to ensuring that our research and actions are safe and secure, proportionate and just. When we work in this space, we have a responsibility not just to our research participants, but also to the academic and policy communities we are contributing to, to conduct research which is ethically conscious.

The 'real' world is giving us ample reason to hold these ethical principles in high regard. While some of us want to meet Captain America (hello Chris Evans), others, it seems, are in the process of making him. Current developments in gene editing and artificial intelligence are indicative of a refreshed revolution of military affairs, one which provides both exciting opportunities for the future of military activity, and a whole new set of measures against which ethics panels must judge. These are areas that require as much scrutiny as they do innovation, and I know that many of you in our community are engaged in brilliant work tackling these important questions.

September Newsletter: Back to School

Every time September rolls around, I can't help but wonder where the summer went. Is it that time of year already? (Surely not); Have I achieved what I set out to over summer? (Don't be silly); Am I prepared to begin learning again? (What's learning?) - Getting ready for the new term is always a shock to the system.

Nonetheless, this year's 'back to school' season is a bigger shock than ever - and is unsurprisingly looking very different. We're either going into our eighth month (year?) of working from home or frantically trying to book study space online. And, if we do go to campus, will we see our family ever again? Fieldwork plans seem like a distant memory, while sleepless nights over class sizes and timetables are accompanied by the looming worry of being blamed for a public health crisis. I think it's fair to say that this is not exactly how any of us imagined navigating a research degree would be.

Unfortunately, the new school year also means that a few of our team are moving on and around. I am very sad to say that this will be the last newsletter I write to you all. I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has read and engaged with this platform over the past year, it has been an absolute pleasure to write about the wonderful things our community is doing, watch our readership grow, and hear your feedback on Twitter. Particularly in these strange and isolating times, knowing that we can connect as a collective has brought me great comfort - I hope that I have played a little part in bringing this community to you, too. Luckily, endings inevitably lead to new beginnings, and the DRN is looking for someone to take over where I have left off! We are also on the lookout for a Twitter Manager to manage our social media presence. Interested? Read below for more information on how to get involved.

August Newsletter: Women, Peace & Security

"...women are very much combatants in this battle. This is a unique moment to examine frontline nurses as the foot-soldiers of this campaign and explore what it means for our understanding of women as combatants."

Who earns a place on the 'frontline' is a question that has been debated almost as consistently, and as contentiously, as the futility of war itself. Although it was 2018 before women were able to serve in all combat roles in the British Armed Forces, history has shown us that perseverance and a rebellious streak enticed women to the battlefield centuries earlier. The implicit masculinity of the soldier is questioned as far back as Boudica, through to Agnes Hotot, Christian 'Kit' Cavanagh, Hannah Snell and many many more. Infamous WW2 French Resistance fighter and "most decorated heroine of WWII" Nancy Wake once told an interviewer "I don’t see why we women should just wave our men a proud goodbye and then knit them balaclavas."

That being said, as the character of war changes, the 'frontlines' are shifting too - seemingly ridding us of rigid ideas of soldiering. Gone are the days when women must conceal their femininity to serve their country; the British Army now directly appeals (albeit not without criticism) to a new type of recruit, one which embraces all genders, sexualities, ethnicities and faiths. Yet, will Britain's "modern military" be able to overcome deep-seated ideals of masculinity underpinning war and soldiering?

July Newsletter: War and Technology

This July, we are exploring the ways war interacts with technology, we've got some interesting new online courses and funding opportunities for you, we're meeting the editors of our favourite journals, and we're celebrating an extraordinary female engineer.

Ever since COVID-19 turned the world upside down, there has been a rush to find innovative ways to cope with this strange new environment. Alongside the vaccine race, numerous ingenious, life-saving, and sometimes outright strange products have been hitting the market in an effort to outsmart 2020's biggest adversary. Many have likened this coronavirus-induced innovation to the technological advancements during the Second World War - everything from rocket technology to superglue came about as a result of wartime imaginations.This precedent has given Peter Beech, writing for the World Economic Forum, an optimistic "glimmer of light" as the world continues to battle both the virus and its related afflictions of fear and uncertainty.

June Newsletter: Books, Books, Books!

Whether lockdown has you completing your bookshelf or struggling to make it past the first the page, we've got your reading covered this June...

We are asking you what you're reading, we're supporting Black Lives Matter in the British Army, we're looking forward to our second webinar, and we're evaluating the merits of science fiction to a military education.

"You are travelling essentially. Reading is a state of freedom - the freedom of the mind, the freedom of the imagination, and there is no better cure to feeling nailed to the spot than reading"

May Newsletter: 'What is the new normal'?

As we end our third month of lock down, is this the 'new normal'?

“We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when, but I know we'll meet again some sunny day. Keep smiling through just like you always do, 'till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away...”

The words of Vera Lynn took on a new, and largely unexpected, significance in our VE Day celebrations this month, as we skipped on street parties in favour of more distant affairs. Many of us reminisced on days gone by (quite literally for this innovative street in Chester!), where hugs weren't taboo, beer gardens weren't off-limits, and we could party likes its 1945. Yet, it has been wonderful to see how many people across the country are adapting to the current climate, finding ways to connect and celebrate amidst what now seems to be our 'new normal'. VE Day is particularly important for us at the DRN, and we are extremely proud of all the service and ex-service members among us. We are committed to researching and supporting Armed Forces personnel both on and off the battlefield.

April Newsletter: Living through lockdown

As the world around us changes, let the DRN newsletter be the one constant in your life...

As Germany tentatively reopened some of its shops and services earlier this week, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the German public to remain disciplined regarding social distancing rules to avoid jeopardising the country's so far impressive resilience to COVID-19. Although she admitted that we are "still at the beginnig", Merkel reiterated that with nationwide cooperation it would be possible to emerge safely and sustainably on the other side of this crisis.

March Newsletter: State (of) Emergency

"The crisis we face from the coronavirus is on a scale of a major war...”

These were the words of Senator Bernie Sanders addressing a recent news conference, fiercely rebuking the leadership of President Trump amidst the global pandemic that is COVID-19. While Sanders predicts casualties on par with WWII, his rival Mr Biden furnishes his ‘Public Health Advisory Committee’ with former homeland security and counterterrorism advisors. At the same time, there are armed police locking down the streets of Europe, while in the UK we are gearing up for the potential launch of our own military response, code-named Operation Broadshare.

February Newsletter: Transitions

From Service to "Civvy Street" and Beyond, Making the Transition

Last month we discussed the launch of Veterans Work’s new report Moving On. The aim of this report was to examine the factors motivating veterans when making the transition from the military to the civilian job market. In so doing, Veteran’s Work hopes to positively impact transition support and recruitment, making businesses aware of both the skills and perspectives ex-service personnel can bring to their corporations. The report's central themes are questions of location, salary expectations, and experiences of finding a job, and its outcomes highlight that ‘quality of life’ concerns often find veterans away from big cities or less likely to commute. Veterans Work thus urges employers to offer flexible or remote working to tap into the ex-military talent pool.  

January Newsletter: Happy New Year!  

“If it isn’t a national security issue, what is?"

Last month, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnball criticised current leader Scott Morrison's response to the deadly bushfires which have devastated the country, call for the immediate restructuring of emergency management to deal with this unprecedented "national security issue". Turnball was not alone in calling for such change. The New York Times labelled the crisis an 'Atomic Bomb,' while MP for the New South Wales Electorate of Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly, called for national mobilisation in the form of a civil defence corps.

December Newsletter: Welcome to the DRN

This December, we wanted to say thank you to everyone who attended our relaunch event, as well as introduce our new website, invite you to our January Twitter hour and let you know about some of the amazing defence-based projects our members are involved with.