Scottish Veterans Commissioner 2018-2022
Charlie Wallace took up the post of Scottish Veterans Commissioner in September 2018 after completing 35 years’ service in the Army.
He followed a traditional career in the Infantry holding various command appointments on operations and at home. He saw active service in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the UN in the Former Yugoslavia (Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia) and Northern Ireland during Operation Banner. He also served in Brunei, Hong Kong, Nepal, the Falkland Islands, the USA, Canada and India.
Charlie was the chief planner in HQ Multi-National Division (South East) in Basra, Iraq and held the same role for a year in HQ Regional Command (South West) in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province for which he was awarded the US Bronze Star. His last appointment in the Army was Deputy Commander of 51st Infantry Brigade and HQ Scotland.
Deeply committed to addressing the challenges that individuals and their families face after military service, Charlie sought to highlight the impressive talent this group of people bring to our society. He wanted to help the Scottish Government recognise this talent and showcase it to those who may not understand or be fully aware of it. Charlie also sought to ensure that those who made mental and physical sacrifices for their country were appropriately cared for and given the best opportunities to positively contribute to civilian society.
During his time as Commissioner Charlie produced four reports in a series entitled ’Positive Futures’, which focused on getting Transition (from the armed forces) right in Scotland:
- Positive Futures: Getting Transition Right in Scotland – Health and Wellbeing – 2022
- Positive Futures: Getting Transition Right in Scotland – Housing: Making a Home in Civilian Society – 2021
- Positive Futures: Getting Transition Right in Scotland – Employment, Skills and Learning – 2020
- Positive Futures: Getting Transition Right in Scotland – 2019
As part of the scrutiny and supportive challenge aspect to his role, Charlie introduced a system of Progress Reporting on the implementation of all SVC recommendations. Progress is monitored by the SVC office and the Commissioner now reports annually in an electronic Progress Report published each autumn and available on this website. Details of all recommendations which have been fully achieved can be found under Impact.
Eric Fraser CBE
Scottish Veterans Commissioner 2014-2018
Eric Fraser took up his post as Scotland’s first Veterans Commissioner in August 2014. His four-year appointment allowed Eric to identify areas in public services that might provide greater support for the veterans community in Scotland, as well as helping shape future policy development and opportunities.
Eric joined the Royal Navy in 1976. During a 37-year career he served at sea and ashore, including a period as a gunnery officer during the Falklands conflict. He also commanded HMS Guernsey and HMS Boxer, and was the Assistant Naval Attaché in the British Embassy in Washington DC at a time that spanned the 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon.
Subsequent appointments focused on joint operations including spells at the Permanent Joint HQ in London. Later, he had responsibility for providing communications and IT support for all UK forces deployed overseas for which he was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2009.
Eric’s final posting before retiring from the Navy as Commodore in January 2014 was as the UK Naval Attaché in the British Embassy in Washington DC.
His work as Scottish Veterans Commissioner focused on three key areas:
- Reviewing the support provided to veterans in Scotland
- Challenging the negative perceptions of ex-service personnel and promoting their skills and experience
- Enhancing veterans’ access to support services through improved information and communication
During his four years as Commissioner Eric published five detailed reports, with 63 recommendations to Scottish Government and others. These can be found on this website.
- Veterans Health & Wellbeing: A Distinctive Scottish Approach – 2018
- Veterans’ Health & Wellbeing in Scotland – Are We Getting it Right? – 2017
- The Veterans Community – Employability, Skills and Learning – 2016
- Scottish Veterans Commissioner – Housing Information – 2015
- Scottish Veterans Commissioner – Transition in Scotland – 2015