Acting Pilot Officer dress

What do newly appointed pre-OIC officers wear now? Am I right they are now APOs RAFAC? I have the rank tabs for my new person (Plt Off tape on white background) but does he need a white backing on the beret badge and/or white hat band, or is that only at Cranwell?

AP1358C dated 14 Feb still thinks we have VR(T) officers and does not contain the new RAFAC rules.

Follow what it said in AP1358c for head dress :slight_smile:

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Noone wore the beret badge backing pre RAFAC anyway, mainly because the discs aren’t provided. The hat bands are provided at Cranwell only. So crack on wearing just the slides and confusing everyone as to whether to salute or not.

As for the updated dress regs being unfit for purpose: Meh. My expectations can’t really get any lower.


Hi, this is my first post so apologies if I am asking a dumb question…

Is there a definitive answer (preferably with a reference in ACP019/AP818?) as to whether white taped Acting Pilot Officers should or shouldnt be saluted?

Many thanks for any help as this is causing some grief at our squadron with a newly minted APO.

Yes you do.

APOs are different to any counterpart in the regulars and hold their commission after it’s confirmed, they are an APO only whilst on probation meaning that they haven’t completed IOT course at Cranwell.

The appointment letter says;

You will be afforded all of the courtesies to which this entitles you even though you are not to wear Pilot Officer rank slides until you complete the course.

The appointment is active, but isn’t published until completion of probationary period therefore a commission is held and they should be saluted.

Only Officer Cadets do not get saluted, hence white cap badge…

RC(N) confirmed recently that they should not be saluted as their commission is not confirmed until they complete OIC at ATF, it is at that point the scrolls would be issued and the Gazette would be updated shortly afterwards.

That completely contradicts everything else about this sibject… They tried to change this in 2012 when they introduced the new selection process. All that happened was widespread confusion and a return to the previous policy.

Sorry RC(N) is wrong.

The commission will be dated as per appointment letter as will the gazette.

If they wanted that they should of made us Officer Cadets and not Acting Pilot Officer

No point saying he’s wrong on here…

Either email him, or respond to his statement below:

End of the day, OCdt / APO… why does being saluted matter when its not an official rank…
Just wait until you complete OIC, wear the proper (gash) Plt Off tapes, that also denote that you’re (meant to be) a substansive Plt Off when compared to the RAF…

I don’t actually care if they salute me or note makes no difference in delivering.

That thread is not policy, and until official policy comes out we continue as we have done for years without issue.

As RC(N) says it’s not a priority, rightly so, so won’t be engaging in an opinion based subject.

Your be telling me next I can’t stay in an Officers Mess because i’m not commission, but i doubt I would be welcome in the WOs & Sgts…

I think of it from the POV of a cadet.

As a UAS officer cadet I was expected to salute UAS APOs (who don’t hold a commission), as an IOT officer cadet I was expected to salute post-IOT APOs (who do hold a commission).

If any of my cdts asked me if they were supposed to salute an APO I’ll tell them yes, simply because that’s the easiest thing to do and the most convenient thing to do. To expect them to understand the nuances is a waste of time and, to be frank, we have better things to worry about than willy-waving status competitions.


Bit of a chip on your shoulder mate?

It matters because every other rank needs to know whether they should be saluting or not, as does the officer. It saves confusion and potential embarrassment on their part. Clear?


So the answer seems to be no one really knows!!

I know it isnt very important (at least not me as a CI) but there are others who do seem to regard it as a life and death issue.

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Not particularly, I wasn’t phased when I had white tabs on and still not phased with the fascination.

No point engaging with him on there. Think he’s finally lost the will to live

Just as well I didn’t go in to speak to the SWO on camp last week, as I planned to, to explain very politely that personnel on station should be saluting my APO! I watche one Sgt as his hand twitched in his confusion…

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PS I missed out the best bit: when he finally got his kit from stores, they had issued him with…

a Gp Capt hat

I am egging him on to wear it to ATF, if only to give the WO apoplexy!


Are group captain’s hats usually kept lying around?

You’d hope so in a big stores