Acting rank for Officer and SNCO running a squadron


Following on from the Tate & Lyle rank slides post i was having a look down the “Ask the team” posts and came across something interesting.

RC(N) said that they are currently looking at acting ranks for ALL RANKS for SNCO’s and Officers who are running squadrons who are not a Flt Lt, has anything heard anything on the grapevine about this?

I am more interested in the SNCO side of this as its been an unwritten rule for years for officers (i spent 1 week at Fg Off before the change), would this mean a sgt becomes WO or FS? or would they simply jump a single rank?


If we’ve got Sgts running squadrons then it sounds like we’ve got some bigger issues than what rank they acquire on appointment!


Weve had a cadet transfer from a sqn with a CI as an oc


Its more common than you think! I visited a squadron recently with three Flt Lt’s but a squadron only 2 miles away had a FS running the place…


Well a FS isn’t quite so bad, as it implies that they at least have some experience.


That was only one, i know plenty of others ran by Sgts and 1 i know that the OC is a CI who has only been in 8 months.


Rank etc is irrelevant when it comes to running a squadron, if someone wants to do it and willing to put in the time/take the flak, then let them do it.
Unless we change (or more so the numpties at HQAC realising we need to change) and make SNCOs running squadrons normal, all that will happen is squadrons will close or people will be bullied into commissioning on the premise if you don’t the squadron will close.


A decision needs to be made by HQAC to reflect the reality of Squadron Commanders and their rank. But that needs to include the realities around Adult Staff numbers as well!


Unfortunately HQAC are not sufficiently worldly experienced to appreciate and accept that out in the real world experience and knowledge are the main drivers for people to run things, not courses and or the bit of fabric they happen to wear.
Understand and accept the former and the latter regarding staff numbers should kick in and a resolution of the squadron commander problems we see.


You just highlighted part of the rank problem and being OC.
Why did you not do the mandatory 2 years as Flying Officer?

Some wings and regions will not promote to flying Officer/ Flt Lt until the mandatory time has been done. Others are ignoring it, I knew someone who went to cranwell done their IOT 1 week, stayed and done the senior course the following week and walked out as a Flt Lt. Hopefully they will bring in rules and force them to be followed.


I was previous to the cadet force commission so the time was ignored. I did my time as pilot officer went and did my SCC knowing i was taking over a squadron and they landed on my desk with keys to my new squadron.


Rules are for guidance of wise men as the saying goes.

Until we desist from the got to be an officer nonsense there will be squadrons run on and nod and wink basis by SNCOs until they can dupe some poor sod of an officer into doing it. I’ve seen it all too often and all it brings is a mess as the bloke or woman they’ve managed to get to do it, doesn’t want to do it and is immediately looking for a way out. We had a squadron in our sector where the OC died, a WSO became the temporary OC and 6 months later after much arm twisting they got someone to do it and 6 months later he went NEP as his wife had a baby and he’s not been seen or heard from since and that was 5 years ago.

If we can lose the forces management model and stop people thinking that a rank tab means one thing, we will become stronger as an organisation as there are no preconceptions about what you can or can’t do. But we are closer to landing a man on a distant moon in the solar system than we are that.


If we are giving the people the responsiblility they should be give the rank to go with it.

People can blather on about experience all they want, but if they are being trusted with the responsibilities that come with being the OC they should have the rank and pay that goes with it.


But why have a rank at all, make it something like a title say “group leader”, which infers the responsibility, no presumed rank. At work people only have titles no rank etc, unless you’re in the emergency services. As it we operate in a demarcated system that has all but disappeared from the workplace. When I started work, you had your job and that was it and if you tried to do someone else’s job as it would make your day easier, you’d be told in no uncertain terms. We currently have a number of SNCOs who could run squadrons in areas where there aren’t officers, but they are quite happy to hide behind their rank tabs.

As for pay, what pay? You don’t mean the few days in a year when you manage to tick a box that means you can get some money because you are doing something, other than running a squadron and the pay has to cover all expenses etc incurred.


The time thing is not new it’s about 10year since brought in. I am not having a go at you but the system.

I 100% agree with daws if you are said to be a certain rank for the responsibility then make the person that rank but it must be clear across the board not up to regions.

Using you as an example (sorry) how would someone feel commissioned the same day, same IOT course, same SSC but different region and they need to wait 2/3 years to get the same rank as you?
It’s a bit of a kick in the teeth I feel for that person.


Yup. I was fast tracked into OC of my squadron due to my day-time career and experience. Not quite back to back everything - OASC, OIC, SCC and then OC about 12 months. But I’m sitting at Plt Off biding my time whilst I have already seen people on my OIC promoted to Fg Off and even Flt Lt in other wings/regions.

It’s not the end of the world, but equally well, it’s definitely a negative feeling.


Why does it matter when someone gets promoted, they don’t paid anything for the privilege. If people got paid (not just VA for PTD) then I you can see why it would irk.

If people are following the rules about time to be promoted and others aren’t c’est la vie. Perhaps there is a greater need in their wing and the rules are used as guidance only.


What a silly thing to suggest. Without a rank structure, we may as well be the scouts.

We have a rank structure because we are a military youth organisation, not a youth club.


It seems that the rank structure especially the commissioned side is the problem, therefore sticking to it just because we always have, is why we seem to be in the mess we are in and have increasingly been for the last 20+ years.

Unless someone can come up with sparkling reason for people to commission other than to essentially run a squadron, people are not going to be falling over themselves. Of course we can keep going as we are.

One of the CIs on the squadron when I took over, was asked why he doesn’t commission and he looked in the WSO in the eye and asked “what’s in it for me?” the look on WSOs face and the fact he was speechless, said it all. After he’d gone home the WSO said never been asked that, but knew what he meant. This was 18 years ago.
The chap he asked was in his early 40s and a senior project manager for a company that designed and installed computerised control systems.
It amazes me that still today the same line is followed and people are just expected to roll over.


Yeah, there’s no difference at all between the Chief Exec and the casual admin staff…:roll_eyes: