Adult Rank Structure

Why is it that we have Adult Sgts but not Adult Cpls? Wouldn’t it make more sense to start out at a lower rank given that it takes so much time and experience to become an SNCO in the forces?

Using myself as an example, if I get offered a place on my Sqn as a CI, I would like to go back into uniform one day. Wouldn’t it make more sense for someone like me to start as a lower rank, given that I have never served in the forces?

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Staff are (sometimes) put in respective messes. CI’s use the Sgts mess alongside SNCO’s and officers are in the 5* Hilton.

If you had Adult Cpls they could not use the mess at all and would have to be accommodated in the Junior Ranks mess.

Nowhere to put them on a station.
I’m sure it has been discussed at length in other threads.

It was considered and almost implemented…but decided against

The logic of the argument isn’t logic - if you say that new adult NCO’s should be posted as Cpl’s because they don’t have the knowledge/experience to be SNCO’s, you then need to ask if the new adult Cpl’s have the same knowledge/experience as a new regular/reserve Cpl with between 4 and 8 years service - the answer of course is no so instead of being Cpl’s they should be SAC’s. The ‘logic’ of this argument then says that they should be LAC’s, then AC’s, then the bloke who arrived at Halton/wherever 20 minutes ago - and then lower than that because the bloke who arrived at Halton/wherever has a) had to pass a more arduous fitness test, and b) because unlike an adult uniformed staff in the ACO, the bloke who’s just arrived at Halton/wherever has promised to go to Afghanistan or wherever - the ACO bloke has only promised to spend 5 nights a month down his local Sqn.

The rank comparison only causes a problem if someone stays in a mess and they act like a total throbber. The Throbber thing is not experience dependant, it’s a natural talent - I promise you that I’ve met many people with 22+ years of regular service who act with greater throbberdom than anyone I’ve met in the cadets…

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Yes, I guess that’s true. Throbber is a great term lol.

I guess I could have phrased the question in a whole different way; how does one ensure that one actually does deserve to wear three stripes with an RAF uniform without actually having been in the RAF?

But that’s the thing isn’t it. It’s not an RAF uniform.
We are the RAF Air Cadets, it says so right on the rank slide.
We are not the RAF so should not be expected to be a like for like comparison.

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Yes, that’s a good observation

The answer to the question is: We have to trust that the Wing boards won’t pass someone who doesn’t demonstrate the required maturity, knowledge, and skills to be appointed to Acting Sergeant (that’s hit and miss); that ATF will provide the required basic training (that’s more easily monitored); and that on returning from ATF Wings encourage the individuals to properly pursue Continuous Professional Development (that’s even more hit and miss).

Bad Sgts do exist and I think generally it’s because either:
a. They never started with the right mindset and shouldn’t have been appointed in the first place; or,
b. Because they came back from one week at ATF believing that is all they need to do and have done little to improve themselves since.

There will also be those who are keen to develop but are not given the proper guidance from their superiors. I don’t consider those to be “bad” Sgts, but they may be unaware of what’s required.
Generally I’ve found that those who genuinely want to improve will find their way. Though we really should have a better Corps-wide system in place to support and develop our Staff.

Very interesting, thank you. I’d like to clarify that I’m not commenting negatively on adult Sgts in real life, I just have a bit of a philosophical bent.

Fear not… I’ve got plenty of examples in mind of those Bad Sgts I describe to go around… :wink:

As a minor sidenote, they’re not called “Adult Sergeants” these days. It became “Sgt (ATC)” some years ago and now it’s “Sgt” (and all uniformed staff are postnominal RAFAC).

Ah interesting, thanks. I’m a little out if the loop having been gone for nearly ten years

Fixed that for you :wink:


This has been done to death in other threads, so I’m locking this. Please use the other threads (search for them) if you want to continue.

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