Any Ex-Regulars at Lower Rank in RAFAC?

I know that there are many ex-regulars who have achieved a higher rank within RAFAC than thy did during their regular service. I also know of instances where former senior officers have been ranked as flying officers on AEFs (not sure about similar on VGS). However, excepting flying/gliding instructors on AEF/VGS, are there any instances of ex-regulars taking a lower rank within RAFAC? If so, how has that gone?

Air Cdr Ford?


I’ve met plenty of ex-Reg Sqn Ldrs and Flt Lts who were lower RAFAC ranks. They all seemed relaxed about it and were really good staff. I think ex-Regs are far less rank conscious than many RAFAC staff and, unlike some Wing staff, aren’t motivated by ‘promotions’.


I knew a WExO who was Grp Capt RAF who was then Sqn Ldr WExO if that counts?

With regards NCOs however previous service (as a regular) is recognised - i am sure someone will be able to quote to paragraph and line. I know at least one RAFAC FS who was never a Sgt, appointed at FS due to their previous rank held.
(I also know a SNCO who was only going to get a third stripe by leaving the RAF and joining the ATC!)

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It used to be years ago to be a Wing admin officer it was required you were a retired Wing commander or above , then it was lowered to squadron leader or above.

Not enough applicants.
Especially for such a low paid menial job.
Rekon in the future they could drop it to airman…


Either we know the same one, or there were 2… was yours in TVW by any chance?

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I think that’s fair. My wing has at least one former Army WO2 who has gone into uniform as a FS (and has just been commissioned).

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I’m not sure that this counts as the former gp capt may have been after paid employment to top up his service pension and the sqn ldr remuneration may have counter-balanced any feelings about the drop in rank (and, as I only discovered during lockdown, the WExOs are actually accountable to the Reg Comdt rather than their OC Wg). This is a little different to being a CFAV immersed within the volunteer hierarchy.

Yes, Jon Ford seemed to bounce between gp capt and air cdre with honorary and ‘real’ responsibilities depending upon the nature of what he was dealing with.

my actual point was that he went “down” to wearing Fg Off tapes when he stopped being CAC and went to being a Sqn Officer

Yes, I know a RAFAC officer who has siblings who are regular RAF (senior) officers, so has a view on 'both sides of the fence. His opinion is that ex-regular SNCOs and officers are generally quite relaxed about the rank stuff, but that some ex-regular JNCOs and below view RAFAC as a way by which they can achieve the rank(s) they did not achieve during their regular service.

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Well, I never knew that. Where was he a sqn officer?

I’m pretty sure I’m not making this up… but Peterborough, or somewhere close by

Don’t think he was Sqn Officer but definitely Civ Comm in N&S Wing and Newmarket Sqn

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no, but a friend in TVW knows of two in their Wing that were direct FS appointments so one of those might be the one you know of?
either way seems there are a few examples out there…

Direct FS appointment is quite common. Although my fellow on Sqn WO came straight in as a WO due to being previously a proper WO in the RAF


ooft, there are 2 ex-regular Group Captains who took a WExO position? This surprises me somewhat :thinking:

I guess based on the below it was standard once upon a time…

Seems to vary depending on the Wing. I had an ex Chief Tech go into uniform, I had to fight to get him direct appointment as a FS. He was also asked if he was aware of Sgt Mess etiquette on his Wing Board by a Sqn Ldr - who then asked what a Chief Tech was when his reply was that at x number of years as a SNCO, finishing as a Chief Tech in the RAF he understood how to behave (or not to) in the Mess!