Any Ex-Regulars at Lower Rank in RAFAC?

perhaps so, although I’d interpreted the “years ago” to be “at least a generation ago (and probably older than me!)” - given that we have now iterated though all WExOs required to be ex-RAF at all, and are now at “it is an open recruitment”. I do know TVW’s ex-WExO, and he did tell me that at the time he was WExO he didn’t know of any other ex-Group Captain WExOs :man_shrugging:

but it is

so just because former Grp Capt isn’t a pre-requisite doesn’t mean they can’t still apply

they have to retire to somewhere after all…

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I thought Devon or Spain were the norm, not into another admin job!

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Do people not do there research into candidates before interviewing them anymore?! (Not that they should need to research RAF ranks).


I hear Cornwall is a popular retirement spot…

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I thought that was reserved for Air Commodores :stuck_out_tongue:

Well it is expensive down there!


Crazy money!

Th conversation has drifted a bit here (as ever) into permanent staff jobs (i.e. WExO), whereas I was wondering more about volunteers.

Outside of flying/gliding instructors, what is the greatest rank drop that folks know for regular to uniformed CFAV? (I’m assuming that the regular sqn ldrs / flts lts mentioned earlier dropped to flt lt / fg off).

And what kind of roles did they take on?

It doesn’t matter what your Commissioned rank was in the Parent Service, you came into the RAFVR(T) (I cannot quote for RAFAC) as a Fg Off.

I took over my first Sqn as a Fg Off before (later) having my Wg Cdr (who never served a day in his life) promote me to Flt Lt.

I am now Wg Staff.

Personally I couldn’t give a sideways flying whatsit about rank, it’s not about me, it’s about the cadets.

However, it does seem to be a bone of contention with non ex-Service personnel though.

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…but (on topic) the late Dave Phillips was a Flt Lt sqn boss but ex RAF Wg Cdr and OC LATCC(Mil)…


I must confess that the rank thing is a weird one, especially considering flt lt is both an automatic right and quite legitimately the highest many officers will go in the regular RAF (no bonus points at the board for every time you missed promotion as in the Army).

It feels odd that any ex-regular officer would be bumped down to fg off, even if not holding responsibilities.

I know it doesn’t really mean anything, and I know it’s a volunteer youth organisation with a military dressing, but where the link with the parent service used to be so strong and deemed really valuable for recruitment, it seems odd that previous service isn’t highlighted some way (as ex-WOs (now ATC) still using the royal coat of arms rank badge did).

It was never meant to imply they were better (or necessarily even qualified to automatically be an awesome youth leader), but it did highlight the legitimate and interesting link to the parent organisation.

It also helps grease the wheels for cadet camps. I’ve only met a few people who sneer at CFAVs in uniform over the years, but where it’s been possible for their previous service to be identified (such as ex-pilot wearing wings), it’s really changed the attitude or sparked productive conversations by breaking down barriers.

Although for what it’s worth, Part Time Volunteer Reserve fg offs certainly used to require something like 6 years before getting flt lt, even if they did loads of mobilised service. Makes sense if they do about 30 days per year. Less so if they have mobilised service under their belts.

I’d just add to the above to highlight that subaltern ranks, being very junior, indicate learning, even though significant responsibilities may still be held.

I’d argue these ranks are not appropriate for many CFAVs, especially those who have supported the organisation at higher levels and have a number of years under their belts (and say, their CFM). It masks their experience, regardless of current responsibilities within the organisation.

I’d argue a regular service person will not have the required youth organisation experience just because of their service history, but that’s a level of understanding come annual camp that a CFAV may struggle to match.

Different ways to develop credibility. I think dropping to fg off is a rung too low in those two scenarios.

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It’s only Wing and above who worry about promotions and what rank they are, everyone else worries about delivering content to the cadets.


Except you’re arguing that officers need a method of recognition, while highlighting a method of recognition for WOs that doesn’t exist anymore.

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I am indeed very much out of date. I daren’t even ask how the new badge system works just yet… :sweat_smile:

In which case my argument becomes regret for the disappearance of valuable recognition available to ex-WOs who joined the organisation, and the desire to see it return for reasons mentioned.

Recruitment & retention requires imagination. I know the organisation isn’t the RAF, but it leans heavily on the history of the parent organisation, one that is very proud.

Angling for ex-service personnel, who should appeal as a future CFAV audience, but then telling them that they don’t get to wear their uniform as previously earned is an interesting one. I fear it may put a lot of them off, because their identity is so tightly entwined with the uniform they would like to continue wearing while developing the next generation.

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That’s not really true, you could sack an entire Wing Staff and the vacuum would very quickly be filled with people wanting to step up. Some for good and some not so good.

A lot of people have aspirations of rank and position but are not in a position to get that at that time so put their efforts in to delivering what they can which is hopefully a good Cadet experience.

Believe it or not there are also people in the org above unit level whose primary focus is delivering a better Cadet experience. They just choose to do so by influencing the direction of travel and policy.

I agree with this, if relevant, then their previous service should be celebrated and used to advantage.

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For myself, I had no such problems - I rather liked not being burdened with the shadow of my former rank.

The pictures on my wall, the memories that made me smile - or otherwise - my friends from my former career, they were, and are, the recognition of who I once was. Now however, I’m something different, and I do not need baubles to know what I once was, nor do I need to tell everyone.

Insecurity, a need to advertise, a need to feel ‘more’ than ones colleagues, these show ones colleagues is, far more than rank tabs ever will…


It isn’t uniform as previously earned though.

They are no longer WO Suchandsuch, they are Sgt RAFAC Suchandsuch. They can wear (pretty much) all their previous Qualifications (jump wings, cdo dagger, Aircrew brevets etc) as well as their earned medalic recognition.
I don’t see the problem? Previous service is recognised.