Cadet Direct producing Rank slides RAF Air Cadets


I saw in Cadet Direct that they are selling the new style rank slides for Officers (RAF Air Cedets) I enquired if they will be selling the new style rank slides for SNCO /WO they said that they have not been told by Cranwell that they need to.have them made.
So are all uniformed staff changing there rank slides by 1st October or just officers or no one.if you go on there Facebook page you will see the answers I was fave


Nothing has been announced so, as I write this, nothing is changing.
There are plans in the pipeline and there are many creases to be ironed out, but Wait Out.


I have just seen on a Facebook page VGS SNCO with new rank slides. They are standing with Commandant.


That say “ATC” not “RAFAC”


Oh ok could not make it out.


Er, maybe it’s my eyesight & the poor picture definition when I enlarge it, but are those aircrew “hawks” on the top of the rank slides??? Not impressed if they are. If so, that’ll make for an interesting slide when they get made up to CWO…


They’re adult staff. Not cadets.


There was even a briefing note about it for when it does go to RAFAC, just at the moment it says ATC


Do you have a link for the IBN?


Think it came out on badger when the rush was on to change everyone over to RAFAC back in April, there were the trial officer slides with it. No doubt it’s probably gone while they all debate it again.


The use of the albatross (or “sh*tehawk” to those that have worn them - that is the long-standing colloquial reference) is a bit of an insult to real qualified aircrew - & as for Master Aircrew style of badging, that is, to me, completely inappropriate.

One possible origin for the name:

sh*tehawk is a very interesting word; it is RAF slang for a qualified pilot, and was adopted by US airmen.

Some think it refers to the ‘wings’ badge worn by pilots, but it originated at Brooklands Airfield, where many young men learned to fly before joining RAF before WW2 started.

Part of the airfield was a sewage farm, near the main runway.

A poor landing could land one in the ‘brown and sticky’, and the old hands reckoned that an experienced pilot needed to have landed thus at least once, earning the name ‘sh*tehawk’. It is thus a name of honour, not of shame.

Since NASA liberated the RAF motto ‘per ardua ad astra’, I fully expect that ‘sh*tehawk’ has been applied to ‘space flyers’, but I doubt this has been officially reported.


Oh, & to get the honour of wearing the albatross, I had to undergo the following:

Selection at OASC

Basic recruit training - 6 weeks

AAITC - 6 weeks

RAF Finningley specialist AEOp trg - one yr

Nimrod OCU - 6 months.

Allowing the VGS to wear it = demeaning.


Compare then, RAF Sgt with Sgt (ATC)
(or, if you like, RAF WO with old-school AWO)


Alright big timer, we have all done stuff…


Nice post though.


Just shows the amount of inefficiencies in the military aircrew training system.


It is interesting to note that they’ve actually gone to the trouble of producing embroidered slides with ATC on them, given that they will supposedly wear them only for a few months…


That was an old photo, taken before the move to RAFAC.


What I fail to understand is who came up with the bright idea of acquiring 9 different woven slides for WO/SNCO?

They took the sensible approach for Officers of acquiring one single design of embroidered backing, with rank braid to be added.
Simple stuff. Cheap stuff. Just 12 letters embroidered onto a coloured backing.

They even suggested during the “look at these pretty pictures” campaign that WO/SNCO would be the same - embroidered backing to which rank slides could be added.
Brilliant. Chalk one up for common sense! The supply of rank badges to add to our own backing is already in place.

But Nooooooooo… Sombody had to decide that instead of one simple solution for everyone they’d get 9 different slides made specially for us? 9 different slides requiring 9 different set up costs because the design is custom woven.
And we KNOW that the supply chain will not be able to provide more than 1 (maybe 2 if we’re very lucky) sets to everyone.



Nice try - I guess your professional training was such that you can only take a half hour much break, otherwise you would need re-training! :stuck_out_tongue:


Master Aircrew Badging will be the same rules as T&L WO badging - previously worn as part of regular service (or a few senior ‘vanity’ posts)

Unlike master aircrew(RAFAC) and wo(RAFAC) for all others

(lower case deliberately to wind up certain people :sunglasses::rocket::bowdown:)(but with affection)