Gazetting of Promotions versus use of Acting Rank in Gazette

As most will know there’s only two substantive officer ranks in RAFAC, Pilot Officer and Flying Officer.

On completion of Cranwell the commission is gazetted in the rank on graduation and if you’re a PO you get another entry for promotion to FO, any promotion above that is an acting rank.

Does anyone know why promotion to acting ranks (Flight Lieut and above) are not Gazetted, when they are for regular and reserves?

Secondly why if their substantive rank is FO does the Gazette make reference to the acting rank of RAFAC officers when a commission is terminated or CFM or whatever else awarded?

I never did.

Given the move from VRT to CFC, I’m constantly surprised we’re even Gazetted at all now.


I also don’t get why now that we aren’t in the VR we only have acting rank above Fg Off. There was no need to retain that.


Because we’re in a place…


I know that the current naming style across the MOD for medals is to use the acting rank without use of A/ or Acting etc. I would imagine we’re just an extension of that. Though I’m just jealous of anyone who gets their Fg Off promotion gazetted, or processed on SMS…

Interestingly, whilst i had been promoted when I went to shader, because of COVID I hadn’t done promotion courses by that point, so technically was an acting Cpl.

Medal rim just says Cpl.


IIRC gazetting of state awards until quite recently had substantive rank and only recently acting.

This gazette entry for my great grandads MiD shows officers having their acting and substantive rank listed…

The action this was awarded for was saving civilians during the eruption of Vesuvius in '43/44, I can’t remember the year.

I find the guy first on the list.

Corporal, local WO2 very interesting… How do you have a substantive corporal rank and yet be an acting wobbly? :joy:

But its interesting that any medals RAFAC Officers receive have RAFVRT referenced on the form from the Medal Office… at least for those commissioned initially into the VRT AFAIK

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@theunknown if your meaning on the QPJM MODMO letter even SNCO’s who never were VRT and also Officers who commissioned after the change to RAFAC and never have been VRT but only RAFAC officers were listed as VRT on the form. No idea why this happened.

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That’s World War II for you.

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Be careful, PO is the abbreviation for petty officer, and FO isn’t a rank I think, or it might be a bit old. I’m pretty sure it’s meant to be Plt. Off, and Fg. Off.

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Sometimes it do be like that.

People don’t think it be like it is. But it do.

Try explaining to ACF types that a Flt Lt is a Cpt not a Lt and a Pilot is the most junior OF rank, it messes with their heads.

Not an issue with the regs who (mostly) know that our ranks are derived from the RN, or have come across them before.


And while it’s illogical, that Flight Sergeant is FS even though Flight is usually Flt and Sergeant is Sgt…

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And that pilots are commissioned as flying officers.
So we have pilots that have never been a pilot officer…

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I’ve often wondered why this wasn’t introduced for VGS officers when they brought in SNCO aircrew

nahhhh, it makes sooooooo much sense