Highest Rank in CCF RAF?

I have read from multiple sources that CWO is the highest rank in the CCF (RAF), but my RAF section has the rank of CUO (Cadet Under Officer) as the highest rank (1 above CWO). The CUO is the head of the RAF (there is only 1 CUO for obvious reasons) and wears a rank slide with a single white bar across its length (see below; we don’t have the word ‘CADET’). Is this like an informal thing for our school or is this a thing for (larger?) RAF sections across the country?


I believe it’s a School based thing, a friend was a CUO in a CCF back when’s i was a Cadet and outside of his school he was required to wear CWO insignia.

Cadet Under Officer is not a recognised within the CCF (RAF) the highest rank a cadet can be awarded is CWO - with the approval of their school’s TEST Officer/Sgt. If you look in AP 1358C you will see all the approved badges of rank for cadets and staff.

What about the Army (CCF)? We have JUOs and SUOs (with 2 white bars).

I believe each school appoints the senior cadet from within all 3 sections to UO ( i.e. one for the whole school). Totally unofficial as nothing mentioned in ap1358c but a schools “local choice”.

Officially in the CCF(RAF) CWO is the highest rank

Out of interest, what dress regs do you follow? If you’re Raf, surely it should be AP1358C, and therefore your rank sides must be blue, even on No 3 dress? Just askin’

Yes - we wear blue ranks slides both on our No 2 working dress and our MTP (i.e. all uniforms)

I might be wrong - I am only a junior member of our CCF (is a LCpl even considered an NCO?) but that’s my observation.

Yes it is…rumours of the ATC adopting it now we accept 12 year olds

Sounds like debate for another thread. Personally I don’t see the reasoning behind L/CPL just because we have 12 year old cadets.

Although, it could be useful as a ‘probationary’ rank for prospective NCOs?

Why not just have an Acting Corporal on a month’s probation? That’s what we do, seems to work.

Because I think people hear the word acting and don’t take it seriously.

Not proven true in our case. The cadets see it as their opportunity to prove themselves and really seem to engage with it.

Had some issues with “full” corporals undermining them as “only acting” but that’s been sorted by a quick attitude adjustment.

It isn’t something we have tried, so I may suggest it to our CO.

Although, we need more recruits as a priority first!

I agree. Topic please!


Correct; but some schools do appoint a Head of Corps or similar to CUO rank unofficially, including Duke of York’s RMS in Dover. When they leave the premises they are ranked CWO (I met one on camp a few years back) as they are aware it’s not official.