New Rank Equivalence Posters

However, all those are just alternative titles for ranks that are actually on the poster: meanwhile there are at least three RAF ranks missing from it.

AS1(T) isn’t really real.

It’s an acting rank, only really shows people that the person can work alone in the techy world.

Dragging up an old thread here, but as a current CS EO I find it hilarious that I’m allegedly equivalent to a Flt Lt. I’m an apprentice, I’m very young and I’ve been in the role since August. Would not want to try and tell a Fg Off that I was technically more senior than them :smile:

1 Like

When I was a Fg Off I had a D band work on my Flight. Although I was the OC they liked to remind me they were ‘technically’ more senior… cool, here’s the 40 civil servant PARs that need writing and I’ll send you some of the Sgt SJARs :+1: that seemed to slow him down a bit…!

1 Like

It’s also quite offensive that a wet behind the ears CS is supposedly on par with a sgt, and then the ranks in between that and capt don’t seem to matter.

Why so keen to only be level with commissioned officers?

Or does that speak more appropriately to how we treat our juniors?

1 Like

For most depts this is ultimately irrelevant. DWP, DCMS etc there is almost no chance in hell anyone below SCS level would be trying to pretend they have ‘rank’. Simultaneously though, I wouldn’t expect the military to throw ‘rank’ around either - they’d just be laughed at.
The only departments I can think of that actually have any relevance to this structure are MOD and it’s child agencies, and possibly the security/intelligence services.
On that last bit it’s notable that hybrid CS/Mil command is very much a thing in some parts of the world (See NCF and it’s commander) and may well become more common in certain functions. But I’d say this is the exception not the rule.
For the most part as a EO, my ‘equivalent rank’ only determines which mess I can stay in when visiting military sites. Day to day I work with CS or all grades and mil from AS1 through to Air Cdre (or equivalents) and it’s almost entirely handled though a role based structure and mutual respect. In reality, no one is massively fussed what your paygrade is or what form of cloth is on your shoulders, as long as you’re a good colleague and get the job done.


Is he not an AVM?

1 Like

He is, however the previous Commander was a career intelligence officer (civil servant). Not sure if Cdr NCF is a Director or Director General level post, but prev Cdr NCF is now one of the DGs at NCA.
But the point being below Cdr there will be a mix of Mil and CS personnel within a ‘hybrid’ chain of command wherein I’d imagine role/position is far more important than ‘equivalent’ rank/grade.


Here’s a relatively related question to the thread.

How can you tell the difference between a WO2 and a Maj both wearing MTP rank slides on their fronts?

Both are crowns, is there a size difference or something?

How I learned it… If you salute a WO2, they’ll let you know you’re wrong.

Thankfully, I don’t see either very often. And every time I do, I either scurry away and hide, or avoid eye contact. Simples.

1 Like

The WO2 crown will take up most of the width of the slide, whereas the Maj crown is much smaller, occupying less than half the width.

There are other ways to tell with army uniform too. For the majority of capbadges, for example, an officer’s capbadge is cloth whilst anyone non-commissioned wears a metal one.


This is true in most cases, but in many regiments WO1s will wear the officers’ cap badge and in some that applies to WO2s as well: then of course there are regiments where all ranks wear the same badge (e.g. Para Reg, RRF).

1 Like

If you’re lucky, they’ll have a stick.

It’s also difficult to discern LE captains from colonels at long range.

The navy have done a much better job keeping ranks easily to tell apart.

1 Like

Was gong to say, that’s my experience of working with the CS grades, it has no bearing in day to day as they will be slotted in on a role not rank basis.


That’s also the case for military too though when they join CS-led or CS-heavy teams. I’ve never once had any military personnel try to pull rank over me or act superior, nor would I try and do that myself. You just slot in wherever your talents are needed.
The inference by others earlier on in the thread that Military pers are inherently more valuable than CS is mildly insulting though, which only feels better when you then look at the pay of the OF3 doing the exact same role, one desk along from me the EO…! (sidenote - don’t believe everything you read in the daily mail)
In all seriousness though, when it’s done well the CS/Mil relationship is symbiotic, and good spirited. We have a myriad of experience and we all draw on each others talents, DSTL would be another example of a dept where this really shows it’s value.
Obviously every directorate and department in the CS does things slightly differently, but in my experience it’s seemed that rank is often taken more seriously by some in the RAFAC CFAV cadre than the actual military…

1 Like

Occasionally, if they’re feeling kind, the majors crown might be on a Pentagon-shaped backing. I’ve never seen this for a WO2 crown so it can be a tiny clue. I’m not sure if this varies regiment to regiment, or if it just depends which pair of slides was picked up at the kit store, as it’s quite hit and miss.

But yeah, once you have seen a WO2 and a Major’s rankslides next to each other, you can tell the size difference is pretty substantial.

1 Like

I find army ranks almost impossible to decipher from any sort of distance when they’re subdued on an MTP backing which seems to be what most of the units around us are wearing.

(I suppose that is the point of subdued insignia, but still!)