This got me thinking. The ACF commission their chaplains in CF ranks, why don’t RAFAC commission their padres like the regulars do?

I think it’s because RAF padres have no rank, and hold all ranks, so that anyone can speak to them on an equal footing?

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Definitely saw more than a few padres grad from the SERE course at Cranwell as Flight Lieutenants during my time there.

As well as seeing a smattering of Wing Commander and Group Captain padres too…

They definitely do have a rank, even if it’s only for administrative purposes.


Probably things like pay and board are top of those. But I definitely recall someone saying something like that to me at a padres hour once.

Padres are entitled to pay, but not in the same way we are.

I’ve taken my Sqn Padre on camp a few times, and they usually get treated as a sqn Ldr. I’ve been on a summer camp where my Padre was given a suite in the mess!

The RN padre’s do not have a commission as such, that means they assume the rank of the person they are talking too from Admiral to seaman.

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Maybe that was it?

I was talking about the regulars.

Ah, apologies.

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Army Chaplains have grades rather than ranks but in the RAF they have “equivalent rank”. In all cases they wear the same insignia as the equivalent rank but have no command over personnel and do in theory take the rank of the person they are talking to.
The chaplain in chief of the RAF is an AVM

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There is a Corps chaplain, I think they were my wings chaplain back in the day.

I’ve always been of the belief Padres are all Sqn Ldr equivalents but can’t say i know why just something i heard and accepted.

Of course, there should be a RAFAC chaplain not a Corps one…

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Although to be fair CCF don’t have chaplains so in this instance Corps is arguably a fair title

Maybe only us ATC heathens need them?


Think we have “Honorary” rank e.g. a Sqdn Padre ranks as Sqdn Ldr etc. - so I can take Final Parade if there’s no uniformed staff (e.g. lastminute illness on a great night someone else was leading) but am confident I have sufficient CI & NCO support, and I don’t take the salute… Was once handed a clipboard from the Adj which read “THE PADRE HAS NO IDEA WHAT HE’S DOING AND IS JUST READING OFF THIS”…


I think this is someting in the original regulations for the Corps (AP1919) or the Royal Warrant for RAFVRT commissions. Expressely stated that Padres are not commissioned but, as others have said, are extended the uSE OF THe OM.

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