@Gunner I’m going to back-up what the Gp Capt said. Please do not take offence, and bear with me.
Officers of the RAFVR are NOT members of the Royal Air Force. They are members of the RAF Volunteer Reserve, which is an element of what was the Air Force Reserve, a formation renamed 20yrs ago to being the RAFR.
It can be said, formally / legally / officially, that RAF Officers, RAFR Officers, RAuxAF Officers, RAFVR Officers and now RAFAC Officers are all Air Force Officers: because that, correctly-speaking, is [I]exactly[/I] what they are.
All RAF Officers are Air Force Officers: any Air Force Officers who are members of other Air Force formations of the Crown are not RAF Officers.
I’ve given-up ever trying to explain this, over the years, because people generally do not follow the logic in the differences, but I’m going to give it another try here.
The official meaning of the term [I]Royal Air Force[/I] referred only to those formations, personnel and assets that are part of the permanent regular Air Forces of the Crown.
However, people (and most elements of the Regular and Reserve Air Forces of the Crown) have tended to collectively also refer to all Air Force entities as being “RAF”. This is technically and legally incorrect, however, in the context of the RAF being the world’s first independent Air Force, and the excellent international reputation of the RAF, evidently used as an accepted shorthand. Or it has [I] been[/I] accepted, up until the present date.
But in any case: there is an arguable responsibility upon the shoulders of RAFVR Officers to fully-appreciate the the organisational differences between the RAFVR, the RAFR (including the RAuxAF) and the RAF.
If there was any real doubt as to this validity of this difference, we would not be seeing the transfer of the Training branch of the RAFVR into a new commissioned status within a revised Air Force formation called RAF Air Cadets.
A key point: this is neither a trivial matter, nor is it being pedantic.
Let me try to clarify this in another way: many people can accurately say that they had family and friends who were in the Navy during WW2. Or in the Army during WW2.
But: although many people [I]say[/I] they had family and friends who were ‘in the RAF during WW2’, for the vast majority of instances, that is technically-incorrect. Anyone called-up from civilian life for Air Force Service during WW2 actually served in the RAFVR, for embodied service with the RAF. I will emphasise: [U]With[/U] the RAF (embodied) but not [I]in[/I] the RAF.
I’ll try another valid comparison. I’m always uneasy about conceding any points of protocol being more-correct in the United States than in the United Kingdom. But on this topic, they have us beat.
If US citizens see people wearing Naval uniform, they will usually refer to them as being “in the Navy”.
If US citizens see people wearing appropriate military uniform, they will usually refer to them as being “in the Army”.
But if US citizens and other service personnel see people wearing USAF pattern uniform, they will NOT refer to those people as being ‘in the USAF’. They will say, [U]correctly[/U] that “those people are in the Air Force”.
Hopefully you follow my point. They understand (either exactly, or in general terms) that USAF uniform may be worn by:
- US Air Force active duty personnel
- US Air Force Reserve
- Air National Guard
- State Air Guard
- ROTC (USAF)
- JROTC (AF)
- Civil Air Patrol (USAF Aux)
- Military Academies running Air Programmes
Conversely, in the UK, everyone wearing an RAF pattern uniform is incorrectly-described as being “RAF”…they are not, and never have been. They are members of their own respective Air Force formations.
The regular Royal Air Force is very proud of it’s Reserve Forces and it’s Cadet Force. Collectively, these are all part of the RAF ‘family’.
But an Officer (or an Airman/Airwoman) that is a member of the RAuxAF…or the RAFR…or the RAFVR…or the RAFAC…is categorically NOT a direct member of the Royal Air Force. They are, alongside Officers and Other Ranks of the RAF, collectively, part of the Air Forces of the Crown.