Raf 100



  • Commissioning scroll reads: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
  • Letter of Appointment states: "Appointed to a commission in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
  • We’re granted Honorary Member status of the Officers Mess.
  • We’re granted membership of the RAF Club which is open to:

A) Anyone who holds or has held a commission in:
The Royal Air Force.
The Women’s Auxilliary Air Force and The Women’s Royal Auxilliary Air Force.
The Women’s Royal Air Force
The Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service.
The Royal Auxiliary Air Forces.
The Royal Air Force Reserve and Volunteer Reserve (including VR[T]) forces.
Commonwealth or foreign Air Forces.

  • RAFVR(T) are permitted to wear the RAF TRF.
  • RAFVR(T) wear an RAF uniform and rank insignia.
  • RAFVR(T) can be subjected to Courts-Martial procedures.

Silly me for thinking that I’m a member of a Reserve Air Force of the Crown :joy:

[Edited to add: I forgot to mention that VR(T) officers are subject to the "Manual of Air Force Law].


@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
  • JROTC (AF)
  • Civil Air Patrol (USAF Aux)
  • Military Academies running Air Programmes
  • etc

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.


Nice post


However you look at it at time of flux in the Corps for a Gp Capt, who I now assume is no longer in the “RAF”, to stand up and say that without clarification is poor, but little more than you can come to expect…
I think the jury’s still out for many as to whether they remain as officers or bin it (by degrees) so something morale busting regardless of how technically correct, is as I say poor.

As for “RAF family”, many people in RAFA never feel they’ve been supported by the RAF on leaving unless the RAF wants something from them and many view the visits they do as little more than a PR exercise, and they do what they do in RAFA as they see a value to it and supporting colleagues old and young and the value what the cadets do. Pretty much like many in the ATC, the RAF seems to want us as part of their family, but as we are distant cousins you sense we have become increasingly tolerated for an occasional invite or when they want to “borrow something”.


Whilst I don’t disagree with you Wilf (and I never stated in my post that we were regular RAF or RAuxAF), what I’ve found since being commissioned is that you’re an RAF Officer (of whatever flavour) when they want heads to roll and you’re not an RAF Officer when they feel like it.

You must remember the ‘One Force Concept’ and the mantra of the early 90’s - “One Air Force, indivisible and indistinguishable”

Clearly, the Gp Capt who was alleged to have told VR(T) officers that they ‘weren’t in the RAF’ completely forgot about that.


The 5K per region will pay for coach hire, the slop food provided in various barracks where the parade will start from and of course cleaning materials for mirrors to remove lipstick/kiss marks for all those squadron leaders organising amazing and awesome parades…Sorry having gone through cadet 150 and ATC75 I expect to be underwhelmed by those seeking MBEs…