Retention of rank on resignation

Does anyone know what the regs are regarding the retention of rank after resignation from the RAFAC.

I seem to remember that you had to have been commissioned for at least 10 years before you could retain and be entitled to were uniform at certain events.

Unfortunately, I can’t find it in 1919.

I’ve seen entries in the London Gazette for RAFVR(T) officers when retiring which say: ‘retaining the rank of…’
so it would appear that the same courtesy is extended to us.

My father-in-law received a letter upon his retirement stating that he retained his rank and had been granted permission to wear uniform on certain occasions.

My understanding is that after 10yrs comissioned service, you will be permitted to retain the most senior rank that you have held continuously for a minimum of 1 year or an aggregate period of 2 years.

I think this was discussed on these boards within the last 6mths or so, so a search may well yield more results.

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Apparently it’s been confirmed that QR3002 says that you must be a substantive Flt Lt or above to retain rank on retirement (acting is specifically for an ‘officer of the regular air force’) and the previous VRT practice was incorrect. This has now been removed for CFC and any further VRT retirements.

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On the CF commission page on defence gateway there’s the practice the ACF and CCF will follow, but whether this practice is common to all cadet forces is unknown. I wouldn’t assume just because RAFAC has the same commission as the ACF this would be standardised!!

Do people in the ATC really want to retain a rank? I can see it if you were a Wing Commander but as Sqn Ldr and below? I always thought it was reserved for those who had been regular but my information is based on what was in my head…


Of course… I once saw a card with
Plt Off VR(T) RTD

The never even got to iot!!!

I don’t see why not - from my point of view I’d imagine that (if granted the right) I’d mostly just use it if invited to a dining-in-night.

Dining in nights & Squadron Award nights are the obvious 2.


As volunteers like us in a cadet force, I imagine it comes down to how important your rank it was to you as an individual, outside of Air Cadets and the pretend military. I would have considered it somewhat gauche and extremely vain to use it as it would have alluded to something I wasn’t. Even now after having hung my hat up for several years, although I could wear uniform it would IMO just be fancy dress. A bit different if you actually properly served in that rank. But I know a few retired senior RAF officers Wg Cdr and above through RAFA, who never wear a uniform, they are now quite comfortable in blazer and trousers, which is how it should be.


I’d hope that no one would be using it like the character in Fawlty Towers in their retirement home “Morning Flying Officer” but I can’t see the harm in still wearing uniform to Squadron Dining In Nights especially for those still involved in the Organisation. (My Chairman is a retired VRT Flt Lt and he wears uniform on Remembrance Day and still takes part in the parade).


My Rank isn’t that important to me at all - in fact I try and avoid using it when I’m doing cadet stuff. I’ve found that in the majority of situations when speaking to adults “Hi, I’m Bob, pleased to meet you” as opposed to “Hi, I’m Flt Lt Smith” is more productive, and doesn’t make you sound like a prize throbber. I can’t imagine any situation where I might use Flt Lt (Retd).

As I actively shun the majority of uniformed social events (my Wing seems to specialise in organising the type of tedious evening that makes an evening sat in the local McDonald’s, surrounded by fighting chavs, seem like a glamourous affair), I doubt I will ever wear uniform once I’ve left.

That said, the right to use the post nominals RAFVR(T) Retd was one of those silly little benefits that was practically useless, but made you feel that the RAF/ATC were gratefull for the time and effort you have put in running a sqn/being a WSO, and was a tangible reminder of your service. I suppose it’s similar to the fact that I felt sad, and a little betrayed when the VR(T) commission was removed, even though I had no pretentions that I was on the same level as other RAF officers.


I always used my first name, as funnily enough I wasn’t Christened Flight Lieutenant.

TBH the couple I went to as a WO, the food in McDonalds is of better quality and more likely to be hot when you get it. I won’t go to these dinners on the principle that I like my food hot, unless it’s something that’s meant to be served cold and I like to pick what I want, not set menu.

The problem now seems to be practically every squadron does one of these and seems to attract the same crowd, ie those with no interests outside the ATC, and they normally invite some with lots of braid. But at £30-£40 a time and never in a place shy of charging for drinks these dinners are not cheap, then if you drink it’s £x for a room or £x for a taxi. We do what we call a dining out with the cadets and normally descend on somewhere we know they’ll like the food.
Our Legion branch goes to a Toby twice a year, which is always agreeable, plus we take vouchers as well, kerching.


But that specify for those on the Active List… I don’t think VR officers in the T branch were ever on the Active List?

We had an ex Sqn Ldr who had the highly respected and stress-ridden job of running AP stores at RAF Marham in the early 90’s and he liked to remind everybody that he left the RAF as a Sqn Ldr.

All it did was encourage more people to call him Mr.

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It’s nice to see you were / are in the ACO for the right reason - for the cadets and not for stripes on your sleeve or medals on your chest. There are so many ‘Officers’ who think they are like the regulars and should be treated as such - sorry for those who think like that as they a light years from the truth and should be called Walter Mitty! Only a small percentage of the regulars use their Rank (Retd), it’s all a bit pompus to me.

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Whilst I agree that that is indeed the case, I’ve come across an equal number of SNCO’s and WO’s who think the same way, so to tar officers only, is a tad disingenuous.

You might also have forgotten that there are a lot of ACO personnel who have served and deserve the medals they wear on their chest.

Really? I’ve come across an awful lot that do.

Would you know when you have met one that does not? How do the ratios work out?

Simply put, out of the retired RAF personnel that I know or have come across, the vast majority tend to use\have used retired post-nominals.

During my limited service in the RAF I thought I held the rank of Officer Cadet (and before some know-it-all jumps in, I know OC is not a rank). On my “retirement” I discovered that I had actually been an AC2 TAG.

Sad to think after reading the above, that I will have to avoid using the title “AC2 Retd”.

My pension scheme still persists in addressing me as “Captain”, but they are the only ones.

However, I might be entitled to the Cold War medal. I could check, but my sock drawer needs tidying.

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I always that that entitlement to retain/use rank upon retirement was limited to field ranks - Major/Sqn Ldr/Lt Cdr and above - though the donkey wallpapers got concessions to use Captain if they ended up working in the equestrian industry (I know, don’t ask…).

Is that true, or is this evidence of some other tedious drivel from tedious people that I wasn’t really paying attention to?

Actually, E2A: wouldn’t the above apply to substantive rank, not acting rank, which has an impact on VR(T) and CFC holders and former holders…?