Should the ATC adopt the rank of Lance Corporal?

As requested.


I think it would be a good chance for prospective NCOs to show their stuff, as I don’t think acting corporals are taken seriously.

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I think it would be good, it would almost be a pre JNCO course rank where they can demonstrate some form of authority and start to home their leadership skills.

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I can’t really see the need.

Given the lower leaving age these days we seem to be promoting younger to each rank as it is…


I’m actually in favour of reducing the upper age limit for cadets… but again that is another discussion.


Don’t really see the need.

Existing structure has served since when cadets was in black and white, I’m not sure what this change would actually provide? If someone didn’t respect an acting cpl, why would they respect a Lance?


The obvious question is why?

The answer is that pretty much everyone else in the world has discovered that 8 people is simply too many for one person, who is busy with their own admin, to manage. 8 is also too unweildy for many situations and environment - and is too many for most jobs. That means splitting the party, which means having two leaders.

Unlike the OP I don’t believe that L/Cpl is a probationary rank, it’s a rank/appointment that carries responsibilities, and potentially serious ones.

Several of the Sqns I’ve been on have had Cpl’s as section Cdrs, with a second Cpl who acts as the section 2I/C and who takes one of the teams if the section is split into two.

I don’t see a need to introduce a new rank with all the admin drivel that it would mean in this admin obsessed organisation, but I do think that sections do need two JNCO’s, and it’s pretty easy for the OC to nominate one as the Section Cdr and the other as 2I/C.

I believe the term acting is why people do so.

Although I do believe the main part of the problem is the attitudes and discipline instilled on a particular squadron.

Would the same cadets disrespect an Acting Pilot Officer?

I don’t think it has anything to do with the rank, it’s about the training that person has had, their attitudes, and those of the person newly promoted. Both of which will still exist with a Lance corporal.


To be honest I don’t see the need for CWO, let alone another rank below Cpl.

One rank for leaders
One rank for leaders of leaders
One rank for the highly-experienced ones taking more of a staff role and mentoring other SNCOs

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Very true. However, your argument is flawed.

It isn’t in the regs, so when on events with other units, these ‘acting corporals’ go back to being cadets, no?

On Squadron it may be okay, but you look a bit stupid when said ‘acting corporals’ go around telling everyone they are one and people say ‘hang on, they don’t exist, shut up’. Undermines your argument because Acting Pilot Officers actually exist.

Hence why I’m saying it’s to do with the people, not the rank.

If they’re good enough for Corporal, give them Corporal. Within any promotion is a probation period, see how they develop and progress, as well as react to the training they’ll be given.

And then they’re also not doing it with one hand tied behind their back.

Think we’re basically agreed on the main point though. No need to fix what isn’t broken.


Nah, if you must have one below Cpl, give them a LAC or SAC (Leading/Senior Air Cadet). Mirrors parent service and can distinguish between NCOs and more senior cadets who can take charge if need be.

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There is a decent idea. Not bad at all.

We already have leading and senior though, wouldn’t that confuse things?

And the parent service does have L/Cpls, albeit in a limited sense.

Issue is it is not a rank as such, but a classification. For desired effect it would need to be on a rank slide.

That is how cadets visually differentiate NCOs and Cadets.

They decided to bring in Master classifications, they can jiggle around with it. Or make the senior classification into that rank.

And in my 8 years in I still haven’t encountered a non-army LCpl.

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What abour combining the classification system into the rank structure. Using experience, skills and knowledge to combine the two. A rough blue sky thinking idea below

Junior Cadet - newbie
First Class - Mentor to the newbies.
Leading (Corporal) - general control of cadets
Senior (Lead Corporal/Sergeant) - Flight Commander. Duty NCO Role
MAC (Sgt/FS) - Senior Role within Sqn. Duty SNCO
Instructor Cadet (CWO) - Senior NCO on Squadron. Support staff team in a role.

They brought it in after I left, so I never encountered one either, but they’re out there… Somewhere…

It is, but with 2 things called the same there’s a risk of confusion.

Just make that into the LAC rank, kill two birds with one stone. LAC doesn’t mean anything in the RAF anyway, just means you’ve somehow scrapped through the 60% pass mark of training.

And yeah I get the confusion side of things. I’ve got a friend who works in ATC and is an SI in the ATC. Can’t keep on top of it.

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I’d counter that the only reason the RAF has “senior” SACs is because they would have to pay them more as LCpls I’m not convinced by that for our purposes.

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