Supernumerary roles

Would someone please explain what a wing supernumerary role means.

Not sure specifically what you mean by wing supernumerary roles, but a supernumerary role in general is when you have a primary role but are allocated also to somewhere else. For example, the region shooting officer’s primary role is region shooting officer, but he or she may also be supernumerary at 1234 whatever squadron. This meant that their unit is whatever region they’re the shooting officer of, say W&W, but they’ll also show up on 1234 squadrons books for things like the registers or adding to events.

The wing supernumerary role thing you talk of might be that someone’s primary role is wing warrant officer, but they can be supernumerary at 1234 squadron.

Hopefully that makes sense? You may already know all of the above and are specifically interested in ‘wing supernumerary roles’ but really not sure what is meant by that

They may be RSO or Sqn staff or they may be CCF and supernumerary to a wing staff role rather than a Sqn.

From the CCF perspective, it’s very unusual indeed for anyone to have as their primary role a non-cadet-facing one. We’ve only recently introduced equivalents to the RSO/WSO positions (most notably the TEST Mentors whose role is mostly support to the CEP units) and virtually anyone holding a staff post will be primarily an RAF section OC or officer.
When I first started dealing with the ACF and ATC I was staggered by the number of people on the books who basically never saw a cadet, except maybe on a course…

This is repeated for WOs & SNCOs as well as CIs in the relevant Personnel Instruction.

This definition from Wikionary matches us quite well;


A civil designation for somebody who works in a group, association or public office, without forming part of the regular staff; those distinguished from numerary.

A supernumerary member of staff does not impact on the unit’s establishment as detailed in ACP 20. An example could be that you live close to another unit and they parade on Wednesday’s when you have nothing else on so become supernumerary and support that unit in addition to your primary unit.

I have the strange situation where the Wing DofE Officer’s primary role is as a Sqn Officer of mine, and therefore acts as Supernumerary for the Wing, which is a little messed up when you consider it’s an established post that could be full on.

That I find really weird. It should either be that they’re in a primary role to the wing, and then supernumerary to a squadron. Or, in a secondary wing role, but their primary job would be in squadron. That doesn’t mean they are supernumerary to the wing though?

And presumably their rank reflects the WSO post not the Sqn one? Which is also odd.

Our wing rank structure is screwed, currently at Fg Off as they were when appointed to the role 18 months ago

Got to love lots of middle management!


The majority of our Wing SMEs are secondary (supernumerary) duties and I would have thought that’s fairly normal now with the numerous Bader role accounts compared to a bunch of multi-hatted WSOs that used to be the case in the past.

Me for example, my primary role is Sqn OC and my secondary role is Wing IT Officer. This is also the scenario for Aspire, Bandmaster, DofE, first aid, fieldcraft, Radio/cyber Officers.

It is the other way around for a couple, so the Wing Training Officer and Sports Officers primary are also Sqn OCs secondary. AT Officer is not an OC but still helps at his local Sqn.

Then the majority of Wing primary roles eg. Sect Cdrs and a select few SMEs e.g. Shooting do not have secondary duties.

Same with us :+1:

It’s quite the opposite for us. We have some quite random and unnecessary primary roles at wing level - which, IMO, has been at the detriment of Sqn staffing.

I can’t imagine having Sqn OC as a secondary role!

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This is the norm I think.

I have 2 secondary roles on top of Sqn

I think I’m now technically OC of an RAF section as a secondary role (because my rank derives from my staff role).