WO Rank Slides

Quick Question

What other WOs are allowed to wear the tate and lyle style rank slides.

I know the 6 Regional WOs, previous regular WOs and the CACWO, any other ones?

All 12 command WOs, which is the RWOs, CACWO, the D&C WO, the Corps Training WO and The Corps Bandmaster. I believe the other 2 are “reserved”, unless I have missed someone.

On top of that, previous regular WOs and any ex-AWO who has been in long enough to have earned the right by time served back when that was a thing. I don’t think that last category appears in any current docs, but it is still a thing.

Any sometime after October 2020 it will be all WOs both RAF and RAFAC except for those whose primary post is at a VGS who will be Master Aircrew.

But presumably the same rule will apply, just with the MACr badge?

So just to check that I fully understand this, please:

Following compliance with all required SNCO-To-WO matrix elements (including a baseline requirement of 8yrs service): if a FS RAFAC is being promoted from April 2020 onwards, to WO RAFAC (or MACR RAFAC, where appropriate), then they will wear the full traditional Royal Arms badge in all cases?

And that ALL existing non-T&L WOs/'MACR’s do also exchange their crowns for T&Ls??

Meaning that the intermediate rank-badge for AWO (ie the solitary crown ‘WO3’) will disappear totally and forever for all current & future WOs RAFAC from that TBA date next year?


Curious in many ways that it will be ALL of our RAFAC WOs, forever.

So, within the RAFAC at present, those WOs wearing the Royal Arms are either just those in higher formation command positions, or via previous service.

And that mirrors the arrangements in the other Cadet Forces (eg the ACF) where the post and rank of RSMI (wearing the Royal Warrant) is limited only to those fulfilling that command role, ie the ACF continues to retain the rank of SMI (ie WOs wearing a wreathed crown).

When I’d quickly read the RAFAC IBN about this previously, I did presume there was still a local command requirement as a criterion for the award/wearing of the Royal Warrant badge, but it now appears I was totally-wrong about that.

So that certainly explains the supply challenges, if every single adult WO in the RAFAC will be wearing T&Ls, irrespective of whether they are SqnWO or WgO for X/Y/Z etc

IIRC Air Cadet WOs could wear T&Ls until the mid 1980s after 8 years as a AWO, as I remember many moans among the AWOs when this stopped and everyone wore single crowns. I seem to recall this was something to do with some RAF teddy chucking.
The fact in it’s true let’s do our way fashion the Air Cadets invented it’s own set of rules IMO to appease a few who see themselves as something special. I do wonder if they would revert to the single crowns, given the T&L seems linked to the post, if they stopped being whatever.

Having a discussion with my RWO over this a few weeks ago. It sounds like the FS to WO Matrix is going to be rewritten in line with the swap over…what the new requirements look like…not a clue.

I’m expecting to see required length of service as a sgt and fs to increase

Increased length of service would only work if there are enough opportunities and no artificial exclusion rules.
Bit TBPH I don’t see what benefit being a lifelong SNCO CFAV has to the individual, as currently there is only one route to follow. Now, if, there was a “trade” type approach in the SNCO side which meant people rose to the top of their trade, without the need to be overly involved if at all in the “shouty” side, as happens in the Armed Forces, then there is some purpose.
But I still maintain that we should lose the “you’ve got to be …” mind set when it comes to running squadrons.
I think part of the matrix for WO must be roles such as Adj and TO, don’t have those and been it for at least 2 years each, then no WO. These are there but I don’t know how much if any weighting there is for them when it comes to decision time.
This then means a more rounded individual rather than someone who in the current set up can shout, iron clothes and shine footwear.

Which is fine but what if the roles of TO & Adj are already filled on a unit? Requiring OC’s to move staff around who may be doing a perfectly good job purely so that someone else can get promoted is a terrible idea. It’s almost as bad as my previous Sector Commanders bright idea to make my Adj go to a different unit for 6 months because they had been Commissioned, my question of whether the Sector Commander was going to be covering as my Adj for 6 months did not get a positive response!

I do agree that Staff who are experts in other areas shouldn’t be hamstrung for not doing the Drill stuff to the Nth degree however, I know of a FS who was an ML who was criticised for not coming and staffing the Wing Drill Courses who pointed out that he could and did run Gold Expedia but that the WWO couldn’t so maybe there was a place for horses for Courses!


I think that non drill orientated SNCO mentality is growing though…sure It would be nice to have more DIs etc in the wing but we work with what weve got, if a snco wants to help on a course and they arent a DI they arent turned away… just aslong as they teach correctly and to the required standard ( they will probably be encouraged to attend a DI course)

In my wing FA, Sports, Radio & Comms is all headed up by a member of the SNCO cadre…because that’s their speciality. Alot also are heavily AT orientated

The only clear expectation is that the SNCO is responsible to ensure drill and dress standards are maintained as per the manuals. They are not accountable, that’s the ocs job to make sure the SNCO is doing that. However if that’s not their biggest passion and purpose they arent penalised for it

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I think it’s healthy to move staff around within the squadron, otherwise they become a bit too polarised, it has caused me some arguments and toy throwing, but at the end, while enjoy is the wrong word, things have been learned and better understood. The more ostentatious might call it development, to accrue brownie points.
Also knowing a bit of everything, where you don’t need a specific qualification, is bloody useful if you get dumped on, as has, can and does happen in the Air Cadets. I recall my first command I’d been TO but never really got involved in the general admin side, so it was an eye opener. No such thing as email in the air cadets then and god help you if you didn’t use a 4A for notes/memos.

However I’m not a fan of moving around between squadrons just for the sake of it. If you want to do it fine, but it is for a set period and then RTU, but I also feel if this happens it should be on a purely reciprocal basis, otherwise a member of staff you have nurtured is lost.

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Regarding Tate & Lyle rank slides. We are to be allowed to wear them but not before October 2020. Reading into the IBN it states (maybe I am interpreting this wrongly) that all WOs will be entitled to wear them providing they have completed their matrix and have 8 years done in that role. So Sgt. (4 years), Flt. Sgt. (4 years), then to WO for another eight years before they can wear them - total 16 years. Please correct me if I have read this wrong or is it 8 years at SNCO, then once promoted to WO you can wear them.

Can be worn on promotion to rank WO immediately but must have already completed 8 years service in line with the promotion matrix. Just poorly worded. The question was asked when the IBN first came out.

Date is still TBD but would be no later than October this year… Should be comms soonish.

My personal and non RAFAC opinion is that October date will be pushed back due to the lockdown effecting supply as they want a central point of sourcing as there are some gash versions out there

Yes that’s what I though 8 years as SNCO then promoted to WO, as you you said poorly worded. Regarding rank slides I know some have bought them so maybe they will still allow them to be worn in October if enough say they have them. The crown on No. 1 will also have to be replaced with the coat of arms also.

It’s a wait out situation… Believe the plan is to issue one set per person and then green light the wearing of them

The usual lack of comms. Maybe something will come out shortly.

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What about those who are WO’s who haven’t done the full 8 years? (I know a few SNCO’s who are OC’s and 1 WWO who all were WO with less than 8 years…

Your guess is as good as mine