People obsessing over the chain of command when there are no cadets about completely throws me. By all means if there are cadets present sir/ma'am and salute all you want we have to show a good example, but when we are all grown ups together people need to get a life. I've seen Sqn Ldr's get a huff because they weren't saluted by a Flt Lt when the only people present were the group of Flt Lt's he was talking to!
If someone at work started telling me they were a Sqn Ldr and needed calling Sir all the time they would get ripped to pieces and put on public display!
Funnily with cadets calling staff members sir outside the organisation, I was at a Wedding earlier this year sitting at a Table with my old WO and a former Cadet from many years age, she consistently kept calling him Sir all night without even realising she was doing it, had us and her other half in fits of giggles!