View Full Version : Which wings to wear on transfer to another Service?

6th Nov 2008, 11:47
Q on another UK forum. Army NCO pilot has transferred to the RN, and will be commissioned after BRNC.

Which wings should he wear? Army or RN?

Background Noise
6th Nov 2008, 12:03
It's a uniform thing, not a 'what you earned' thing - so it should be RN wings if employed as aircrew. I was presented with USAF wings but uniform is RAF wings. The place to get away with alternatives is on mess kit - although it still isn't correct.

6th Nov 2008, 12:17
Utter rubbish. He should wear the wings that he has been presented with. The wings he earned. You cannot wear a set of wings when you have not been presented with them. If he wears RN Wings at BRNC then he will be booted down the hill.

6th Nov 2008, 12:20
Not quite the same ballpark, but I joined BRNC with a guy who had been a TA Para. He wore RN para wings on his (as they were then) No.5s.

6th Nov 2008, 12:28
All the RN observers that I knew and who transferred across to be (then) navigators all wore the RAF brevet on transfer. If they had kept their Navy version where would they have worn it? Arm or chest? And could they have sewn it on to their woolly pully (the RN don't but the RAF do). In this case, if he maintains his Army wings, does that mean that the AAC to RN transferee can wear his Army wings on his white shirt (the AAC wear wings in shirt order). And again, where does he wear them on his Service Dress/Mess kit?

Not sure what those who have transferred from another nations service do (i.e the Kiwi FJ pilots) but, officially, I'm sure they wear RAF Wings once they have formally transferred into the RAF. And what of those who have transferred from a UK Service to another nation - must be plenty of those lurking these boards. Do you wear the wings you were presented with or the wings of the Service/Arm you are know in?

6th Nov 2008, 12:33
I remember some pilots wore the wings of "another service" on the opposite side (above the pocket) of their "A-1" uniforms for special or formal occasions. Same applies to medals and ribbons you received from "another service".
In the Belgian Air Force (which had RAF uniform traditions), the Belgian wings would be worn above the L pocket, and the RAF or USAF wings on the R side, if you were trained or served with them. The French do wear their wings on the R side of their uniform.
Ask your Wing Commander...!
Happy contrails

6th Nov 2008, 12:39
Speroid - look at it this way - once you've left for good any of the Services, you don't wear that uniform, end of story. Why, having left the Army, would he carry on wearing any item/badge from his prior service?

OK, I know that retired RAF wear wings on their jim-jams, but apart from that...:}

6th Nov 2008, 12:41
I agree with Spheroid, you wear the wings you have been presented with. If presented with more than one type you can then decide. There are some uniforms which look awful with other service wings on them, I know a few who displayed the correct service wings on said uniform but had original wings inside the jacket lapel.

Someone transferred to the RN......... really!

6th Nov 2008, 12:42
I was crewman (33 Sqn) for the 'loony one', on his trip from Odi to Cranwell, where he went in Capt Loony, and came out Flt Lt Loony.

He subsequently wore AAC wings, on the left- not sure if they ever changed.


6th Nov 2008, 12:44
The Prince of Wales,

RAF wings with the RAF
RN wings with the RN
AAC wings with the Army

AFAIR he was presented with RAF wings at Cranwell and didn't do the appropriate RN or AAC Flying Courses.

6th Nov 2008, 13:54
I have come across some 'transferees' wearing wings which have been specially made with one half of their original 'wing' and the other half the wing of their new cap badge......

Union Jack
6th Nov 2008, 14:01
AA - Quite an interesting thread and, looking at your input at 1239, I am prompted to ask what the ruling was regarding the wearing of your very special wings in different naval uniforms?


PS I'm also reminded that I have yet to see a response to my PM of 24 April on a very similar subject .....:)

Background Noise
6th Nov 2008, 14:08
Dress regs are pretty specific, and not based on personal feelings.

0701. Only authorised RAF badges (including aircrew badges) are to be worn on RAF and PMRAFNS uniforms


c. A foreign flying badge is not to be worn with RAF uniform. This regulation does not preclude RAF personnel from accepting the presentation of a foreign flying badge

are both to be found here: RAF - Uniforms (http://www.raf.mod.uk/organisation/uniforms.cfm)

I presume QRs will have the gen.

6th Nov 2008, 14:18
AA - Quite an interesting thread and, looking at your input at 1239, I am prompted to ask what the ruling was regarding the wearing of your very special wings in different naval uniforms?

My green career was after my time in dark blue - I was barely out of nappies when I went to BRNC. My guess is that like my TA Para mate, I'd have had to wear RN wings. A "special" mate went to Cranners after his time in green - I'll have to ask him what he wore before he got his P brevet.

I have yet to see a response to my PM of 24 April


Not Long Here
6th Nov 2008, 14:26

Art Field
6th Nov 2008, 14:51
In days of yore when gaining your wings in Canada under the NATO scheme we were presented with small size NATO wings but never allowed to wear them. Pity really because they were rather neat.

Union Jack
6th Nov 2008, 15:39



6th Nov 2008, 15:45
Notwithstanding any rules etc, I'd imagine that wearing another Service's Wings would soon get tedious, explaining to all and sundry why etc.

Bit like having your arm in a cast, you soon get fed up of explaining what you did.:)

6th Nov 2008, 15:55
IMHO it should be what you earned, not where you have gone. There are a number of RAF pilots with AAC wings and AAC pilots with RN wings. May be some AAC or RN with RAF but not seen

Regulations are only for the insanely board or upwardly mobile (unless it is going to stop you getting your ass shot off!!!)

6th Nov 2008, 20:10
At a secret airbase in Shropshire, we have a pilot who is ex Army and now RAF, he wears army wings and a hybrid brevet (army/RAF) on his flying suits, but on his No1's he wears RAF brevet. Starting to see a lot more crossovers coming through now, couple on the courses at the moment. They're obviously seeing the light (blue).

6th Nov 2008, 21:52
Having recently transfered from the AAC to the RAF, I am proud to wear my army wings on my flying suit and RAF wings on my shiney new blue uniform. That is also how many others who have also transfered play it too.

Therefore, in answer to the original, I believe he should wear RN wings on his new uniform and AAC on his flying rig if he wishes.

6th Nov 2008, 21:53
I wear the wings of the Service I'm in at the time, it's a mark of respect to the guys you serve with - different for exchange guys, obviously. Most guys keep their original issue wings for the reverse of their mess kit lapel. Those who say you should wear your original issued wings are wrong and are, most probably, still living in the 1950's. As long as your friends are happy with your uniform then who cares.

7th Nov 2008, 07:56
Sorry to interject, but back in 98 at the Mildenhall Air Fete, they had an MH-60G Pave Hawk from the now disbanded 55th SOS at Hulbert Field and the A/C wore a velcro wings patch with BOTH USN and USAF wings. Basically he started off as a Naval aviator then transferred to the USAF.

But I am gathering from the discussion here that here in UK, there is no velcro wings patch for combo of RAF/AAC/FAA wings

Old Fella
7th Nov 2008, 08:39
Seems like a very simple thing to sort out. Your UNIFORM is specific to whichever service you are a member of. The badges applicable to the particular service in which one serves are those which should be worn on your UNIFORM.

7th Nov 2008, 08:55
Notwithstanding the earlier quote from RAF regs (which seems only to exclude foreign badges), ISTR an obscure mixture of regs from earlier cases.

RAF and Army wings may legally be worn on each other's uniform, but only until unless/until you qualify for the "home" set. Examples I'm aware of include RAF pilots who joined Army and/or TA in non-flying roles (still wear RAF wings) and Army pilots transferring who wear theirs until awarded RAF wings.

The RN (as ever) is different. IIRC, under RN rules, no other (non-RN) wings may be worn on their uniform, nor may RN wings be worn on non-RN (OK pedants, or RM) uniforms.

Pontius Navigator
7th Nov 2008, 08:57

Except in the bar on Friday happy hour when they wore black T-shirts and RAF wings.:}

7th Nov 2008, 11:01
If it's any help........

I joined the RAF in 1980 having been an Army trained Lieutenant Royal Marines Heli pilot, followed by 3 years as a Flight Lieutenant Heli pilot in SOAF.

As I was joining the RAF as GD(P) I wore RAF wings on all my relevant uniforms. At that time I was told I couldn't wear a Commando Dagger, although I believe they do now.

On the same SERE Course was a former Para Regt Heli pilot, and as he was joining the Fighter Control Branch he was not allowed to wear pilots wings of any description, anywhere.


im from uranus
7th Nov 2008, 11:16

Not even on his underpants?:yuk:

Flik Roll
7th Nov 2008, 11:31
Why don't we go tri-service on wings :eek: Like the civs at DEFTS etc.

*stands back and awaits incoming*


7th Nov 2008, 13:37
I wear my N on my army No1s, 2s and mess kit - no actual equivalent of an N in green and I'm not in a flying role.

Two's in
8th Nov 2008, 15:34

: having always the same form, manner, or degree : not varying or variable <uniform procedures>
: presenting an unvaried appearance of surface, pattern, or color

8th Nov 2008, 16:27
There is a RAF Air Trafficker who joined the RN as an observer. He passed Culdrose but then got chopped on his Lynx conversion. He went over to Pinger SK and got chopped there. Then he went RN ATC but didn't do well enough at it for the RN to be happy. The RAF took him so he transferred to a light blue hue. BUT he 'elected' to wear a RAF Navigator's brevet as he'd been awared hs RN 'moth'. He's never been RAF aircrew and never will. I wasn't happy when I saw it on his No 1s. :suspect:

8th Nov 2008, 20:04
I have seen a ex RNZAF pilot who transferred to the RAF, still wearing his RNZAF wings on his flying suit.
Not thats its a problem, as they still look good.

Wonder if he wears 'New Zealand' Shoulder Flashes aka WW2 on his No.1's?

8th Nov 2008, 20:54
I went RN to RAF 7 years ago, on leaving RN the only letter I got was one pointing out that I wasn't allowed to wear the uniform anymore, just as well really as the bits I did not give away it went on ebay.
Turned up in the office wearing a jumper with no wings and Flt Cdr was quite shocked as I could be mistaken for a blunty, when asked which ones I should wear we decided on RAF as that was who I work for now and the Navy ones would look silly on an RAF uniform, sensible decision.
I do now have a couple name badges with RN and RAF wings but that works well where I work is truly tri service.
Frankly this all seems a lot of fuss about nothing, you wear the uniform of the service you work for, if you are really that hung up about wearing the wings you earned in training why are you leaving in the first place?

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