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First woman to command an RAF FJ sqn

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First woman to command an RAF FJ sqn

Old 11th Jan 2015, 09:28
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Never mind policemen looking younger, it doesn't half make you feel old when a new squadron commander has not served long enough to qualify for the Golden Jubilee gong! Where does the time go!
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Old 11th Jan 2015, 10:46
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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"PS. Interesting to note that the mud mover, female or not, has more operational medals than the AD chap!!"
Wasn't he was a Jag mate?

Does this mean all medals - unless attached to the Royal Household, shall be swing mounted - as per the chap above?
I take the edict to mean that those groups 'are to' have them court mounted, others can do as they please.
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Old 11th Jan 2015, 10:54
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Both just come off parade, UJ, although if you look closely I think the chap is just wearing a sword belt. - FOB

Thank you, FOB, that's what I imagined, but I still feel that it detracts from the main point .... especially if the drill is not quite 100%

Jack
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Old 11th Jan 2015, 11:41
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Personally, I don't think one can glean much, if anything, from how many medals someone has. Both OCs have richly deserved their appointments for being exceptional in their careers so far and I offer my warm congratulations to them.

Wg Cdr Elliott has a pedigree as an A/G QWI on the Jaguar and successfully converted to the Typhoon, where he was a lead individual in the development of its swing-role capability.

Equally, Wg Cdr Thomas has never failed to impress with her determination and skill, both in and out of the cockpit.

These appointments are very good news for UK Defence, the RAF and for those they are about to command and I wish them both luck as I know the next two years will go quickly.

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Old 11th Jan 2015, 14:45
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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I find the medal count interesting on a number of levels. I find it interesting that one could have avoided deployment for an entire career (not in the actively avoided sense) in an Air Force that has been at war for as long as I can remember. I think one can at least surmise that the share of deployment hasn't been equitable across the forces. Also, in times gone by (given the criteria for wearing the jubilee medals) we would be looking at an empty chest in the one case.

Still, until a few years ago this probably wouldn't have been a talking point and whole generations have gone through command opportunities without having enjoyed the privilege of combat.
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Old 11th Jan 2015, 22:21
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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When Sir Jock Slater became First Sea Lord in 1995 his total medal tally was KCB, LVO and the 1977 Silver jubilee medal. At the time I wrote (rather unfairly) to The Times commenting that Sir Jock had obviously followed W.S.Gilbert's advice and "stuck to his desk and never gone to sea", but they wisely did not publish the letter!
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Old 11th Jan 2015, 23:14
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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At the time I wrote (rather unfairly) to The Times commenting that Sir Jock had obviously followed W.S.Gilbert's advice and "stuck to his desk and never gone to sea", but they wisely did not publish the letter! -TTN

A wise decision indeed since, quite apart from time spent in training ships, Jock served in some ten seagoing ships, and commanded four of them, plus a major establishment, before becoming a Rear Admiral at 47.

Quite a few Admirals who had had substantial amounts of valuable sea service during the Cold War ended up with an empty chest until receiving a valedictory honour, a subject I have touched on before.

Jack
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 06:45
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Still, until a few years ago this probably wouldn't have been a talking point and whole generations have gone through command opportunities without having enjoyed the privilege of combat.
I am one of those. Started at "Sleaford Tech" in '72, flew Harriers in RAFG, Tornado GRs in UK and RAFG, left at 38/16 and joined the airline industry. Tally of gongs: 0. No war to go to, you see. Missed the Falklands because war ended before being posted for a Harrier refresher and not recalled from arduous airline duties to take part in GW1.

Yes, congratulations Roger '2-gong' Elliot. Is he moving them single-handedly, or getting some other buggers to do it for him?
When I was on 3(F) in the late 70s we had a new GLO join us, lovely chap, Major in the Green Howards. While being shown around the HAS site by a couple of us he spotted the boss's name on the side of a jet. GLO: "Does the Wing Commander fly? Us: "Yes" GLO: "Really? I thought he'd have a competent NCO to do that for him". Pongoes!

Don't know about FJs, but at one time the airline I worked for had more female pilots than any other in UK, (perhaps in the world?). In my experience there was no such thing as a mediocre one. They were either very, very good (the vast majority), or terrible.
That's broadly my experience of training female pilots in the airline I currently work for although I wouldn't use the word "terrible", just weak. The sad thing is that so few become trainers or managers.

Serious question: Is Wg Cdr Nikki likely to be the last Nav who commands an FJ squadron?

Last edited by Wingswinger; 12th Jan 2015 at 09:34.
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 08:02
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Wingswinger - me too!

During my 28 years in light blue there were two wars: Falklands and GW1, During both I was serving in the MoD in London.

So my tally of gongs when I retired was the same as yours: zero!
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 08:15
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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The things one learns on this thread!
Court mounted, or swing mounted...
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 08:22
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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Union-Jack - You are quite right of course, and in my defence I should say that the tone of my letter made it clear that it was just tongue in cheek and no reflection on Sir Jock personally. On a wider point, a lot of us who served in the 50's to 70's are used to the disparaging comments from some younger posters who have served through a period of continuous conflict and picked up a chestful of campaign medals on the way. One on here went so far as to describe the RAF that I served in as the "post war flying club". So here is a man who by accident (not design) has served through periods of conflict, but has been engaged elsewhere, obviously very effectively, given his new appointment.

Good luck to him!
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 08:36
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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TTN - Spot on, as ever.

Jack
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 09:18
  #73 (permalink)  
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Rather than deleting your comment, I think it should stand as a measure of how so far out of date you are, with your racist and misogynist , jokes straight out of a 1970s low-budget comedy.


TTN Just going to polish my gong!
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 13:39
  #74 (permalink)  

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During my 28 years in light blue there were two wars: Falklands and GW1, During both I was serving in the MoD in London
I take your point 1.3 and must applaud anyone good enough to command one of our dwindling number of FJ Sqns, but FI and GW 1 weren't the only "actions" in your time (although they were the only ones with dedicated medals).

Guessing roughly 1970-98 (?) for your service there were (depending on your Branch or Trade) opportunities to get 5 or 6 bars to the 1962 GSM (I'm sure TTN will give us the right number!). Loan service in Oman or Brunei could also attract "local" medals (and incomers in the former case!)

Edited to add:

And I forgot UN and NATO medals.......
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 15:25
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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I joined in '85 and got my first medal (NATO (FRY) 10 years later; on average it's been one every 3 years since, based on going on operations - so they are all round ones. And I am decidedly ground-based and particularly blunt - and that time also includes a number of years away from the mainstream UK Forces where there was no prospect of getting medals.

Another, more positive way of looking at it, is that Wg Cdr Elliot has been lucky not to lose - as I have - about two years of time away from his loved ones.
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 16:48
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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I'm sure TTN will give us the right number!
Apparently six, and you'd have to have got about a bit to achieve that. I only got one clasp on mine, which in turn is my only medal. Shows you how times have changed. On the rare occasions we wore No 1s I used to get asked where I had got the GSM - these days someone would say - "only one medal?"
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 16:59
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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There have been a number of operational deployments possible that haven't had their own gongs. I have several extremely capable friends who found that their pursuit of experience before 2003 ensured they became SAS (South Atlantic Specialists).
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 17:18
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To add to Mr C Hinecaps comments, don't forget that plenty of people have done deployments to certain countries in support of current ops that doesn't qualify them for the appropriate medal. Applies mostly to non-flying branches but plenty of aircrew go to certain places for 6 to 9 months depending on their appointment and are just as involved in ops but don't get the gong. We shouldn't immediately jump to conclusions on peoples op experience by their medals.
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 17:39
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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30mRad,

Well put Sir. It is most disappointing that many of the younger generation are so ignorant of the total involvement of people on Ops. Many in CAOCs and other HQs let alone other support functions equally put in their time away and perform critical tasks.

I fail to understand why a few consider themselves better than others just because they have performed their duty as directed. Even in the 80s everyone serving in the USAF had to do a "remote" (6-12 months) to be promoted. It prompted a healthy attitude where people volunteered to go on Ops rather than shy away! I recall at one time 11Gp could not find a single Single List SO2 to go to MPA. There were some, particularly those who were leaving, who would resist any Out of Area.
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Old 12th Jan 2015, 17:54
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To add to Mr C Hinecaps comments, don't forget that plenty of people have done deployments to certain countries in support of current ops that doesn't qualify them for the appropriate medal. Applies mostly to non-flying branches but plenty of aircrew go to certain places for 6 to 9 months depending on their appointment and are just as involved in ops but don't get the gong. We shouldn't immediately jump to conclusions on peoples op experience by their medals.

Quite. I am coming to the end of another 6 months away in a hardship post (but I do get to wear a greatcoat qv). No medal this time, either. And I return here in another 2 months for another 5 months unaccompanied. Joy!!

But to get to Wg Cdr GD without a single campaign gong is extremely rare.
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