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Senior Appointments

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Senior Appointments

Old 23rd Feb 2017, 20:19
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Senior Appointments

Having seen the latest round of Senior RAF Appointments, one announcement is intriguing. Why would the position of Station Commander at what is about to become the RAF's premier multi-role base (Typhoon / MPA) be given to an "acting" Group Captain? I'd have thought with such a prominent base, a substantive Gp. Capt. would be a pre- requisite for command.
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Old 23rd Feb 2017, 22:32
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Because finding people wanting to work at Lossie is difficult across the ranks?
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 07:54
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Because he is a "Chosen One" and they don't want to waste any time in propelling him up the promotion ladder?
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 08:21
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Because finding people wanting to work at Lossie is difficult across the ranks?
What ever happened to, "Hands up if you think you're not going to Lossie- you there, why is your hand up?"

Otherwise known as the 'do as yer 'kin told' principle.

CG
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 08:36
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you would think there are a few dozen Air Marshals going spare....
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 08:52
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I was spared the massive inconvenience* of a posting to Lossie after [a] threatening to PVR if sent there, and [b] someone else getting acting rank** and being given the job instead.


* OH had just been posted to Bracknell, so it would have been an unaccompanied tour
** Back then, SATCO was a wg cdr post, as he also managed Kinloss ATC.
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 09:34
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If its the same chap Edwardspannerhands, he's come a long way since his Top Gear days...... :-)
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 17:57
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MPN11 - that thought crossed my mind. However, if that were to be the case then surely he'd be given the command as a substantive Gp. Capt. not acting?.

Just seems strange as the usual statement for Front Line Stations goes along the lines of..."Wg Cdr Bowden- Cable promoted to Gp. Capt. and assumes command of RAF Last of the Many in Octobuary 20XX."

There must be a few candidates within the plethora of Gp. Capts. at Air Command who are in line for a
Station Command - and despite the location - being "Boss" at any Station is a big tick towards the next rung on the hallowed ladder.

Could another reason be a possible return of an AOC (Scotland)? Thus having an Air Rank at said location would negate the need for a Gp Capt Staish.
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 18:51
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Edward ... Acting is surely just a case of "Has made the list but all substantive posts have been filled". Thus a vacancy comes up, and away you go [as Acting] ... provided, as it used to be, that you meet the Job Spec for the appointment.

I've been there! Didn't get a post as Acting wg cdr, even though probably the best qualified guy in the Branch, as I was blocked by AOC [due to serving spouse, basically, as an independent Unit Cdr]. So a mate got it [as Acting wg cdr]. A couple of years later I was Substantive, as was able to fill an appointment where the only bit of the Job Spec was my rank and the fact that I was alive

Nigel and I went Substantive on the same List
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 19:27
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I am confused, if he is eligible for promotion and there is a post that needs filling, and he is selected for it, why 'acting'? And for disciplinary issues, does the fact that he is acting effect what he could oversee? And is there a time limit on him remaining acting?
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 19:51
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Originally Posted by MPN11 View Post
Edward ... Acting is surely just a case of "Has made the list but all substantive posts have been filled". Thus a vacancy comes up, and away you go [as Acting] ... provided, as it used to be, that you meet the Job Spec for the appointment.
Almost that, well from my experience. I was an Acting Sqn Ldr for a year for that very reason. Scored on the board, but not high enough to promote, but then a slot came up which the 3 guys above me weren't qualified for. So I was selected ahead of them, but had to be Acting as I was leap frogging the order of merit and substantiated a year later having not ballsed the job up, run over the CO's dog or slept with his daughter and having generally kept my nose clean. However, I believe promotion to gp capt has changed is now done as required rather than via a formal board e.g. No. 4/3 Boards to Sqn Ldr and Wg Cdr. Individuals selected for established gp capt appointments are posted in substantive rank which would surely rather negate the need for Acting rank in post hence this being slightly odd.
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 19:55
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Originally Posted by Could be the last? View Post
I am confused, if he is eligible for promotion and there is a post that needs filling, and he is selected for it, why 'acting'? And for disciplinary issues, does the fact that he is acting effect what he could oversee? And is there a time limit on him remaining acting?
My Boss at 11 Gp was an acting wg cdr for his entire tour.

It's all about where you sit on the 'pending list', as Melchett01 noted.
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 20:07
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Melchett01, the world is full of 'odds'. Who would have thought that Stn Cdr Shawbury would have gone to an ATC gp capt? As I understood it, he needed a 'Command' tick in the box before becoming the 'chosen' ATC 1*, and there were obviously very few such appointments available in the wider Service. Lucky Mark!

Last edited by MPN11; 25th Feb 2017 at 09:57. Reason: accuracy
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 06:03
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My first station commander at RAF Labuan was an acting Wg Cdr throughout his tour and reverted to sqn ldr at the end. Even the Retired List shows him to be a sqn ldr, rather than the phrase: 'retaining Wg Cdr' which is used if no substantiation took place and was particularly frequently used when there were lots of war substantive chaos around.

I always thought he was hard done by the system - if he was no good he should have been removed.

O-D
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 09:36
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IIRC historicall there were some amazing promotions to Brevet Rank and then return to Substantive Rank especialy during the US Civil War

George Custer went from Captain to Major General and back to Lt. Col................. he made Brigadier General at the age of 24...............
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 09:46
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Indeed, HH. General "Black Jack" Pershing was another.
At the time [1903], Army officer promotions were based primarily on seniority rather than merit, and although there was widespread acknowledgment that Pershing should serve as a colonel, the Army General Staff declined to change their seniority-based promotion tradition just to accommodate Pershing. They would not consider a promotion to lieutenant colonel or even major.
Pershing returned to the United States in the fall of 1905. President Roosevelt employed his presidential prerogative and nominated Pershing as a brigadier general, a move which Congress approved. In skipping three ranks and more than 835 officers senior to him...
An interesting read >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_J._Pershing
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 12:44
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Of course there was a time when a bid was made to make the VC10 squadron into an elitist, civvy aviation equivalent, transport unit. Some VC10 captains were given acting Squadron Leader rank so as to rate them higher priority down the route to the relatively bottom feeding Andover, Argosy, Belfast, Beverly, Britannia, and Hastings crews captained by junior officers. This gave rise to the question "Are you a real Squadron Leader or a VC10 captain?" It was always a delight to go into the Blue Lagoon bar in Gan and scoff the VC10 post flight snack of steak and chips then watch the horror on the faces of the shiny crew when they were proffered sausages.
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 15:09
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The Blue Lagoon and steak sandwiches...I remember them well.

All that was necessary as a Far East C130 crew to get mistaken for the VC10 crew was to arrive just before them wearing long sleeved shirts and ties, place the orders and the steaks would arrive just as the real intended recipients arrived through the doors.
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 15:47
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DM and LS, how could you be so beastly to your "betters"? The other great wheeze on 48 was to set ECB power and beat the TC crew to the air conditioned accommodation at Kai Tak. Not that I could ever be involved in such shenanigans of course.

The reason for the rapid promotion of VC10 captains to scrapers was that Freddie Laker's recruiters were signing up PVRing ones in their squadron's crew room. When banished from the station they set up shop in a pub outside the main gates.
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 16:56
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QUOTE:

IIRC historicall there were some amazing promotions to Brevet Rank and then return to Substantive Rank especialy during the US Civil War

I know nothing about US military but the British army award of a brevet conferred either major, lt-colonel or colonel, and had no effect regimentally but great effect in mixed company.

As an example, Captain [substantive] Stanway, an ex -ranker, was breveted first to major then lt-colonel during the Great War. After the war he served as a captain until retirement but commanded the mixed force which put down the Connaught Rangers mutiny in India. This command would have been effective even if there had been a substantive major in the ad-hoc formation.

He would also have presided over any courts-martial unless a lt-colonel had been among the assembled court.

Not sure about the present day, the rules change quicker than my socks.
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