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Commissioned from the ranks.

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Commissioned from the ranks.

Old 20th Mar 2017, 14:39
  #61 (permalink)  
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Big chief, small pond

Little fish, big lond
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Old 20th Mar 2017, 19:01
  #62 (permalink)  
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xenolith (#63),

Don't know, but in 1954 at Thornaby a W.O. was commissioned as a Flying Officer (SOP). In 1960 I met him again at Rheindalen as a Squadron Leader. Must have had accelerated promotion to Flight Lieutenant.


Last edited by Danny42C; 20th Mar 2017 at 19:02. Reason: Typo.
Old 20th Mar 2017, 19:37
  #63 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Barksdale Boy View Post
Thread drift, but:

... Our captain, a distinguished rifleman from Belfast, drove off and sliced into some very upmarket real estate. For the next few days we lived in fear of local headlines saying "Plastic surgeon killed by errant golf shot - small British golf ball found near body". Presumably Statute of Limitations now applies.
DC, I presume?
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Old 20th Mar 2017, 20:48
  #64 (permalink)  
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Danny, WO to Flt Lt was quite the norm except they still had to do the full brain adjustment at Cranwell. Did your WO do the full course?

No, what xenolith was asking was a scheme that came in around 2000 where the Cranwell course was about a week involving not much more than a new uniform and signing the papers. There were fairly tight age limits, time in rank, manning requirements etc. I think there was also a very tight limit on numbers. Typical shoe-ins were WO-PSF where they essentially just changed offices and carried on.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 00:14
  #65 (permalink)  
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MPN 11

The very same.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 08:04
  #66 (permalink)  
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I was a MACR when I did the 'full brain adjustment course' at Cranwell.
I was commissioned as a F/O and in common with most of my ilk had to wait for promotion to F/L. We had a recoursed (injury) Student Officer (degree entry) who had been there long enough to 'merit' promotion to F/L ! Bonkers system IMHO.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 09:10
  #67 (permalink)  
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In Jan 1964 I was commissioned as a Plt Off after 7 years in the ranks.Three months later a new QR introduced a provision to grant half of non commissioned time as seniority subject to a back dating no earlier than an individuals 21st birthday. Consequently I became an immediate Fg Off. In addition a minimum time of 2 years commissioned service from your actual date of commissioning was applied and, if you had passed the "B" promotion exam, you were immediately promoted to Flt Lt. In my case (and many others) our seniority as Flt Lt was 1 Apr 66 (the significance of the date was not lost on anyone).

Thereafter further promotion followed the normal path but I was aquainted with some ex-rankers who went from airman service to Sqn Ldr in 8 years.

Last edited by Fixed Cross; 21st Mar 2017 at 10:42.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 09:27
  #68 (permalink)  
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AA62, indeed EFV was in the same boat and hated it, especially the way he was treated by one of the distaff who had been a MACR mate on the same Sqn. OK, no favouritism, but there should be decent limits. I was always treated fairly, harsh at times but more relaxed at others.

We had a university flt Lt, rare at the time. He made sqn ldr in 10 years.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 10:05
  #69 (permalink)  
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On our Gnat course in 1966 we had a graduate student who was a flt ltr, the rest of us were all plt offs ex the Towers or BFTS
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 10:46
  #70 (permalink)  
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On my nav course we had a university grad who was a chopped pilot, and had thus been in long enough to advance to flight lieutenant. One of our ground staff instructors was a flying officer educator, and as was the convention was addressed as "sir" by all students, irrespective of rank. Thus you had the bizarre situation of a flying officer being addressed as "sir" by a flight lieutenant.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 11:20
  #71 (permalink)  
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TTN respect for the status.s as and instructor rather than his rank. In my RAF rugby playing days it was quite normal to address the ref as 'sir' so you had flt lt's, for example addressing a sgt as sir.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 13:27
  #72 (permalink)  
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Danny has Greatness Thrust upon Him.

Thanks, chaps - I've learned a lot ! All through my "career" (?), flying instructors were addressed as "sir", no matter what the disparity in rank.
I myself went from Sergeant Pilot to Pilot Officer painlessly (without benefit of OCTU) - see my Post:"Danny has Greatness Thrust upon Him" ("Pilot's Brevet" Thread, Page 131, #2612). Excerpt:
..."Up to then, I'd been quite content to remain an NCO. I'd been a bit disappointed when I got my wings without even having been considered for a commission. But I'd settled down and, had I stayed in the UK, would have hoped, had I lived (more than doubtful), to rise to Flight Sergeant * (one year) and Warrant Officer (two years) on time promotion. But this latest business seemed most unfair.

[Note *: My crown was two weeks overdue - never did get the money ! ]

I went to see the C.O. "Why not ?" he said wearily, "Everybody else is getting it - I'll put you up" (my misdemeanour at Dum-Dum seemed to have been forgiven). It was a formality from then on. I was called for interview with the AOC of 221 Group in Calcutta, a kindly old AVM (Williams, I think), He satisfied himself that I didn't drop my aitches, and could probably use a knife and fork, and signed me in. Thus are careers made........OCTU ?........ What's that ?"...

Last edited by Danny42C; 21st Mar 2017 at 13:48. Reason: Addn.
Old 21st Mar 2017, 16:44
  #73 (permalink)  
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Danny, AVM TM Williams, AHQ Bengal controlled 221 and 224 Gp. AOC 221 Gp was Air Cdre HV Rowley.
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 11:35
  #74 (permalink)  
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I am currently reading the Biography of Viscount Trenchard, father of the Royal Air Force, and came across this.

"Few ever encountered Trenchards soft side - most would probably deny he had one - but Donald Clappen, a private in the London Scottish Regiment, did.

A week before the battle of Loos, he had gone to watch RFC machines take off and land at an aerodrome near Auchel while his battalion was resting behind the lines. Mad keen on flying, he had qualified as a pilot at the age of 18 and before the war had worked as an apprentice at the Bleriot factory in Hendon and had applied to join the RFC several times, without a response.

As I stood watching the machines landing a General emerged from a tent, and acting on the spur of the moment I asked if I could speak. He looked round, astonished and didn't say anything so I pulled out my papers, explained my story, that I was a qualified pilot and wanted to join the RFC. In a very deep voice, he told another officer to make a note of what I had said. The General then called for transport to take me back to my battalion.. I saluted smartly and later asked the driver who he was. He said I had a nerve approaching him because it was General Trenchard!

Clappen later went "over the top" twice and survived the battle of Loos. A month later he received a telegram telling him to report to the War Office and three weeks later was in the RFC. He eventually rose to the rank of Air Commodore."
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Old 25th Mar 2017, 19:14
  #75 (permalink)  
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Xenolith, I believe that the answer is yes. I was commissioned in 2002 from MACR to Flt Lt on IIRC no 4 WOSP ( Warrant Officer Study Period). The scheme was still going in 2010, the year I retired. The course used to last from Sunday to Friday and was very much on the lines of a grown up discussion. As for a success, several of the course members over the years have continued to progress to Sqn Ldr and I felt it was indeed of value as I went almost straight from Cranwell into the HQ in Oman for the initial push into Afghanistan a real eye opener for an elderly ALM!!!!
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Old 25th Mar 2017, 19:53
  #76 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tashengurt View Post
Other than for social or ceremonial purposes I think there's limited benefit in trying to equate Police and military ranks given that they gain their authority from very different sources.
As for commissioning from the ranks I tended to find that the often quoted empathy for lower ranks etc was a very perishable trait.
It was always the police ethos of course, that everyone came from 'the ranks' this was viewed at essential because everyone, regardless of rank, is first and foremost the Queens Constable and they should know what that means and how to use that authority. The latest idea that people can be 'parachuted' in at a higher rank flies in the face of this.
A cynic may surmise that this is more about eroding the culture of policing that improving leadership.
There's a tendency to believe that Policing can be run like a business with measured inputs and outcomes and staff who can go from job to job as though on a production line. That's not the case. Policing is a job with a range of tasks as wide as all humanity can think of. An officer can in one shift go from chasing noisy kids out of a park to taking a Burglary report to giving first aid to a stabbed and dying teenager. If that seems fanciful to anyone it's not. I did it on 3rd May 2007 and it remains with me to this day. You don't just clock out from days like that. I struggle to see how many coming from an outside industry will get that.
They can't. A financial director parachuted in to a Superintendent position gets managing money but can never understand why nothing is consistent, no matter what kind of stupid sh*t they put in place to try and ensure it.

Police work has a higher entropy than other military and emergency services and certainly way above any other type of job.

Whilst I am not a police officer my father and brother are. It's just crazy sometimes.

Frankly I don't know what's worse - the fast track brown nosing sleazeballs (personal experience of one in particular) or the rabbit in a headlight parachuted in 'managers'.
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Old 27th Mar 2017, 20:17
  #77 (permalink)  

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My Mother's cousin ("Uncle Joe") Joe Matthews, flunked at Cranwell I think and was an AC2. He went through Halton, became involved in radar at it's outset, got his commission during the war, finally retired from SHAPE HQ as an Air Commodore, which I think pretty good going. He then went to BAE and after 10 years retired to Canada. Sadly he passed away a few years ago.
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Old 28th Mar 2017, 15:24
  #78 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lasernigel View Post
My Mother's cousin ("Uncle Joe") Joe Matthews,
Was he the Joe Matthews born in British Guiana whose family then went to Canada ?
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Old 28th Mar 2017, 17:31
  #79 (permalink)  
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National Service in 1951, at Padgate told aircrew vacancies, volunteered, and AC2 became Aircrew Cadet with white flash in hat. 12 hours in Tiger Moths, then 60 hours in Chipmunk, then found could not fly Oxfords well enough for the Powers that be, and ended up a Navigator, and end of course became fully commissioned Pilot Officer
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 14:56
  #80 (permalink)  
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Exnomad (#82),

Seem to remember hearing that NS had, as a condition for acceptance for training as pilots, to undertake a period of R.Aux.A.F. service after NS. Any truth in this ?

Much good would the Oxfords have done you ! They were used as the lead-in to the Meteors and Vampires we were flying at the time (Harvards would've been a lot better). We had a NS chap on 608 Squadron who came through like that as late as 1954. Heard about him many years later as a 1st/off on BA 747s.


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