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New Flying Badges

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New Flying Badges

Old 23rd Apr 2020, 16:28
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622,

I thought you knew not to make flippant jokes about rank braid colours. There is probably someone in MOD feverishly looking into it as we speak!

Wenslydale,

Are you sure about the dates for the RO Badge. I shared a room during BFTS at Syerston with an ex ex RO from Javelins in 1963 and he had come via South Cerney straight from 33Sqn so the badge was in use in 1962. Was it that it was last awarded in 1958?

ACW

Last edited by ACW418; 23rd Apr 2020 at 16:30. Reason: Correction of date.
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Old 23rd Apr 2020, 16:56
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I have nothing to do with the charts - I just posted them up from an RAF briefing note. However, aircrew have been allowed to wear the flying badge type that they were first awarded rather than move to a new badge, so it may be that your chap was one of the last to be presented with the RO badge before it ceased to be presented.
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Old 23rd Apr 2020, 17:17
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I suppose the Aeromedical ‘staff and serpent’ badge is in the same league as the bar-stewards as it also does not appear on the ‘road map of badge heraldry’?!
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Old 23rd Apr 2020, 18:26
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
astonishing that someone is employed to think about badges........... it was never an option my careers master ever mentioned........ nor was it ever on those Posters "Join the RAF - become a trained badge designer..."
There was that one...

"If Met have got this right, we'll be able to inspect our badges above 20,000 feet."

That's how I recall it.

CG
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Old 23rd Apr 2020, 19:07
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Originally Posted by 622 View Post
I assume as you earnt your RAF 'regular' wings then you would keep them...or have the option to swap if you preferred!

What about a service helper (non flying regular) who is a part time VGS Instructor ...does he/she wear glider wings on their week day uniform?
Non flying service regular personnel could already wear glider pilot badge on day uniform, the IBN for that was out several years ago.
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Old 23rd Apr 2020, 19:11
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Originally Posted by muppetofthenorth View Post
Everybody who doesn't fly are "RAFAC" officers with a "Cadet Forces Commission".
Everybody who does fly is a VR(T) officer with an RAF commission.

Nothing like treating equal volunteers differently to help the morale.
​​
All VGS staff are RAFAC CFC or SNCO none of them are treated differently to any other RAFAC staff. There is a slack handful amongst the 2fts HQ civil servants who remain VRT so they can fly the Robin tug
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Old 23rd Apr 2020, 21:31
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Originally Posted by ACW418 View Post

Are you sure about the dates for the RO Badge. I shared a room during BFTS at Syerston with an ex ex RO from Javelins in 1963 and he had come via South Cerney straight from 33Sqn so the badge was in use in 1962. Was it that it was last awarded in 1958?

ACW
Hi ACW

The original 'RO' half wing during the war was replaced with the 'N' Half Wing by 1943.
The 'RO' Badge was then reintroduced for a time in the 1950's for Radar Operators to fill the back seats of Meteors/Javelins etc.
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Old 23rd Apr 2020, 21:43
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ACW -

According to the Jefford book,only about 100 NCO RO's were successfully trained in 1955 to 57,and most had either demobbed/reverted to trade or been commissioned as Navs by the mid 60's.Not a successful experiment then !
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Old 23rd Apr 2020, 22:15
  #49 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Vortex Hoop View Post
I suppose the Aeromedical ‘staff and serpent’ badge is in the same league as the bar-stewards as it also does not appear on the ‘road map of badge heraldry’?!
FMO and FNOs still have their badges, but I think they're very different to Flying Badges - worn in very different places to start.
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Old 23rd Apr 2020, 23:25
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Last month , in RAF Squadrons Receive Battle Honours from Her Majesty The Queen you wrote, "I think its (sic) bizarre at this particular moment - no doubt someone deep int he UK MoD is beavering away on these important task", following which I asked, "Bizarre in what particular respect, dare I ask? Good news is surely good news, irrespective of the timing and perhaps particularly at present, and it seems likely that, rather than put them on ice, DSSec had recently passed on HM's approval of these honours for publication for the benefit of those who justly earned them."

In the same thread, you subsequently said, "Working on handing out honours is a bit of luxury at any time I'd have thought.................", following which Rheinstorff said, "You couldn’t be more wrong. Recognising gallantry, dedication, determination, fortitude etc is a very worthy activity. It inspires others to do incredible things too. All part of military (fighting) ethos.", then I wrote, "Firstly "bizarre" and now a "bit of a luxury" - perhaps I'm misinterpreting the guidance at the top of the page, but that's certainly bizarre in my view...." and finally Herod wrote, "Tell me, Asturias, have you ever been under enemy fire?".

For some reason, and as far as I can see, you don't appear to have responded to any of these points and now you say:
Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
astonishing that someone is employed to think about badges........... it was never an option my careers master ever mentioned........ nor was it ever on those Posters "Join the RAF - become a trained badge designer..."
I should therefore be most grateful if, as well as responding to posts instead of just firing them sarcastically into the air in the Military Aviation forum, you could kindly explain exactly what it is that you have against honours and tri-service uniform matters, both of which are considered important to those who serve or have served in uniform, and the resulting staff work of this nature which is necessarily carried out in both cases by exactly by the same departments in the MOD, coordinated finally by ACDS (Personnel Capability) in his capacity as Defence Services Secretary, before submission for the approval of HM The Queen?

Jack
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 01:23
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Union Jack - well said old chap...

I should therefore be most grateful if, as well as responding to posts instead of just firing them sarcastically into the air in the Military Aviation forum, you could kindly explain exactly what it is that you have against honours and tri-service uniform matters, both of which are considered important to those who serve or have served in uniform, and the resulting staff work of this nature which is necessarily carried out in both cases by exactly by the same departments in the MOD, coordinated finally by ACDS (Personnel Capability) in his capacity as Defence Services Secretary, before submission for the approval of HM The Queen?
These changes were indeed passed up to Her Majesty and she graciously approved them on 13 Sep 19 (so this started well before CV-19 and was due for release before 1 Apr 20, but CV-19 held it up). DS(Sec) and his team were involved as was the RAF’s senior leadership nearly a year ago. So spot on matey

In answer, to other questions, Pilot (ISR) RPAS have been entitled to wear the traditional RAF Pilot Flying Badge since 1 Apr 2019 (yes, over a year ago). There was also much hand wringing from the old and bold then too. The RAF is undergoing change, it always has done, and always will as a high-technology Service. Campaign ASTRA is the latest such change initiative as we move well into the 21st Century. The Next Generation Aviators now in the system will be in their 40s when the final parts of ASTRA are enacted and many of us will be pushing up daisies, or dribbling into our blankets in our electric bath chairs. When the Radio Observer Flying Badge came out in the early 1940s for airborne RADAR operators, many in the RAF, let alone the country had any idea what a RADAR was (it was called Radio Direction Finding for a start!). But the high-technology RAF presented a badge to those qualified to do so, the same is happening today as we develop new tech and use our people in different ways than we did before. The Nav will soon be employed on only the Rivet Joint, whilst conducting a role similar to the Air Eng at the same time, and the Air Eng will be gone within 2 years when Sentry is replaced by Wedgetail. The Crewman and Air Loadmaster remain too, but now have far more responsibility on their aircraft before - many of the roles done by Navs and Air Engs are now shared between them and the co-pilot. The AEO/AEOp role has also changed with more responsibility on Reaper, Shadow, D4K, RJ, P8 and soon E7. Hence the Weapon Systems Officer (WSO) and the Weapon Systems Operator (WSOp) title for all Mission Aircrew is now correct for the 21st Century as we leave the old roles behind.

As for Cabin Crew, yes they have changed too. No longer employed as a Mess Steward, they are all contractors in Messes these days, they are employed primarily as Cabin Crew now and have become an essential part of the Voyager and 146 capabilities. The WSOp (ME) ALM still act as the senior supervisor off of the flight deck, as a Chief Purser on the Voyager, working with the rest of the crew - Pilots and Cabin Crew. Then some of the WSO/WSOp (ME) also conduct the Mission Systems Operator (MSO) on the Voyager too - running the fuel plan on AAR and the kit on the Voyager, again splitting the legacy tasks of the Nav and Air Eng with the Co-Pilot. So this is another change. Do I think that Cabin Crew should be entitled to wear the new Airborne Specialist badge on successful completion of the Voyager and BAe 146 OCUs - yes, on thinking about it, I do. Maybe that is for the future.

Most of those that will wear the Reserve Pilot badges will be FTRS, ADC, VERR and PTVR. There may be a very small minority RAFAC types that will also, as well as a few AVO1s. All need to get a Certificate of Qualification on Type (CQT), and the Gliding Instructors their B2, to be awarded these Reserve Pilot badges. So as others have said, not the same level as a Front Line (FL) Pilot getting LCR and then CR (or equivalent like BMQ, etc...), but certainly an achievement all the same. That is also why the badges look subtly different to the main FL badges for the Aircrew and Honorary Aircrew on the FL aircraft types and trainers.

Whilst on the subject of Honorary Aircrew, the Parachute Jump Instructors (PJIs) have been such since 1945. So it made sense to do the same for the new Airborne Specialist cadre, who are also drawn from the Ground Branches and Trades to be employed helping operate the aircraft, its loads and its passengers on its mission. The Honorary status is really an admin exercise so that they get access to improved medical treatment like normal Aircrew and also so they do not get put down as ‘pax’ in the Auth Sheets when conducting their airborne duties. It gives them nothing more than that.

As others have said, we have had non-Service Pilots flying AEF for many a year. Indeed, I believe that Coffman Starter (sadly no longer with us) was one such? It is nothing new, it’s just that there has always been so few that many have never realised!!

As for who is in charge of policy for badges, uniform and insignia - that task falls to A4 clothing, and the CASWO, and they are assisted by the various Branch and Trade Advisors (B&TAs) that also deal with all sorts of other Branch & Trade matters like pay, med standards, recruitment policy, post requirements, job specs, Branch morale, career pathways, Branch transfers, extensions, promotions, PAS matters, re-joiners, current workforce structures, future workforce structures, monitor training pipeline outputs, visiting units and answering anyone within their Branch/Trade with a particular query - all reporting directly to their Head of Branch (which for Aircrew is AOC 11Gp - who is also busy orchestrating the RAF’s assistance to CV-19 right now in his main day job). So there is no ‘pencil sucking blotter jotter’ sitting there writing badge policy - it is one duty of very many, hence it gets looked at once or twice every couple of years or so. ASTRA has meant that this was a good time to roll out such changes to rationalise them for future plans.

I hope that answers a few questions on the matter for those that no longer serve but seem overly concerned what is happening.

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Old 24th Apr 2020, 07:02
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Lima Juliet, great post.
Are you able to elaborate on Campaign Astra? I left 5 years ago so I’m not up to speed on that. Or is it largely as you describe above?
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 09:02
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"you could kindly explain exactly what it is that you have against honours and tri-service uniform matters, both of which are considered important to those who serve or have served in uniform"

I applaud the recognition of bravery with medals etc

I do not believe people should be rewarded for doing their day job - and especially not the way that the higher your rank the higher your honour

I do not believe it improves the efficiency of any armed service when an SO automatically gets an honour just because he's climbed a couple of grades.

I do not believe that what colour braid you wear has any influence on your contribution to the nation's defence

I believe far too much time and effort is expended on issues such as badges when the armed forces are in desperate need of savings

I believe the armed forces should concentrate on fighting efficiency ( or rather efficiency in fighting ) rather than on fripperies

I hope I make myself clear - I try to be consistent.
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 09:16
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Asturias

You do realise that you are still going to face the oft repeated question of ‘have you ever served in the military’, even after that last post don’t you?

You say you don’t agree with time being wasted on badges etc. Fine, that’s your view but it is an opinion based on zero experience.

I believe you work in industry. Well, what if I said that I believe that time spent on union activity is wasted and I think unions are a stupid idea. That would be a claim from me based on zero personal experience.

What I’m getting at is that opinions are fine, but it doesn’t mean you are right. Opinions can only become informed opinions when you have some first hand experience to base them on.

Just as I wouldn’t show up at a union meeting saying I think it’s all a waste of time, maybe you should reconsider showing up on a military forum stating that you think military traditions are all a waste of time.

Food for thought perhaps?

BV

Last edited by Bob Viking; 24th Apr 2020 at 14:09.
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 10:10
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Originally Posted by Vortex Hoop View Post
So have I got this right? An RPAS operator will now be awarded a full set of wings for completing 40 hours on the Tutor/Prefect followed by sim training in a portacabin?
So that is a ‘yes’ then!
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 12:04
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Longer Ron,

Thanks for your input. I was not aware that there had only been 100 RO's awarded. My colleague started out as a Sgt RO and died in service as an experienced Wg Cdr pilot so for him it was not a failure!

ACW
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 12:57
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40 hours to get a pair of wings? I had about 125 hours on JPs before be reassigned to the rear seat. Perhaps I could wear both?!
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 13:25
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RPAS Wings

Do we collectively think it’s time to put the whole RPAS wings thing to bed now?

I qualified as a single seat FJ pilot so my training and time to wings was longer than most.

I have no desire to ever operate an RPAS.

I do however believe that the RPAS pilots are entitled to wear wings once they have completed the requisite course. They are pilots that operate an RAF asset and so should wear the appropriate badge. I bear them no ill will whatsoever.

If it’s jealousy, get over it. If you think they haven’t earned it go and give it a go and see if you still think that.

Nobody has ever said an RPAS pilot could walk into a Typhoon Sqn and take one for a spin. In fact in order to make the crossover (should the service need ever require it, which I strongly doubt) they would be required to complete the requisite training beforehand just like a multi engine or rotary pilot would if they were to tread that path.

You are entitled to disagree with me but currently the RAF of 2020 would disagree with you.

I know what I did to earn my wings and seeing an RPAS pilot wearing the same badge does not cause me to lose a single wink of sleep.

BV
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 13:50
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Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post
Do we collectively think it’s time to put the whole RPAS wings thing to bed now?

I qualified as a single seat FJ pilot so my training and time to wings was longer than most.

I have no desire to ever operate an RPAS.

I do however believe that the RPAS pilots are entitled to wear wings once they have completed the requisite course. They are pilots that operate an RAF asset and so should wear the appropriate badge. I bear them no ill will whatsoever.

If it’s jealousy, get over it. If you think they haven’t earned it go and give it a go and see if you still think that.

Nobody has ever said an RPAS pilot could walk into a Typhoon Sqn and take one for a spin. In fact in order to make the crossover (should the service need ever require it, which I strongly doubt) they would be required to complete the requisite training beforehand just like a multi engine or rotary pilot would if they were to tread that path.

You are entitled to disagree with me but currently the RAF of 2020 would disagree with you.

I know what I did to earn my wings and seeing an RPAS pilot wearing the same badge does not cause me to lose a single wink of sleep.

BV
Like button, where's the like button?

CG

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Old 24th Apr 2020, 13:52
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Well, Asturias, Bob Viking has thoughtfully and carefully illustrated, in a very practical way, the problem you face. I have, however, to agree with your contention that you are indeed consistent, at least inasmuch as your apparently rather rushed response to my post still begs the question on the significant omission BV mentions, coupled with the fact that you somehow still can't help yourself, namely by referring to the matters concerned as "fripperies". As BV succinctly and politely suggests, the word "traditions" is the word most of us would use, many of them established over hundreds of years of proud service and usage by members of Her Majesty's Armed Forces.

Jack
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