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Using Rank on Retirement

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Using Rank on Retirement

Old 21st Jan 2021, 12:49
  #61 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,162
Many years ago a former Boeing instructor pilot joined our South Pacific airline. His job at Boeing in Seattle was to check airline pilots in the Boeing 737 simulator. He told us about a South American country that needed an airline inspector and had interviewed one man who held the rank of "Captain" He was sent to Boeing in Seattle to get qualified on the Boeing 737 prior to taking up his duties as an airline inspector.

He had great difficulty learning how to fly the Boeing 737 simulator - so much so, that he failed the course and was sent back home to his South American country. It was only then it was realised that in his application for the job he had claimed to be a "captain" when in fact he omitted to say he was a captain on a ferry boat. As he was a genial fellow all was forgiven and he eventually became an airline inspector after he was taught how to fly.
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 12:55
  #62 (permalink)  
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Runaway Gun, IIRC BBMF inherited the Major, because that was the nickname P was given on an exchange tour in the States, seemingly Sqn Ldr was a bit tricky for them.
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 12:57
  #63 (permalink)  
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Slight thread drift...
My brothers first two intials are DR....so I believe often use to cause confusion when writing his name on forms etc.....DR XXXXXX.
...and hence his nickname used to be 'Doc' amongst his peers.
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 14:32
  #64 (permalink)  
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And what about the wives? "Hello Dear, I'm Mrs Wing Commander XXX"
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 14:43
  #65 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by 36050100 View Post
And what about the wives? "Hello Dear, I'm Mrs Wing Commander XXX"
Or Husbands....

Ohhh gawd, i'm turning into one of those PC nutters....someone give me a slap!
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 14:48
  #66 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: uk
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The Spanish loco that was once British Airways still betrays its heritage by offering its passengers a wide choice of titles. Over the years, decades even, I have tried nearly all of them; Sir, Rt Hon, Lord, Baron, Viscount, Prof, Rabbi (not very plausibly), Rev.

I avoid Dr, although I know that there are those non-medical doctors who invite derision by using the title, in case of the dreaded call; "Is there a Doctor on Board?".

I'm please to be able to report that it has never made one jot of difference to the way I was treated on the ground or in the air, demonstrating that most people regard titles as ridiculous nonsense, as I do.
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 14:55
  #67 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Originally Posted by finestkind View Post
Interesting thread in some ways. The comparison to a doctor as being stated as a qualification gained is somewhat spurious. I have had the privilege of meeting a number of medical personal that I would not call “Doctor” just because they had the degree hanging on the wall and to suggest doing so once retired is questionable. The qualifications gained in the civilian world that allows the individual to continue to wear the title after retirement but than to deride the doing so of an individual that served in the military not to do so is, without sounding too PC, lacking in fairness. Admittedly they are two different world’s where military rank has little no meaning in the civilian community. But I must admit if someone introduced themselves as Doctor so and so I would introduce myself as Mister so and so. If you are going to acknowledge someone’s qual’s by allowing them to maintain the title in retirement I don’t see the issue with allowing someone to do so after X amount of years in uniform. And although rank is an appointment it is not just given, unless you join with other qual’s (such as Doctor), and therefore earned. And before we have a retort that I must be one that uses my rank in retirement because of my post, no I do not (but I do love to argue the other side of the coin).
I believe not. Surely rank X qualifies one for an appointment for those of rank X, or, alternatively, filling an appointment for rank X will/should lead to acting or substantive rank X?
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 15:03
  #68 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: west midlands
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On retiring from the RAF I worked for a county council as part of a team maintaining Public Rights of Way (footpaths, bridleways etc). One of my tasks was liaising with landowners or their representatives about any rights of way crossing their land. This particular time I had to visit a local flower and plant nursery on an estate. On arrival I was told to sit and wait to see Captain *****. When he finally chose to acknowledge me I thanked him using the term Mr *****. “It’s Captain *****” he replied. “Oh, are you still serving?” I asked. “No” he replied. “Well, were you in the Navy or Royal Marines?” I asked. “No, British Army so please refer to me as Captain” . “Well in that case you can address me as Flight Lieutenant then” I replied to much sniggering 🤭 from the office staff and a red faced Mr *****

Last edited by Q-SKI; 21st Jan 2021 at 15:19. Reason: Typo
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 15:11
  #69 (permalink)  

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A quote in the paper the other day, from a retired Government minister I believe. I've thrown the paper and can't remember who it was, but... "I had a very important job once, but I can't remember what it was; and anyway, it doesn't matter any more"
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 16:06
  #70 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2020
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Or Husbands....

Ohhh gawd, i'm turning into one of those PC nutters....someone give me a slap!
Mrs NLG hated the rank culture on base for the short time we were ever in a quarter. Move outside the wire and the eldest into the local school. A lot of officers children, but no rank ever brought up or mentioned.
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 16:29
  #71 (permalink)  
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I always refer to my GP using the form 'Dr Sarah' or 'Dr Andrew' for example. Seems to be the right balance between familiarity and respect for their position and none of them has ever queried it.
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 16:32
  #72 (permalink)  
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I was appointed as a Flt Lt four times. 1972(Green Shield GDP chopped),1975,(Ground pounder) 1983, ( PVR'd,VR in Industry). 1987 (back in) Then I finally took the hint (Pvr'd 1996)
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 16:38
  #73 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by 2Planks View Post
Runaway Gun, IIRC BBMF inherited the Major, because that was the nickname P was given on an exchange tour in the States, seemingly Sqn Ldr was a bit tricky for them.
On a similar note. I knew a Vulcan AEO named Colin S****y who was known as Col, his flying suit nametag read Col S****y. USAF had similar problems in thinking Col referred to his rank and gave him the privileges they thought he was due.
He also had an identical twin brother, who was also serving, but that is another story.
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 16:46
  #74 (permalink)  
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A late commissioned mate was amazed af the treatment he got in the USA.
They thought that "Fg,Offr" meant Flag Officer .
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 17:39
  #75 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Scotland
Posts: 84
Specaircrew...fixed yer post mate

I think it's more important to retain your aircrew position on retirement. After all it wouldn't do to be mistaken for a Navigator, or even worse an AEO ;-)
As the Op...could not care less one way or the other. Other than banter and pension, my military life has very little connection to my civilian life. I did 27 wonderful years with so many awesome people (Specaircrew was one of them ). But when its over, its over. look forwards not back. On the other hand if some folk want to hang on to the rank, crack on.

I doubt trivia like this alters public perception one iota.
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 18:40
  #76 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
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I think many many years ago the military was held in very high esteem by the public. They won us 2 world wars after all.
From 1918 until fairly recently,there must have been a Major or 3 in every golf club in the country, with the odd Colonel and General for good measure.
People looked up to them and rightly so. They may have played up to it, but I am sure no one minded. Why shouldn't they be addressed by their military title?
These days no one really has much of an idea about the military, let alone ranks, so potentially most people wouldn't have an idea if someone addressed themselves as Major etc.
For myself, I never got beyond the Bulldog and Cadet Pilot status. For some reason my friends at home decided to call me Captain for a while and that confused people.
Now I went to work on the Stock Exchange and everyone there had a nickname. There were however many Captains, Majors and Colonels, all of whom apparently had military service. There were few if any navy or airforce X officers however.
Now you may have heard this, but it was always stated as fact. Slightly before my time on the floor, but there were two brothers who both served in WW2. One was called the Hero, the other was known as the Coward.
The reason being apparently, the Coward had only won an MC and his Hero brother the VC!
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 19:35
  #77 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
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On a similar note. I knew a Vulcan AEO named Colin S****y who was known as Col, his flying suit nametag read Col S****y.
Colin was the AEO on our crew and a really nice chap too. In Feb '79 we flew a JMC trip; Colin's immersion suit was in for servicing, so he was given a section spare. On which there was a large label stating 'Suit size (), Sock size 8'.... On the bus to the jet, we grabbed hold of him and 'Sock size 8', with the aid of a black permanent pen, became 'Cock size 8" '.

Then came the sudden snow and we were diverted to Kinloss without any change of clothing or div kit. No room in the OM, so we were accommodated off base. As you do, we went out for a few beers still dressed in immersion suits - and Colin soon became the centre of attention amongst the local ladies!

We finally escaped the frozen North 5 days later. Mercifully Clothing Stores agreed to give us some flying suits, socks and shirts the day after we landed, before our kit became too reesty!
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 20:55
  #78 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 195
On the subject of doctors. The degree is five years, the first three or four ( can’t remember now ) gains a BA or BSc medicine and the last year the MD I seem to remember

it seems the army is possibly the biggest culprit my father told me a tale of a cruise they went on a couple of years ago, with a gentlemen who insisted on being called captain all the time and was generally an arse... hat on no talking etc which meant little to those around him.

anyhoo one evening at the bar he swanned over to pops, who enquired which ship he commmaded hoping for a tail or two. He then replied that he was a captain in the royal logistics core. Pops commented that it really wasn’t the done thing to go on about your rank below major. To which the Captain got a tad upset and after which my father request he call him Sir on every occasion and afford him all the privileges of being a Retired Major or alternatively he could drop all this and be on first name basis...... it soon stopped
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 21:20
  #79 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 4

Talking about the ladies, I saw what could only be ‘condoned’ in the USAF about 40 years ago at an RAAF base in Australia. A four star General, head of a major command was to visit for a few hours. The shiny C-141 taxied in and the Base Commander awaited the door opening, which duly was lowered and out stepped the General in his immaculate flying suit. Right behind him was his lady dressed in a similar flying suit, bearing four butterflies on the shoulder rank slide. The Base Commander, who was a real character, without moving his lips, uttered to me (standing to the right rear), ‘God, get a load of mother!). Both of them were very nice people!
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 21:36
  #80 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: with the wife
Posts: 352
I had the opportunity to take advantage of a well-used and unoriginal bit of rank banter with another member of the canal restoration society to which we belong. This chap is a retired Major who served in the Lincolnshire Field Ploughers and Ferret Breeders or some such regiment - calling him a military cabbage is a serious under-statement.

Anyways, he was recalling his days in khaki when he was OC 'This' and OC 'That' and he asked me about my time in the light blue. "What rank were you ?" he asked. "Flight Sergeant" I replied. "Oh, in the Army, you would have been a staff sergeant" he said.

Oh Joy!! Hallelujah!! Praise the Lord!! It was too good an opportunity to miss, so I responded with the old chestnut "Jim, if I had been in the Army, I would have been a ***** brigadier".
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