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-   -   Woman RAF officer joins top military brass (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/522019-woman-raf-officer-joins-top-military-brass.html)

Sun Who 23rd Aug 2013 02:19

Woman RAF officer joins top military brass
SAC to AVM - impressive.

BBC News - Woman RAF officer joins top military brass

I don't know the lady but I wish her well.


lj101 23rd Aug 2013 05:09

Good for her - congratulations ma'am.

BEagle 23rd Aug 2013 06:32

My heartiest congratulations, Elaine! Thoroughly well deserved - as was your CBE in the New Years' Honours!

OldnDaft 23rd Aug 2013 06:34

Many congratulations - older members may remember her hubby "Stringy" who served on 17(F) Sqn when Elaine was PMS at Bruggen. Lovely couple.

Fg Off Bloggs 23rd Aug 2013 07:40

A great girl and well worth the promotion. I knew her well at Bruggen and served on 17 with Stringy whilst she was OC PMF (not PMS) as a flight lieutenant. I also met her (and Stringy) recently at a thrash in the RAF Club. Hadn't changed a bit, still very humble about her position then as a 1-Star and wondering what all the fuss was about!

Well done, Mrs Stringy!


Secret1 23rd Aug 2013 08:45

A former SAC in the RAF Club? :rolleyes:...;)

Many forumers must be choking at breakfast this morning? :bored:

tomdocherty72 23rd Aug 2013 08:59

Senior female ranks
Congratulations to AVM West, reading the other post it is well deserved. She is not the first senior female officer in the Air Force to reach this rank though. I know some will say I am splitting hairs but females in the RAF were previously in the WRAF before it was absorbed and before that in the WAAF. before that it was the air branch of the ATS and originally the WRAF in WW1. Here is a little history of female air force ranks through the period:

Initially, the WAAF used the ATS ranking system, although the director held the rank of "Senior Controller" (equivalent to Brigadier in the British Army, Air Commodore in the RAF) instead of "Chief Controller" (equivalent to Major-General, Air Vice-Marshal) as in the ATS. However, in December 1939 the name was changed to Air Commandant, when the ranks were renamed and reorganized, other ranks now held identical ranks to male RAF personnel, but officers continued to have a separate rank system, although now different from that of the ATS. From February 1940 it was no longer possible to enter directly as an officer; from that time all officers were appointed from the other ranks. From July 1941 WAAF officers held full commissions. On January 1, 1943, the rank of Air Chief Commandant (equivalent to Major-General, Air Vice-Marshal) was created with the director's appointment to that rank.

On July 1, 1939, Jane Trefusis Forbes was made Director of WAAF, with the rank of Senior Controller, later, Air Commandant. On January 1, 1943 she was appointed to the rank of Air Chief Commandant with its creation. On October 4, 1943, while Forbes toured Canada, assessing the Women's Division of the Royal Canadian Air Force, she was relieved by HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, who had been head of the WAAF since 1939, again with the rank of Senior Controller, then, Air Commandant, being gazetted to Air Chief Commandant on March 22, 1943. Forbes retired in August 1944, and the post of director was given to Mary Welsh, who was appointed Air Chief Commandant. After the war, the rank of Air Chief Commandant was suspended and in December 1946, the final director of WAAF, Felicity Hanbury, was appointed.

Just thought it might be of interest. The BBC news (and the RAF publicity machine) got it slightly wrong - again.

Anyway, well done Ma'am!

BEagle 23rd Aug 2013 09:01

Many forumers must be choking at breakfast this morning :bored:
Only over such a stupid and unnecessary comment, Secret1....:rolleyes:

Joeeey 23rd Aug 2013 09:01

She played the game well. And she was lucky to have Paul.

gayford 23rd Aug 2013 09:01

Don't know the lady but huge congratulations.
Isn't it great to see an Air Officer who is not:-
a. A pilot
b. A male
c. A graduate

Well done ma'am.

Scottie66 23rd Aug 2013 09:44

Congratulations are undoubtedly well deserved but I do find it somewhat odd that some one can rise to such a rank in today's RAF without a single operational medal?

critter sized 23rd Aug 2013 10:07

Worked with Elaine in the then RAFIO at Benson some years back. Nice person and an exceptionally good operator. Promotion richly deserved and the right person for that particular appointment.

Easy Street 23rd Aug 2013 10:11

Isn't it great to see an Air Officer who is not:-
a. A pilot
You must have missed the numerous navigators (including the current VCDS), countless engineers, doctors and even the occasional padre. I agree that it is good to see 'the best person for the job' appointed, regardless of branch.

b. A male
Agreed. There is also another female 1* who I suspect has a chance of further advancement - a fighter controller before you ask!

c. A graduate
I don't see that as a good thing or a bad thing. It's just a thing, not worthy of the tag 'great'. The Army and Navy stuff their starred ranks with graduates precisely because they are adept at negotiating the 'old school tie' network, which (like it or not) is how much of the real business gets done in the murky world of Whitehall....

ExRAFRadar 23rd Aug 2013 11:20

And why we are in the sh*te

ksimboy 23rd Aug 2013 11:29

While I'm sure the promotion is richly deserved, the cynical side of me wonders how much bearing the recent, much publicised discrimination case against the RAF had on the decision. I would love to think for once the RAF has done the right thing, but !!!

rarelyathome 23rd Aug 2013 11:46


absolutely none! Elaine is a great operator and has got this on merit. Best person for the job.

BEagle 23rd Aug 2013 11:56

I would love to think for once the RAF has done the right thing....
You may rest assured that it most certainly has.

ksimboy 23rd Aug 2013 12:06

I'm glad to hear it Beags, I wasn't trying to disrespect the lady at all, just thinking out loud as to how some may view it. No offence was intended.

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