Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation


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RAF Non-Commissioned Ranks

Technician Trades 1964 - present

NCO ranks were adapted mainly from those used by the RFC.  After WW2 new NCO ranks were introduced to differentiate between Technical and Non-Technical trades and between ground trades and NCO aircrew.  Until 1950 all ground tradesmen wore the same rank badges, however in that year a separate rank structure was introduced for Technical tradesmen.

Leading   Aircraftman/woman Leading Aircraftman/woman

Introduced in 1918 as a trade classification having no disciplinary powers over lower tradesmen.  It became a part of the RAF 'supervisory' rank structure on 1 January 1951.

Senior Aircraftman /woman Senior Aircraftman/woman Introduced on 1 January 1951 as an intermediate rank between LAC and Corporal.
Junior Technician Junior Technician 1964 - present When Technician's ranks were abolished in 1964, the rank of Junior Technician was retained as an intermediate level between Senior Aircraftsman and Corporal for technical trades.  This was replaced by SAC (T) in March 2005
Senior Aircraftman/woman (Technician) Introduced March 2005 for Engineers who have attained the Operational Performance Standard
Lance Corporal (RAF Regiment) Introduced in April 2010
Corporal Corporal Re-introduced in 1964, replacing the rank of Corporal Technician.


Sergeant Re-introduced in 1964, replacing the rank of Senior Technician.
Chief Technician  Chief Technician 1950 - present Originally introduced to replace the rank of Flight Sergeant in 1950, it was retained in 1964 but as an  intermediate rank between Sergeant and Flight Sergeant.
Flight Sergeant

Flight Sergeant Technician (1952 - 1964)

Introduced in 1918 for all trades.

Warrant Officer

(1964 - present)

Master Technician/Warrant Officer Introduced in 1918 as the senior Non-Commissioned rank.  Became the only Warrant rank in 1939.

In 1950 Warrant Officers in Technical trades were renamed Master Technicians.  They reverted to the rank of Warrant Officer in 1964.

This page was last updated on 10/02/17 using FrontPage XP 

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