Most Royal Air Force personnel belong to a squadron or unit, and all have a rank.
According to the service, in many cases, the Royal Air Force rank will be the junior of the three UK military services, the Royal Navy having seniority over both the Army and RAF.
Commissioned Officers lead a team of airmen and airwomen, in a wide range of specialist air and ground roles. They fill the RAF's equivalent to management and supervisory roles all the way up to Senior Leadership.
Rank insignia for commissioned ranks is worn on the lower arm of dress uniform.
Non-Commissioned Aircrew fly in aircraft with Commissioned Aircrew and carry out patrols over UK air space.
Rank insignia for Non-Commissioned Aircrew ranks is, with the exception of Master Aircrew, worn on the upper arm of dress uniform, Master Aircrew badges are worn on the lower arm.
Non-Commissioned Other Ranks: Airmen and Airwomen have the specialist skills for both technical and non-technical roles and make up the majority of RAF personnel.
Rank insignia for non-commissioned ranks is, with the exception of Warrant Officer and Master Aircrew, worn on the upper arm of dress uniform. Warrant Officer and Master Aircrew badges are worn on the lower arm.
What are the different non-commissioned ranks?
- Leading Aircraftman
- Senior Aircraftman
- SAC Technician (Technical Trades Only)
- Lance Corporal (Regt Gunner Only)
- Chief Technician (Technical Trades Only)
- Flight Sergeant
- Warrant Officer
What are the different non-commissioned aircrew ranks?
- Sergeant (Aircrew)
- Flight Sergeant (Aircrew)
- Master Aircrew
What are the different commissioned officer ranks?
- Pilot Officer
- Flying Officer
- Flight Lieutenant
- Squadron Leader
- Wing Commander
- Group Captain
- Air Commodore (one-star rank)
- Air Vice Marshal (two-star rank)
- Air Marshal (three-star rank)
- Air Chief Marshal (four-star rank)
- Marshal of the Royal Air Force (five-star rank, generally an honorary promotion)
Cover image: RAF Regiment (Picture: MOD).