Air officer

An air officer is an air force officer of the rank of air commodore or higher.[1] Such officers may be termed "officers of air rank".[2] While the term originated in the Royal Air Force, air officers are also to be found in many Commonwealth nations who have a similar rank structure to the RAF.

Air officers holding command appointments receive the title Air Officer Commanding (AOC), whereas air officers holding commander-in-chief positions are titled as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C).

British RAF Air Officer (ceremonial shoulder board)
An RAF air officer's shoulder board

British usage

In the British Armed Forces, where the term originated, an air officer is equivalent in concept to flag officer and general officer in the Royal Navy and Army respectively. Specifically while the Army uses General Officer Commanding (GOC), the Air Force uses Air Officer Commanding (AOC) to designate the senior officer in a formation.[3]

Note, however, that in the British Armed Forces, while an air commodore is an air officer,[4] his Royal Navy equivalent (commodore) is not considered a flag officer, nor is his British Army or Royal Marines equivalent (brigadier) considered a general officer. In 1919 when the RAF introduced its own air officer ranks, the preceding RAF and equivalent army rank was brigadier-general, which was a general officer rank until its abolition in 1922. In some other countries, most notably the armed forces of the United States, army, air force and marine corps one-star officers are considered to be general officers, and one-star officers of the navy and coast guard are considered to be flag officers.

There are multiple air officer command appointments. Additionally the RAF maintains two home country air officer appointments. These are Air Officer Scotland[5] and the Air Officer for Wales.[6]

On ceremonial occasions many RAF air officers are entitled to wear embellished shoulder boards and the gold and blue sash. This applies to all officers at or above the rank of air vice-marshal and holders of the following air commodore posts:

With the exception of marshals of the RAF, the embellished shoulder boards feature the golden air officers' eagle and wreath device surmounted by a lion statant guardant. For marshals of the RAF, the embellished shoulder boards display the air officer's eagle and wreath, two crossed marshal's batons and, since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the St Edward's Crown representing royal authority.[7] Prior to 1953, the Tudor Crown (sometimes called the King's Crown) was used.

Air officer ranks

The air officer ranks are as follows:

Marshal of the Air Force
Air chief marshal
Air marshal
Air vice-marshal
Air commodore

National usage

The air officer terminology is currently used by the following air forces:

References

  1. ^ "Air officer".
  2. ^ For example see Dress regulations for officers of the Royal Air Force, Issue 1358, pp. 7, 12
  3. ^ Hayman, Charles (10 February 2014). The Armed Forces of the United Kingdom 2014-2015. Pen and Sword. p. 17. ISBN 9781783463510.
  4. ^ The Chambers Dictionary. Allied Publishers. 2006. p. 32. ISBN 9788186062258.
  5. ^ Royal Air Force Air Rank Appointments List 09/08 Archived 18 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 14 July 2010
  6. ^ "Air Officer for Wales".
  7. ^ Raf 1
Air Secretary

The Air Secretary is the Royal Air Force appointment of which the incumbent is responsible for policy direction on personnel management for members of the RAF. From 1978 to 1983 the Air Secretary was more often referred to as Air Officer Commanding Royal Air Force Personnel Management Centre. It is a senior RAF appointment, held by an officer holding the rank of air vice-marshal. The Air Secretary's counterpart in the British Army is the Military Secretary. The Royal Navy equivalent is the Naval Secretary.

Air chief marshal

Air chief marshal (Air Chf Mshl or ACM) is a four-star air officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force, where it is the most senior peacetime air force rank. The rank is also used by the air forces of many countries that have historical British influence and it is sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-British air force-specific rank structure.

Air chief marshal is a four-star air officer rank and has a NATO ranking code of OF-9. An air chief marshal is equivalent to an admiral in the Royal Navy or a general in the British Army or the Royal Marines. In other forces, such as the United States Armed Forces and the Canadian Armed Forces, the equivalent four-star rank is general.

The rank of air chief marshal is immediately senior to the rank of air marshal but subordinate to marshal of the Royal Air Force. Air chief marshals are sometimes generically considered to be air marshals.

Air commodore

Air commodore (abbreviated as Air Cdre in the RAF, IAF and PAF; AIRCDRE in the RNZAF and RAAF) is a one-star rank and the most junior general rank of the air-officer which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force. The rank is also used by the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence such as Zimbabwe, and it is sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure. The name of the rank is always the full phrase and is never shortened to Commodore, which is a rank in various naval forces.

Air commodore is a one-star rank and the most junior air officer rank, being immediately senior to group captain and immediately subordinate to air vice-marshal. It has a NATO ranking code of OF-6 and is equivalent to a commodore in the Royal Navy or a brigadier in the British Army or the Royal Marines. Unlike these two ranks, however, it has always been a substantive rank. Additionally, air commodores have always been considered to be air officers whilst Royal Navy commodores have not since the Napoleonic Wars been classified as officers of flag rank, and British Army brigadiers have not been considered to be general officers since 1922 when they ceased to be titled as brigadier-generals. In other NATO forces, such as the United States Armed Forces and the Canadian Armed Forces, the equivalent one-star rank is brigadier general.

The equivalent rank in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, Women's Royal Air Force (until 1968) and Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service (until 1980) was "air commandant".

Air marshal

Air Marshal (Air Mshl or AM) is a three-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force. The rank is also used by the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence, including the Commonwealth, and it is sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure.

Air marshal is a three-star rank and has a NATO ranking code of OF-8, equivalent to a vice-admiral in the Royal Navy or a lieutenant-general in the British Army or the Royal Marines. In other NATO forces, such as the United States Armed Forces and the Canadian Armed Forces, the equivalent three-star rank is lieutenant general.

The rank of air marshal is immediately senior to the rank of air vice-marshal and immediately subordinate to the rank of air chief marshal.

Officers in the rank of air marshal typically hold very senior appointments such as commander-in-chief of an air force or a large air force formation. Officers in the ranks of air chief marshal and air vice-marshal are also referred to generically as air marshals. Occasionally, air force officers of marshal rank are considered to be air marshals.

Air officer commanding

Air officer commanding (AOC) is a title given in the air forces of Commonwealth (and some other) nations to an air officer who holds a command appointment which typically comprises a large, organized collection of air force assets. Thus, an air vice marshal might be the AOC 38 Group. The equivalent term for army officers is general officer commanding (GOC), from where the air force term was derived.

An air officer heading a particularly large or important command may be called an air officer commanding-in-chief (AOC-in-C).

Bangladesh Air Force Academy

Bangladesh Air Force Academy (BAFA) (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ বিমান বাহিনী একাডেমী) is a training and education academy which provides initial training to all men and women who are preparing to be officers in the Bangladesh Air Force. The Bangladesh Air Force Academy is located in the district town of Jashore at Matiur Rahman Air Force Base. An air officer (e.g. an Air Commodore) serves as its Commandant.

Chief of Air Staff (Bangladesh)

The Chief Of Air Staff (abbreviated as COAS) (Bengali: বিমান বাহিনী প্রধান; Biman Bahini Pradhan) is the professional head and highest appointment of the Bangladesh Air Force. Only pilots (officers from GDP branch) get this post. The appointment is held by a four-star air officer and the current COAS is Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat.Prior to 2016, from 2007 the appointment was held by an Air Marshal (three-star air officer) and from 1972 to 2007 COAS's rank was Air Vice Marshal.

Chief of the Air Staff (India)

Chief of the Air Staff is the professional head and the commander of the Indian Air Force. The position is abbreviated as CAS in the Indian Air Force cables and communication, and is usually held by a four-star air officer of the rank Air Chief Marshal. The current CAS is Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa who took office on 31 December 2016, following the retirement of Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha.The position was held by an Air Commodore (1919–1923), by an Air Vice-Marshal (1923–1929) and by an Air Marshal (1929–1965). In 1966, the position was upgraded to that of an Air Chief Marshal. The highest rank in the India's IAF is Marshal of the Air Force, which is conferred by the President of India only in exceptional circumstances. It has only been given once in January 2002 to Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh. This is a five-star rank and is equivalent to a Field Marshal in the Army and Admiral of the Fleet in the Navy.

Commander-in-chief

A commander-in-chief, sometimes also called supreme commander, is the person that exercises supreme command and control over an armed forces or a military branch. As a technical term, it refers to military competencies that reside in a country's executive leadership – a head of state or a head of government.

Often, a commander-in-chief role if held by an official, need not be or have been a commissioned officer or even a veteran. Such countries follow the principle of civilian control of the military.

Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force

The Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force (French: commandant de l'Aviation royale canadienne) is the institutional head of the Royal Canadian Air Force. This appointment also includes the title Chief of the Air Force Staff and is based at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario.

Jayalath Weerakkody

Air Chief Marshal Jayalath Weerakkody RWP, VSV, USP, ndc, psc, SLAF is a retired Sri Lanka Air Force air officer who served as commander of the Air Force from 1998 to 2002.

In 2007 he was promoted to the rank of Air Chief Marshal along with nine other former service chiefs. He is the current Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Pakistan.

List of Royal Australian Air Force air marshals

The following is a list of Australians who have attained air marshal rank within the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF); that is, service personnel who have held the rank of air chief marshal (four-star rank), air marshal (three-star rank) or air vice marshal (two-star rank). The Royal Australian Air Force was established in 1921 as a separate branch of the Australian military forces. The service was modelled after the Royal Air Force—formed three years earlier—and adopted the same ranking system. Richard Williams, regarded as the "father" of the Royal Australian Air Force, was the service's first member to obtain air-officer rank on being promoted to air commodore (one-star rank) in 1927; he went on to become the first air vice marshal (1935) and air marshal (1940). In 1965, Sir Frederick Scherger became the first officer to be advanced to air chief marshal, one of only four members of the Royal Australian Air Force to obtain this rank as of June 2014. A further twenty-one individuals have reached air marshal in the RAAF and 125 air vice marshal; seven officers have retired with the honorary rank of air vice marshal.

List of serving air marshals of the Bangladesh Air Force

This is the list of serving Air Marshals of the Bangladesh Air Force. At present, the air force has one air chief marshal, 10 air vice marshals with no air marshal.

Air Chief Marshal Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat, BBP, OSP, ndu, psc, GD(P), Chief of Air StaffAir Vice Marshal Air Vice Marshal M Abul Bashar, OSP, ndc, psc, GD(P), Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Operations and Training)

Air Vice Marshal M Abul Bashar, OSP, ndc, psc, GD(P), Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Administration)

Air Vice Marshal M Qamrul Ehsan, ndc, psc, Engineering, Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Maintenance)

Air Vice Marshal Ehsanul Gani Chowdhury, OSP, GUP, ndu, psc, GD(P), Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Planning)

Air Vice Marshal Md Shafiqul Alam, BSP, ndc, afwc, psc, GD(P), Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Khademul Bashar, Tejgaon (Dhaka)

Air Vice Marshal M Sayed Hossain, BSP, GUP, ndc, psc, GD(P), Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Bangabandhu, Kurmitola (Dhaka)

Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Mafidur Rahman, BUP, ndu, afwc, psc, GD(P), Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Zahurul Haq, Patenga (Chattogram)

Air Vice Marshal AHM Fazlul haque, BSP, ndu, afwc, psc, GD(P), Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Matiur Rahman (Jashore)

Air Vice Marshal Naeem Hassan, GD(P), Chairman, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB)

Air Vice Marshal Shaikh Abdul Hannan, BUP, nswc, fawc, psc, GD(P) Senior Directing Staff (Air), National Defence College

List of serving air marshals of the Pakistan Air Force

This is the list of serving Air Marshals of the Pakistan Air Force. At present, the air force has one air chief marshal, 8 air marshals and 27 air vice marshals. The list is arranged according to the air marshal's respective seniority.

No. 1 Group RAF

No. 1 Group of the Royal Air Force is one of the two operations groups in Air Command, the other being the No. 2 Group. Today, the group is referred to as the Air Combat Group, as it controls the RAF's combat fast-jet aircraft and has airfields in the UK, as well as RAF Support Unit Goose Bay in Canada. The group headquarters is located alongside Headquarters Air Command at RAF High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The current Air officer commanding No 1 Group is Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth.

No. 22 Group RAF

No. 22 Group is one of five groups currently active in the Royal Air Force, falling under the responsibility of Deputy Commander-in-Chief (Personnel) in Air Command. Its previous title up until 2018 was No. 22 (Training) Group. It is responsible for RAF training policy and controlling the Royal Air Force College and the RAF's training stations. As such, it is the direct successor to Training Group.

One-star rank

An officer of one-star rank is a senior commander in many of the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO code of OF-6. The term is also used by some armed forces which are not NATO members. Typically, one-star officers hold the rank of commodore, flotilla admiral, brigadier general, brigadier, or in the case of those air forces with a separate rank structure, air commodore.

Officers of one-star rank are either the most junior of the flag, general and air officer ranks, or are not considered to hold the distinction at all. Specifically, in many navies, one-star officers are not considered to be flag officers, although this is not always the case. The army and air force rank of brigadier general is, by definition, a general officer rank. However, the equivalent rank of brigadier is usually not designated as a general officer. The air force rank of air commodore is always considered to be an air-officer rank.

RAF Strike Command

The Royal Air Force's Strike Command was the military formation which controlled the majority of the United Kingdom's bomber and fighter aircraft from 1968 until 2007 when it merged with Personnel and Training Command to form the single Air Command. It latterly consisted of two formations – No. 1 Group RAF and No. 2 Group RAF. The last Commander-in-Chief was Air Chief Marshal Sir Joe French.

Southern Air Command (India)

The Southern Air Command (SAC) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) is headquartered in Thiruvananthapuram, which is in the southern side of India. This is one among the seven commands of IAF. This command was started on 19 July 1984 and is relatively new among the other commands. The conflicts in Sri Lanka and the need for establishing a strong base over the Indian Ocean resulted to the formation of this new command. The SAC was inaugurated by Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India.From 1984 to 1999, the command grew from 5 lodger units to 17 lodger units under its jurisdiction.

Air-sea rescue in the Indian Ocean may be among the command's tasks.

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