In civilian aviation usage, the term airman is analogous to the term sailor in nautical usage. In the American Federal Aviation Administration usage, an airman is any holder of an airman's certificate, male or female. This certificate is issued to those who qualify for it by the Federal Aviation Administration Airmen Certification Branch.
|Field marshal or
General of the Army
the air force
|Admiral||General||Air chief marshal|
|Vice admiral||Lieutenant general||Air marshal|
|Rear admiral||Major general||Air vice-marshal|
|Commander||Lieutenant colonel||Wing commander|
junior grade or
|Second lieutenant||Pilot officer|
|Officer cadet||Officer cadet||Flight cadet|
|Warrant officer or
chief petty officer
|Warrant officer or
|Leading seaman||Corporal or
In the U.S. Air Force, airman is a general term which can refer to any member of the United States Air Force, regardless of rank, and also a specific enlisted rank. The rank of airman (abbreviated "Amn") is the second enlisted rank from the bottom, just above the rank of Airman Basic, and just below that of Airman First Class. Since the Air Force was established in 1947, all of the various ranks of "airman" have always included women, and in this context, the word "man" means "human being". Former U.S. Air Force ranks included Airman Second Class and Airman Third Class.[Note 1] The current E-2 paygrade rank of Airman was called Airman Third Class from 1952 to 1967.
A person with the rank of Airman Basic is typically promoted to the rank of Airman after six months of active duty service in the Air Force, if that member had signed up for an enlistment period of at least four years of active duty. On the other hand, an enlistee could be promoted to the rank of Airman immediately after completing Air Force basic training (and thus paid somewhat more) given one of several additional qualifications:
Those enlistees who have qualified for these early promotions to the rank of Airman are allowed to wear their single airman insignia stripe during the Air Force basic training graduation ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. They also receive a retroactive pay increment that brings them up to the pay grade for an Airman upon their completion of basic training. (Thus, it is as if they have enlisted as Airmen on the first day, as far as their pay is concerned. However, if they do not complete basic training and are discharged, they do not receive the extra pay.)
While at the rank of Airman, the duties of enlisted personnel include adjusting to the Air Force way of military life and becoming proficient in their Air Force duty specialties. Note that upon leaving basic training, all Airmen enter a period of many weeks or many months of training at Air Force schools in their duty specialties that they and the Air Force have selected for them depending on their aptitudes and interests, and the needs of the Air Force. For Airmen with high aptitudes, some of these training programs include more than one school and take a year or more to complete.
Airmen are often nicknamed “mosquito wings" due to the insignia's resemblance to a mosquito’s small wings.
In the U.S. Coast Guard, the ranks are very similar or identical to the ones in the U.S. Navy, and a Coast Guard airman is identical in rank and pay to an Airman in the Navy. Coast Guard Airman is the enlisted rank that corresponds to the pay grade of E-3 in the Coast Guard's aviation field. (Note that Airman includes females; here "man" means "human being".) Airman is just above the Coast Guard rank of airman apprentice, Seaman Apprentice, fireman apprentice which is the E-2 pay grade, but it is just below the rank of Petty Officer Third Class, E-4 pay grade.
The Airman's Creed is a creed for members of the U.S. Air Force. It was introduced in 2007 by General T. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force. In a letter introducing the creed, Moseley wrote that one of his "top priorities" was to "reinvigorate the warrior ethos in every Airman of our Total Force." Thus, the intent of the creed was to enhance the building of a warrior ethos among its Airmen and to provide Airmen a tangible statement of beliefs.
The Airman's Creed helps establish a coherent bond between the members of the USAF. The creed is fueled by the Air Force's heritage and, in the words of Moseley, "the warfighting-focused culture, conviction, character, ethic, mindset, spirit and soul we foster in all Airmen".This creed supplanted all other prior creeds that the Air Force had been using, including the NCO Creed, SNCO Creed, the Chief's creed, and the First Sergeant's Creed,.Airman (comics)
Airman (originally Air Man) is a fictional, comic-book superhero first published by Centaur Publications during the late 1930s to 1940s period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books. He first appeared in Keen Detective Funnies #23 (Aug. 1940), in a story by artist Harry Sahle and an unconfirmed writer, generally credited as George Kapitan.After Centaur Publications went out of business, Airman lapsed into the public domain. In the early 1990s, he was revived by Malibu Comics as a character in the series Protectors, and starred in a namesake, one-shot spin-off.
An Airman story from Keen Detective Funnies #24 has been reprinted in Men of Mystery Comics #63 by AC Comics.Airman Basic
Airman Basic (AB) is the lowest enlisted rank in the United States Air Force (USAF), immediately below Airman. The pay grade for airman basic is E-1.As opposed to all other USAF enlisted and officer ranks, Airman Basic has no rank insignia affiliated. The lack of uniform insignia for Airmen Basic is the reason for the nickname "slick-sleeve"; all other enlisted Air Force ranks wear stripes and chevrons on their uniform sleeves.In accordance with Air Force Instruction (AFI) 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, the term of address for an airman basic is "Airman Basic" or "Airman".Airman Battle Uniform
The Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) is a U.S. camouflage combat uniform; it is a service-distinctive uniform as it is primarily used by the United States Air Force, its civilian auxiliary, and some civilian employees of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). It replaced the Battle Dress Uniform on 1 November 2011 after a four-year phase-in period.On 14 May 2018, The U.S. Air Force announced that all airmen will transition from the Airman Battle Uniform to the Army Combat Uniform Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP), which the Air Force refers to as simply Operational Camouflage Pattern. All airmen will be allowed to wear OCP-patterned ACUs beginning on 1 October 2018, and the wear out date for the ABU is 1 April 2021.Airman Leadership School
Airman Leadership School (ALS) is a 24 duty days long United States Air Force program designed to develop Airmen into effective front-line supervisors. It is the first professional military education (PME) that enlisted Air Force members encounter. ALS focuses on developing leadership abilities, the profession of arms, and building effective communication.Airman first class
Airman First Class (A1C) is the third enlisted rank (E-3) in the United States Air Force, just above Airman and below Senior Airman. The rank of Airman First Class is considered a junior enlisted rank, with the non-commissioned officers and senior non-commissioned officers above it.
Airman First Class is a rank that has also been used by the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard, although it is not currently in use. In documents about the history of U.S. armed forces, this rank is abbreviated as "A1C".Army Combat Uniform
The Army Combat Uniform (ACU) and its flame-retardant variant, the Flame-Resistant Army Combat Uniform (FRACU), are the current battle uniforms worn by the United States Army. The uniform is also used by the U.S. Air Force, where it is known as the Airman Combat Uniform, and by some civilian employees of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
First unveiled in June 2004, it is the successor to the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) and Desert Camouflage Uniform (DCU) worn from the 1980s and 1990s through the early 2000s, respectively. The ACU and its component materials are manufactured by the existing industrial infrastructure which produced the now-obsolete BDU. Official military-grade ACUs are made of 50% nylon and 50% cotton. All other blends are not official issue.Cadet grades and insignia of the Civil Air Patrol
Cadet grades and insignia of the Civil Air Patrol are a series of cadet ranks awarded to cadets in Civil Air Patrol (CAP). Each grade and insignia corresponds to an equivalent United States Air Force enlisted and an equivalent officer grade insignia. A cadet begins at Cadet Airman Basic (the lowest enlisted grade) and must progress through all the enlisted grades before becoming a cadet officer. Each achievement requires the completion of several tasks.Comparative air force enlisted ranks of Asia
Rank comparison chart of air forces of Asian states.Comparative air force enlisted ranks of Europe
Rank comparison chart of air forces enlisted personnel of European states.Italian Air Force ranks
The rank insignia of the Italian Air Force are worn on jackets and mantels sleeves.MV Belgian Airman
Belgian Airman was a 6,959 ton cargo ship which was built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Glasgow in 1941 for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). She was launched as Empire Ballantyne and transferred to the Belgian Government in 1942. She was sunk by a German U-boat on 14 April 1945.Pilot licensing and certification
Pilot licensing or certification refers to permits on how to operate aircraft that are issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in each country, establishing that the holder has met a specific set of knowledge and experience requirements. This includes taking a flying test. The certified pilot can then exercise a specific set of privileges in that nation's airspace. Despite attempts to harmonize the requirements between nations, the differences in certification practices and standards from place to place serve to limit full international validity of the national qualifications. In addition, U.S. pilots are certified, not licensed, although the word license is still commonly used informally. Legally, pilot certificates can be revoked by administrative action, whereas licensing (e.g., a driver's license) requires intervention by the judiciary system.
In the United States, pilot certification is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a branch of the Department of Transportation (DOT). A pilot is certified under the authority of Parts 61 and 141 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, also known as the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs).In Canada, licensing is issued by Transport Canada.
In most European countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Greece, and many others, licenses, where required, are issued by the national aviation authority according to a set of common rules established by the European Aviation Safety Agency known as EASA – Flight Crew Licensing (EASA-FCL).SMS Teodo
SMS Teodo was a 6,561 ton collier built in 1915 for the Austro-Hungarian Navy. She was ceded to Italy in 1921 as a war reparation. She was renamed Barbana in 1924 and Barbana G in 1926. In 1940, she was seized by the United Kingdom and renamed Empire Airman. On 21 September 1940, Empire Airman was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-100.Seaman apprentice
Seaman apprentice is the second lowest enlisted rate in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps just above seaman recruit and below seaman; this rank was formerly known as seaman second class.
The actual title for an E-2 in the U.S. Navy varies based on the community to which the sailor belongs. Likewise, the color of their group rate marks also depends on their community.
Those in the general deck and administrative community are seamen apprentice. They wear white stripes on navy blue uniforms, and navy blue (black) stripes on white uniforms.
Hospital corpsmen are hospitalmen apprentice. They are the only rate in this community. They wear white stripes on navy blue uniforms, and navy blue stripes on white uniforms.
Those in the engineering and hull community are called firemen apprentice and wear red stripes on both navy blue and white uniforms.
Those in the aviation community are called airmen apprentice and wear green stripes on both navy blue and white uniforms.
Seabees are called constructionmen apprentice and wear light blue stripes on both navy blue and white uniforms.No stripes are worn on the working uniforms - coveralls or utilities.
In October 2005, the dental technician rating was merged with the hospital corpsman rating, eliminating the dentalman apprentice title. Those who once held the rank of dentalman apprentice have instead become hospitalman apprentices.
Sailors who have completed the requirements to be assigned a rating and have been accepted by the Bureau of Naval Personnel as holding that rating (a process called "striking") are called designated strikers, and are called by their full rate and rating in formal communications (i.e., "machinist's mate fireman apprentice", as opposed to simply "fireman apprentice"), though the rating is often left off in informal communication. Those who have not officially been assigned to a rating are officially referred to as "undesignated" or "non-rates."Seaman recruit
Seaman recruit (SR) is the lowest enlisted rate in the United States Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps just below seaman apprentice; this rank was formerly known as seaman third class. Two separate pay grades exist within this rank (and the corresponding ranks in the other branches of the United States military structure) — one for those with service of less than four months, with a higher pay scale for those in service for more than four months, even if they have not yet advanced to seaman apprentice.Senior airman
Senior Airman (SrA) is the fourth enlisted rank in the United States Air Force, just above Airman First Class and below Staff Sergeant. It has a pay grade of E-4. Between its approval on 30 December 1975 (with implementation 1 June 1976) and 19 March 1991, Senior Airmen wore sleeve chevrons with blue center stars instead of silver to distinguish them from the non-commissioned officer rank of "Sergeant", also a pay grade of E-4. The latter was abolished in 1991 and the blue center star was changed to white to conform to all enlisted rank chevrons.
The Air Force promotes an Airman First Class (A1C) to Senior Airman after 36 months time in service (TIS) and 20 months time in grade (TIG), or 28 months TIG, whichever occurs first. Outstanding Airmen First Class, limited to no more than 15 percent of the total, may be promoted to Senior Airmen six months early, in a competitive process called Below-the-Zone, which normally involves going before a competitive board. Senior Airmen are expected to be technically proficient and begin to develop leadership skills, and may be expected to supervise an Airman of lesser rank.
Senior Airmen must attend the six-week Airman Leadership School, the first course of the Air Force's college of enlisted professional military education, before being promoted to staff sergeant. SrA with no projected promotion and between three and six years TIS, may attend Airman Leadership School.Tuskegee Airmen
The Tuskegee Airmen
is the popular name of a group of African-American military pilots (fighter and bomber) who fought in World War II. They formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces. The name also applies to the navigators, bombardiers, mechanics, instructors, crew chiefs, nurses, cooks and other support personnel.
All black military pilots who trained in the United States trained at Moton Field, the Tuskegee Army Air Field, and were educated at Tuskegee University, located near Tuskegee, Alabama. The group included five Haitians from the Haitian Air Force, and one pilot from Trinidad. It also included a Hispanic or Latino airman born in the Dominican Republic.Although the 477th Bombardment Group trained with North American B-25 Mitchell bombers, they never served in combat. The 99th Pursuit Squadron (later, 99th Fighter Squadron) was the first black flying squadron, and the first to deploy overseas (to North Africa in April 1943, and later to Sicily and Italy). The 332nd Fighter Group, which originally included the 100th, 301st, and 302nd Fighter Squadrons, was the first black flying group. It deployed to Italy in early 1944. In June 1944, the 332nd Fighter Group began flying heavy bomber escort missions, and in July 1944, with the addition of the 99th Fighter Squadron, it had four fighter squadrons.
The 99th Fighter Squadron was initially equipped with Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter-bomber aircraft. The 332nd Fighter Group and its 100th, 301st and 302nd Fighter Squadrons were equipped for initial combat missions with Bell P-39 Airacobras (March 1944), later with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts (June–July 1944), and finally with the aircraft with which they became most commonly associated, the North American P-51 Mustang (July 1944). When the pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group painted the tails of their P-47s red, the nickname "Red Tails" was coined. The red markings that distinguished the Tuskegee Airmen included red bands on the noses of P-51s as well as a red rudder; the P-51B and D Mustangs flew with similar color schemes, with red propeller spinners, yellow wing bands and all-red tail surfaces.
The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces. During World War II, black Americans in many U.S. states were still subject to the Jim Crow laws and the American military was racially segregated, as was much of the federal government. The Tuskegee Airmen were subjected to discrimination, both within and outside the army.United States Air Force enlisted rank insignia
The chart below represents the current enlisted rank insignia of the United States Air Force.
While all Air Force military personnel are referred to as Airmen, it can specifically refer to the pay grades of E-1 through E-4 which are below the level of non-commissioned officers (NCOs). Above the pay grade of E-4 (E-5 through E-9) all ranks fall into the category of NCO and are further subdivided into NCOs (E-5 & E-6) and Senior NCOs (E-7 through E-9); the term Junior NCO is sometimes used to refer to staff sergeants and technical sergeants (E-5 and E-6).The Air Force is the only one of the five branches of the United States military where NCO status is now only achieved at the grade of E-5. Formerly, the grade of Sergeant was obtained after a time as a Senior Airman and successful completion of the Air Force NCO School. In all other branches, NCO status can be achieved at the grade of E-4 (a Corporal in the Army and Marine Corps, Petty Officer Third Class in the Navy and Coast Guard). However, E-4s in the Army with the rank of Specialist are not NCOs. The Air Force mirrored the Army from 1976 to 2 May 1991 with an E-4 being either a Senior Airman wearing three stripes without a star or a Sergeant (informally referred to as "Buck Sergeant") which was noted by the presence of the central star and considered an NCO. Despite not being an NCO, a Senior Airman who has completed Airman Leadership School can be a supervisor.