Aircrew should they hold a rank?

Well I hope this generates healthy debate, but do we think that Aircrew should hold rank or should we give them grades?

Think about people you know and ask yourself are they really up to being a Cpl, Sgt, WO etc??  Or could we adopt a grade system for all aircrew or what about doing what our freinds in the good old US do and make all Aircrew enlisted men WO's but seperate from the chain of command?

Views please :)
Are you the Murph who was a fellow "Pimp" ???

Do you enjoy laughing for no apparent reason in trenches in the middle of nowhere?

Do you have a moss coat?? ;)
I think the present system is fine, the rest of the Army can relate to the people they meet day to day and might even think "hey if this knob can be a pilot - so can I"

I've been in the corps for many, many years and I love it dearly but I'm grown up enough to know that there are one or two knobs around and there are loads of good soldiers in the wider Army who could make a valuable contribution to the Corps. Let's not alienate them with strange Grades or Ranking Systems.

(steps off of Hobby Horse and retires quietly!) ;)
(Slightly off thread but its Sat night and I'm replying to the last post).

In this day and age of the Corps transferring only a minimal percentage, would you recommend someone going for it?

I tend to have two answers for someone who asks me.

1. Yes, go for it, you never know unless you try and it's a wheeze going up diddly up and all that.

2. Don't bother, as you will spend on average two and a half years on a course that should take nine months. When you reach a flying unit, you won't. You will be career fouled for moving from your old unit and you have more chance of opening a Gestapo memorabilia shop in Tel Aviv than getting transferred. You will witness the worst admin and man management since Gen Haig decided it might be a good idea to move his drinks cabinet 50' nearer to Berlin.

BTW, I am not a bitter and twisted E3 (haven't been for about twelve years). Just passing an observation.

Getting back to the original question.
This argument came up on Pprune a while back. The idea is sound in general but very American, not always a good thing.
Dr Arman, you suggest that one reason why this should happen is because aircrew NCOs might not come up to the standard of the rank they hold. Look around the rest of the Corps or Army and I think you might agree that argument would decree we have the same system, not just an aircrew phenomenon. As Tqnc stated, we are no different from the rest of the army in our job, we just use a different bit of kit to do it in. Why should that make us special?
I have found in the past that it can cause a few problems but general education will tend to remedy this. For example, whilst serving as a JNCO pilot on operations several years ago, one found it easier to forget to wear rank slides and allow various people to see the wings first. Not an ego thing but if someone wishes to seek professional advice, they tend to see the rank and not the job. Similarly, as a SNCO crewed with an officer who might have only just completed his flying course, the automatic reaction of a ground commander will be to go to the rodney first as that’s the usual way in the forces. (I tended to let said Rodders try and explain the best way of performing EVCP's in hankers met with a high threat state at two in the morning right until he ran out of experience about 60 seconds later and then rebriefed Gnd Comd!)
In general, I think we are fine as we are. Lets not go Yank and have a 23 year old who is a 'grade 6 WO class 34'! At least the rest of the Army have some idea what a Sgt, SSgt or WOII is!

Dr A, I have read several of you posts and think maybe this thread was designed to provoke a little me thinks? What’s your position and why do you feel this?

PS Murph, recieved your mail and will reply soonest. AND your a freeking senior now! Met some loggie on his grading the other week from your locstat. Howd he do?

He failed. Bit of a shame. What were you doing there? I know Gut has servicibility problems, but your currencies can't have lapsed as far back as your fixed wing surely???? ;D
Lord Flash,

There is no secret old chap, as I said at the start of this thread " I hope this generates healthy debate.." ;)

And that I do.  My own point of view on this is that we should not be holding ranks for aircrew.

I believe this for several valid reasons;

1.  Many AAC (true blue) aviators went pilot as LCpls and as such have only a very basic understanding of the complexity of running an AAC ground unit.

2.  The rest are transferring from whatever unit's they wanted to get out of yet spend the majority of the time boring everyone with how good their old lot were.  Also the experience they may have gained in charge of a horse in London or a Drops truck somewhere is of little use to an AAC commander trying to run several LP's at night with limited resources and even less men than an all girls day out :mad:

3.  Being in a position of command (relatively important I am)  I routinely witness Aircrew who clearly only have the rank on their arms because they are in a rank ranged role and would not be able to command any effective unit of men (Or women).  This is not applicable to all so please do not be offended but think honestly about other members of your Squadrons/ Flights etc.

4.  We are a unique Corps in the British Army so why not reflect this by having our own unique set of grades for aviators after all I would suggest that a CPl pilot has a lot more resposibility than a Cpl Tank commander or troop 2i/c.

Come on lets have a proper debate !!
Would you agree that a Cpl tank cmd has seen more of how a BG operates than an AAC SSM? Therefore, he has more experiance in that field. A field that he will be operating in. Your argument is based on general management possibly?

"would not be able to command any effective unit of men (Or women)."
I would suggest if he is an aviator that his 'unit' would be a team of aircraft, something even a slop jockey would be trained and honed in, having completed an APC. Are you trying to put across a 'soldier first' philosophy?

Aviation first, soldier by default. When that happens, we'll be doing quick stops on the moon!!
Not sure on the rank thing, I do think the standard and admittedly quite posey flying suit should change though. :D

Something in corderoy perhaps with a pointy shoes and a corset. perhaps this will stop the poncy premadonnas mincing round the various camps like douglas bader        (pre accident of course) ;D ;D ;D

Please dont let me deviate you from this topic though, its starting to show potential
Gotta agree with Flash there. The aviators "unit" is indeed other aviators.

The chances (heaven forbid) of a floppy jockey or a fat boy having to command a ground unit are pretty remote and every time it happened whilst I was in, ended in complete disaster.

Whilst an immigrant from another arm may have more experience of say tank or infantry movements, that does not automatically make them better aviators on the battlefield.

I particularly like the idea of corduroy though. Maybe a nice satin rough as well.
;) I hate to sound bitter and twisted!!! You don't tend to get the respect due to you rank in the AAC anyway so why not give a new system a try.......god, can you imagine the admin fiasco if they try and implement a new system of rank!
I really don't think doing a 'New Labour' make over would change the Corps that easily. How we percieve ourselves might though.

Again Dr A-V, another cracking thread. :p
Sorry to digress a little here. I have had quite a bit of experiance with the crabs and I must say, I don't condone their attitude 100% but if you ask most of thier types, wheather it be chef, MT driver or stacker the question 'What is your primary role?' . A bit Robocop I know. Their answer would be 'to get an aircraft over a target and drop ordanance'. This would be regardless wheather they ever actually see a front line cab. They know why they are employed. We, as a Corps do not follow that line.

If you don't pole the cab, you are indoctrinated to feel like a second class citizen. (Possibly by so called failed types who need to project an image that they 'didn't want pilot anyway'). Wrong. No shame in that. Attitude usually being I'm a 'pilot' or 'failing that, I need something to prove myself....mmm, lets push the soldier first thing.
Done the courses so therefore I am qualified to run a PATA induction cse and have to justify my existance as a non pilot. Easy way of doing that is sprout lots of Pams, Tac, SAA, Trg wing...blah, blah blah. Time and place for ATD's. But it aint a career. Standards in basic skills are a must but not a requirement for people who hold on to nothing more than a 'job spec' in lieu of a real job. How about those who try to 'educate' the newer members of the Corps who haven't achieved all they might have in they philosophy of Aviation. Ie, we all have a role in getting the aircraft airborne? As opposed to making them like you?

We make a big deal out of pilot being the top of the pyramid, it ain't. Chain analogy and all that.

Until we stop squabbling, we will always have a split. Banter aside, there really are ground types who are venomous against the reason why we exist,...... to put cabs on a target. If they can't see why that is what we do, they should be REME RD or Pioneer Corps! The Corps should not be full of types who 'put their crown on wrong on mess kit', Dr A-V, I believe you know who I mean. Do you want that kind leading and teaching the future of the Corps?
Those types should give way to the pro SNCO, ground or air, who firstly educate the leaders and secondly don't hold an ego or an inferiority comlplex about the job they do. As I said, ground or air. It's our survival. Sorry to sound so mellowdramatic. I'm a bit fed up with N Stroker or J Mac types having a free swipe at other members of the Corps when the direction should be the other way or at least the same song sheet.

Dr A-V, your serve I believe?

What were you doing up at 4 minutes past midnight?  Haven't you a home to go to?  Or are you really a policy maker at DAAC?  Are you getting a feel for what the members of the Corps really think and feel?  Go on, tell the truth.  I won't tell anyone. ;D

Good debating subject, which obviously attracts heated comment depending on which side of the fence you sit. But there seems to be a bit of a misconception here. Are you debating rank or command. Both appear to be much used and maligned ???

Rank has not a lot to do with command per se. Rank has everything to do with span of responsibility. Hence the rank of a pilot. A useful tool of light blue types who cling to officer only jocks, cos only they were deemed "responsible" enough to instant sunshine vast areas of the Urals., but incapable of commanding dog black officer for kicking. Are you in denial that Sgt is not responsible enough for £42M worth of refurbished cold war attack helo? I would suggest that its capability demands the responsibility of rank ranging that is identifiable by the rest of the Army. What grading label would you suggest? Overpaid Class1, Overweight Class2, FRI Level 2 ::)

Command..well thats a different ball game. Look around at the paradox's: a 2* in "command" of the poorly titled JHC, who actually doesnt "command" anything, just provides for lesser mortals..effectively an agency. We have a "Commander" in Chief, who never deploys (no disrepect Maam), and a 1* Bde Commander with more men under "command" than a Divisional 2*?

Command is about maximising fighting this taught on the so called Senior "Command" Course :( of course not. Battle lessons, Bulford Ridge Log running yes...qualities and techniques of difficult squire...revert to square bashing.

Each to his / her own choice..we expect pilots of any rank to maximise the fighting potential (command) of their aircraft. Not whether they come up to the standards of rank as defined by the Infantry manual. We should begin to recruit and train our ground elements to focus on supporting and enabling them to do just that. LFs post strikes the truth.    

So your argument in placing aircrew and groundcrew in rank v command compartments is?

Agree with LF on this one..dont confuse the Army or other services...when a light blue mincing F3 jock sees a SNCO Army pilot, he / she instinctively knows to step aside :mad:  
Step aside for the wrong reasons, its so the waft of the lynx jocks armpits dont get them or even worse to avoid being crushed by there swollen guts ;D

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