Army WO3s and RAF WO1s

#1
While looking into RAF 'Warrant Officers' (both 'Warrant Officers' and 'Master Aircrew', both of whom are given Warrants by the SofS for Def so both 'Warrant Officers') I was interested and surprised to note two apparent anomalies - one in the Army and one in the RAF.

The British Army has two warrant Officer Ranks: WO1 and WO2. It also had a WO3 rank briefly from October 1938 until 1939 when the war Office promoted about 1,000 SNCOs to WO3 to command pls and tps, initially in cav and inf, then in some R Sigs units and RA searchlight units. The rank was apparently never officially abolished but selection and promotion was discontinued by ACI 804 in 1940 with those already promoted simply being phased out, so unless that's incorrect (? anybody) the Army still technically has the rank of WO3 even though it can't be used / filled.

According to official and unofficial histories of the RAF, on the other hand, the RAF re-named Sergeant Major 1st Class and Sergeant Major 2nd Class to WO1 and WO2 in 1933 to copy the Army, abolishing and phasing out WO2s in 1939 and re-naming WO1's as "Warrant Officer"s. As this wasn't a change to the rank structure of the RAF, unlike the abolishing of WO2s, and was only a "re-naming" of WO1s to 'Warrant Officers', unless the rank was officially abolished and not just re-named (? anybody, with evidence) the RAF still has WO1s and they've just been re-named 'Warrant Officers' to simplify the rank title.
 
#2
And?

Look into the history of RN warrant ranks, that'll keep you quiet for a bit.
 
#3
#4
WO3's have been arrsed to death.

Short lived appointment known as Platoon Sgt Major. Binned just after the start of ww2, with those WO3s then commissioned
 
#5
While looking into RAF 'Warrant Officers' (both 'Warrant Officers' and 'Master Aircrew', both of whom are given Warrants by the SofS for Def so both 'Warrant Officers') I was interested and surprised to note two apparent anomalies - one in the Army and one in the RAF.

The British Army has two warrant Officer Ranks: WO1 and WO2. It also had a WO3 rank briefly from October 1938 until 1939 when the war Office promoted about 1,000 SNCOs to WO3 to command pls and tps, initially in cav and inf, then in some R Sigs units and RA searchlight units. The rank was apparently never officially abolished but selection and promotion was discontinued by ACI 804 in 1940 with those already promoted simply being phased out, so unless that's incorrect (? anybody) the Army still technically has the rank of WO3 even though it can't be used / filled.

According to official and unofficial histories of the RAF, on the other hand, the RAF re-named Sergeant Major 1st Class and Sergeant Major 2nd Class to WO1 and WO2 in 1933 to copy the Army, abolishing and phasing out WO2s in 1939 and re-naming WO1's as "Warrant Officer"s. As this wasn't a change to the rank structure of the RAF, unlike the abolishing of WO2s, and was only a "re-naming" of WO1s to 'Warrant Officers', unless the rank was officially abolished and not just re-named (? anybody, with evidence) the RAF still has WO1s and they've just been re-named 'Warrant Officers' to simplify the rank title.
@Danny_Dravot @Alamo

This is all thanks to you pair.
 
#6
Another exciting and pointless thread by John. Good job.
 
#7
My take is that RAF WOs are indeed WO1s in all but names my rational for this is:

They are OR9s, WO2 is an OR8

At an RAF station I served at only Army WO1s were invited to ‘top table’ lunches by their fellow RAF WOs. WO2s were excluded on the premise (and fact) that they are a lower rank. Therefore RAF WOs class themselves (rightly so) at that level.

Very rude to exclude fellow Royal Warrant holders, but there you go :)

Of course non of the above is an earth shattering revelation to anyone here, but when everyone goes into pedant mode about who said what/when, it all becomes a little bit silly ^~
 
#8
While looking into RAF 'Warrant Officers' (both 'Warrant Officers' and 'Master Aircrew', both of whom are given Warrants by the SofS for Def so both 'Warrant Officers') I was interested and surprised to note two apparent anomalies - one in the Army and one in the RAF.

The British Army has two warrant Officer Ranks: WO1 and WO2. It also had a WO3 rank briefly from October 1938 until 1939 when the war Office promoted about 1,000 SNCOs to WO3 to command pls and tps, initially in cav and inf, then in some R Sigs units and RA searchlight units. The rank was apparently never officially abolished but selection and promotion was discontinued by ACI 804 in 1940 with those already promoted simply being phased out, so unless that's incorrect (? anybody) the Army still technically has the rank of WO3 even though it can't be used / filled.

According to official and unofficial histories of the RAF, on the other hand, the RAF re-named Sergeant Major 1st Class and Sergeant Major 2nd Class to WO1 and WO2 in 1933 to copy the Army, abolishing and phasing out WO2s in 1939 and re-naming WO1's as "Warrant Officer"s. As this wasn't a change to the rank structure of the RAF, unlike the abolishing of WO2s, and was only a "re-naming" of WO1s to 'Warrant Officers', unless the rank was officially abolished and not just re-named (? anybody, with evidence) the RAF still has WO1s and they've just been re-named 'Warrant Officers' to simplify the rank title.
A mere trifle compared to the biggest RAF anomaly. With the exception of the Commandant of the Corps, who was a RAF Air Commodore, Royal Observer Corps officers were warranted and not commissioned. This despite having to pass the Vicars and Tarts course at Cranwell, and having identical uniforms to RAF officers (apart from different coloured rank slides).
 
#9
#10
My take is that RAF WOs are indeed WO1s
Yes because there is only the rank of Warrant Officer in the RAF. Seemed curious to me during my time that the Army had 2 in the same rank, go figure.
 
#11
#13
The British Army has two warrant Officer Ranks: WO1 and WO2. It also had a WO3 rank briefly from October 1938 until 1939 when the war Office promoted about 1,000 SNCOs to WO3 to command pls and tps, initially in cav and inf,
I posted this nearly 8 years ago

In my old Cav regiment we used to call all the SSgt 'Sergeant Major' never Staff. I was led to believe it was from the days of there being a WO3, and the tradition carried on.
 
#18
Didn't realise they did it as well. I was attached to the QDG for 2 ish months on H9; mildly confusing for me at first.
It produces lots of merryment amongst some shouty types when you forget and use it outside the Regiment
 
#20
I should imagine more than a few WO2s have embarrassed by being a dick to RAF Flt Sgts.

Flt Sgt gets promoted. What's his next rank? In Army terms, WO1.

"Get your heels together, shitlips. Now who's laughing?"
 

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