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Fit birds in uniform

Not entirely true, I'll explain why.

Seniority on graduation is determined by a number of factors; educational qualifications (eg if you have a Bachelors / Masters degree), prior service in the University Air Squadron system or service in the ranks, and (for PQO's) professional qualifications / accreditation. The military status of any officer cadet, untill commissioning, equates to that of an Aircraftman (i.e. a Private).

For the purposes of graduation ceremonies, the cadet's uniform is prepared with their prospective commissioning rank, as in the case of the rather attractive Flt Lt (desig) in the photo concerned. Upon reaching graduating standard, cadets then spend about a week doing admin / parade prep (colloquially known as 'drink-and-drill') before marching off the square (nowhere near as impressive as a Sandhurst graduation, to be fair) and then head off to Phase 2 training. In the RAF system, that's where the 'thinning out' takes place; flying training will bin about a half of all prospective pilots / navigators, with some re-branching to ground streams, some leaving the Service, and some transferring to the green / dark blue.

When I was a RAFC cadet in the early 90s it wasn't unusual to see PQOs march off the parade square as a Wg Cdr or a Gp Capt (principally Medics with niche qualifications).
Went through IOT in 91. PQOs was called SERE then (Specialist Entrant & Re-Entrant I think?), or Tarts and Vicars if we were being unkind (if somewhat accurate).

I am a graduate so was a Student Officer, was commissioned day 1, commission not confirmed until graduation. Non-grads were Officer Cadets, commission granted on graduation. No difference while there except in pay.

Huge difference in seniority, and hence pay, once out though. It’s a bit blurred now but I graduated as a Pilot Officer, 6 weeks-ish to Flying Officer, then 2 years to Flt Lt. All in 2 and a half years to Flt Lt. Still on basic flying training when that happened.
My non-grad colleagues did a year as Acting Pilot Officer, a year as Pilot Officer, then 3 and a half (I think) as Flying Officer so 5.5 years plus the 18 weeks of IOT to Flt Lt.

Downside was as a Flt Lt you were supposed to be sensible and mature (yeah right....), as a Plt Off/Fg Off you were pretty much bulletproof!
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Skywest should UP there security measures!
id card till 2021 and a Bar code From the younger chicken.
But they should get Extra Points for Mother Daughter Fantasies!

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