This raises one key question: is Mon Cherie's still running? Asking for a friend...My bold. My understanding from friends who flew or currently fly shiny AT (VC10 / Tristar / Voyager) is that the concept of rank-prioritised boarding came from requests in the 50s / 60s (from the British Army); the idea of LCpl Smith boarding the aircraft before the Colonel simply didn't pass muster. This may be urban myth, but it sounds plausible enough, and having seen (on a flight to BFSAI) an Infantry Lt Col shouting at the loadmaster because a group of troopers were sitting in better seats than he had, I can quite believe it. Said Lt Col was even more disgruntled to be put back in his box (ie you calm down or we'll consider diverting the aeroplane) by a particularly good looking girlie copilot.
My bold 2. Common misconception. The organisation doesn't simply exist to serve the pilots; it is centred around making the air mission succeed. Clearly, every aircraft (even RPAS) have a crew, and those crews make the air mission succeed; but they do not do so in isolation. If they think they do (and I've come across very few who think that way) then they're pretty bloody ignorant. If we are as pilot centric as people believe, how come our last CDS (and arguably one of the best CDS's in the last 25yrs) was a Navigator? How come our current DCDS (Mil Cap) is a 3* Engineer Officer? We've had numerous Group commanders (equates an Armd Div 2* Comd in Land-speak) who have been Navigators; I have worked for a Stn Cdr who was an Engineer Officer and another who was an Admin Officer, and I believe that Stn Cdr RAF Boulmer in Northumberland is nigh-on a shoe in for Fighter Controllers (Magic Mushroom may be able to confirm), despite having had a sizeable SAR det on his / her turf up till 2015.
Lastly, I don't think we in the RAF are alone in the 'failing to ensure that the troops eat first' stakes (no pun intended). From a fair amount of time in the Joint Environment, some of the attitudes I have heard [principally from teeth arms SO2s and SO1s] towards the troops they will tell the CO they're sooooooooo passionate about, would make your stomach churn. "Broken home white trash" from one Household Div SO1; "the kind of people whose sisters work in Mon Cherie's" from a Scots Div Major. If I heard any officer in my unit bad mouthing the blokes on the eng line or wherever like that, I'd book an appointment with the Stn Cdr and dob the twat in.
I guess where this originates is the fact that the majority of the RAF (and to a certain extent some parts of the RN, esp submarines, aviation and the Poole team) are a lot less rank-conscious than the green Army and that irritates the latter massively. They (green Army) see that Poole / Hereford team being a lot more informal than the rest of the Land Component, "but that's OK because they're hard and can carry a heavy Bergen a long way".