My bold.I think I read somewhere that you can't be reduced to a lower rank than the one you joined as. So for graduate officers who are 2Lts on day one, I imagine they can't be reduced to Pte. Those who are non-grads are OCdts, so their sub rank is Pte; that may be different.
On the other hand a) it may be complete barrack-room lawyer shit that I heard years ago, and/or b) maybe those who commission on day 1 are enlisted as Ptes on Day 1 and commissioned immediately thereafter.
The whole thing needs to be looked at from the ground up. There are so many rules, regulations and procedures that stem from times gone by. For example, officers can't/shouldn't drive military vehicles. Why the hell not? Why do DE officers in technical corps only "lead"? Bit of a waste having a civil engineering degree if you're an RE captain and you're "just" the Sqn 2IC or Ops Offr. It seems to work for the RN and RAF, having officers "do". These are just a few examples, there are many others where the Army does stuff in a certain way because that's how Haig did it, or similar.
I drove a succession of officers, the last being the Sqn OC, i asked the same question, and was told that should there be an accident, or any confrontation with another vehicle, its the driver who is ultimately responsible, and should it warrant the driver being arrested, OR's are easily replaceable, officers not so. 1972-1981.