Air force officer ranks


Air force officer ranks

Air forces of most of the countries use ranking system similar to Armies. However, the RAF and the air forces of many Commonwealth countries, or those formerly under a British influence, use a different set of ranks loosely based on naval equivalents; Lieutenant, Commander, Captain and Commodore are prefixed for air force use with "Flight", "Wing", "Group" and "Air", respectively (the first three being the units that they used to command).

NATO Rank Codes

To assist in the comparison of ranks in the armed forces of different countries, established NATO rank codes are used. These are established codes for determining the seniority of officer and other ranks in NATO countries for a particular joint task group or command structure, although specific appointments designate a higher level of seniority over other equivalent rank codes in a given situation. Officer ranks go from OF-1 (applying to all subaltern officers below captain) up to OF-10; OF(D) being a special category for trainee officers awaiting a commission. Other Ranks (also known as enlisted men) are classified from OR-1 to OR-9. The system should not be confused with the pay grades used in the US military.While countries outside the NATO command structure (including some NATO member countries such as France) do not strictly fall into this classification structure and there may be incidences of overlap (particularly in OR ranks between countries) the codes still provide a useful gauge in determining what ranks are broadly equivalent.

Generals/Marshals/Air Officers

These are the highest ranks. Promotion to a rank above OF-9 is now rare and usually reserved for wartime. General of the Air Force is an example of such a rank.

Note that there is doubt about rank equivalency in countries that have both colonel-generals and generals but no brigadier-generals, such as German Empire and Russia - often it is considered that in these countries a colonel-general equates to an OF-9 rank, a general to OF-8, a lieutenant-general to OF-7, and a major-general to OF-6 (i.e. the ranks below colonel-general all move down one grade).

* 1 Honorary/War time rank.

ee also

*Air force officer rank insignia
*Army officer ranks
*Naval officer ranks
*Comparative military ranks
*RAF officer ranks


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