OriginsEditAs part of the adult ranks structure; adults may also be appointed as senior NCOs, these being ranks within the ATC meaning that they are not part of the RAF like the VR(T) Ranks.
Adult SNCOs/WOs are uniformed in the same way as their RAF counterparts with two exceptions: a small gilt ATC badge is worn on the rank badge (as shown right) and Warrant Officers (unless they have previous regular warranted service) wear a different rank badge. Until recently, the ranks of adult SNCOs/WOs were Adult Sergeant, Adult Flight Sergeant and Adult Warrant Officer (abbreviated to A/Sgt. A/FS, AWO), however this has been changed since is was not deemed necessary to point out that these NCOs were adults. A Flight Sergeant has more authority than a Sergeant; and a Sergeant has more authority that a Corporal; a Corporal has more authority than a Cadet. The ranks of Adult SNCOs/WOs are now:
These are abbreviated to Sgt (ATC), FS (ATC) and WO (ATC) respectively. In conversation, Adult NCOs are often still referred to using the old style ranks, such as Adult Sergeant X, and their ranks are sometimes mistakenly abbreviated according to the old system (i.e. ASgt, AFS or AWO).
Prior to the 'LaSER (London and South East Region) Review' of 2003, the adult ranks of Sergeant and Flight Sergeant did not exist, meaning that the non-commissioned rank structure of a squadron was more straight forward i.e. Cadet, Cadet Corporal, Cadet Sergeant, Cadet Flight Sergeant, Cadet Warrant Officer, Adult Warrant Officer. This has been disturbed by inserting the ranks of Sgt (ATC) and FS (ATC) in between CWO and WO (ATC).
The purpose of creating the ranks Sgt (ATC) and FS (ATC), was to aid in the retention of staff by allowing progression through the ranks and thus creating an incentive to assist in the retention of staff.