OriginsEditThe Air Training Corps, including all ranks of its adult staff (Adult Sergeants, Flight Sergeants and Warrant Officers), are part of the ATC youth organization; they are neither part of a military force or part of a paramilitary force. As 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. The ranks of Adult SNCOs/WOs are now:
These are abbreviated to Sgt(ATC), FS(ATC) and WO(ATC) respectively. In conversation Adult NCO's 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.
- The WO(ATC)s relationship to the Squadron Commanding Officer is in many ways similar to that of a Station Warrant Officer's relationship to the Station Commander of an RAF station. This consists essentially of the maintenance of
discipline including the supervision and development of other adult and cadet NCOs, and ensuring that the Squadron Commander’s orders regarding the general running of the squadron are carried out. The Warrant Officer’s precise tasks vary from squadron to squadron, however their influence lies in 3 main areas: discipline, drill and armament. They may also be much concerned with security, although these days, when security is of particular importance, the Squadron Commander may well make this his personal task, or delegate it to an experienced officer. Nevertheless, as a member of staff responsible for security and the general oversight of all squadron activities, the Warrant Officer must be thoroughly conversant with general security regulations including those for the security of arms and ammunition (ACP 26).
- The Adult Warrant Officer must know the detailed aspects of drill and ensure that both adult and cadet NCOs are trained in handling varying sizes of cadet squads and in different situations from simple squad drill to a full-scale parade (ACP 20B Inst No 201). It is their responsibility to ensure the highest possible standards of dress and deportment in staff and cadets. This close attention to detail, coupled with sound advice, has a profound effect on the general ‘tone’ of the squadron. They will provide an effective close point of contact between cadets and senior officers on the squadron.
- On parade the Adult Warrant Officer has a special place behind the Adjutant and the Commanding Officer. When the parade or squadron is falling-in they are in command and take pride in presenting a smartly formed squadron to the Adjutant before the squadron commanding officer takes over.