The RAF rank system is an awkward, and not neccesarily intuitive one, but I think what I have below is the bones of it. Firstly the officers, from lowest rank to highest:

  • Pilot Officer
  • Flying Officer
  • Flight Lieutenant (LEF-ten-ant, not LOO-ten-ant)
  • Squadron Leader
  • Wing Commander
  • Group Captain

These are the first few ranks, which form the bulk of the Air Force's pilots. These are identified by a varying number of stripes on their epaulettes. The officers above this rank are known as officers of Air Rank (equivalent to Field Rank in the Army). They have large amounts of gold on both their epaulettes and caps.

There is also a fairly standard ranking system for NCOs, it's just the officers who are complicated. They have Corporals (The equivalent to Lance Corporal is a Leading Airman, with a badge in the shape of a three bladed propellor), Sergeants, Flight Sergeants (equivalent to Colour Sergeant in the Army) and various ranks of technician.

If this is hideously flawed, which, to be fair, it could well be, please /msg me.