- Air Marshal
:"This article is about the air force rank. Air marshal (or
sky marshal) is also the term given to federal security agents who travel undercover aboard commercial airliners.":"For information on air force officers in the rank of Marshal, see Marshal of the Air Force."
Air Marshal (Air Mshl or AM) is an
air officerrank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force. [cite web |url=http://www.raf.mod.uk/structure/commissionedranks.cfm |title=Ranks and Badges of the Royal Air Force |accessdate= 2007-11-26 |year=2007 |publisher= Royal Air Force] The rank is also used by the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence and it is sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure. Officers in the rank of Air Marshal typically hold very senior appointments such commander-in-chiefof an air force or a large air force formation. Officers in the ranks of Air Chief Marshal and Air Vice-Marshal are sometimes considered generically to be air marshals. Occasionally, air force officers of marshal rank are considered to be air marshals.
Air Marshal is equivalent to a
3 star rankand has a NATOranking code of OF-8, equivalent to a Vice-Admiralin the Royal Navyor a Lieutenant-Generalin the British Armyor the Royal Marines.
The rank of Air Marshal is immediately senior to the rank of
Air Vice-Marshaland immediately subordinate to the rank of Air Chief Marshal.
Prior to the adoption of RAF-specific rank titles in 1919, it was suggested that the RAF might use the Royal Navy's officer ranks, with the word "Air" inserted before the naval rank title. For example, the rank that later became Air Marshal would have been Air Vice-Admiral. The Admiralty objected to any use of their rank titles, including this modified form, and so an alternative proposal was put forward:
Air Officerranks would be based on the term "Ardian", which was derived from a combination of the Gaelic words for "chief" ("ard") and "bird" ("eun"), with the term "Second Ardian" or "Wing Ardian" being used specifically for the rank equivalent to a Vice-Admiral and Lieutenant-General. However, Air Marshal was preferred and was adopted on 1 August 1919. The rank of Air Marshal has been used continuously since 11 August 1919.
RAF Insignia, command flag and star plate
The rank insignia consists of two narrow light blue bands (each on a slightly wider black band) over a light blue band on a broad black band. This is worn on the both the lower sleeves of the tunic or on the shoulders of the flying suit or the casual uniform.
The command flag for an Air Marshal is defined by the single broad red band running in the centre of the flag.
The vehicle star plate for an Air Marshal depicts three white stars (Air Marshal is equivalent to a three star rank) on an air force blue background.
Other air forces
The rank of Air Marshal is also used in a number of the air forces in the Commonwealth, including the
Bangladesh Air Force(BAF), Indian Air Force(IAF), Pakistan Air Force(PAF), Royal Australian Air Force(RAAF) and Royal New Zealand Air Force(RNZAF). It is also used in the Egyptian Air Force, Nigerian Air Force, Ghana Air Force, Hellenic Air Force("Antipterarchos"), Air Force of Zimbabweand the Royal Thai Air Force. In the Indonesian Air Force, the equivalent rank is "Marsekal Madya" (literally "Vice Marshal") which is often translated as Air Marshal in English.
Royal Australian Air Force
In Australia, there are four appointments available for Air Marshals: the Chief of Air Force (CAF) and, at times when they are occupied by an Air Force officer, the Vice Chief of Defence Force (VCDF), the Chief of Joint Operations (CJOPS), and the Chief of the Capability Development executive (CCDE).
Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force(RCAF) used the rank until the 1968 unification of the Canadian Forces, when Army-type rank titles were adopted and an Air Marshal became a Lieutenant-General. In official French Canadian usage, the rank title was "maréchal de l'air".
Brazilian Air Forcedoes not use air marshal ranks as an equivalent to general ranks, rather it uses a number of ranks based on the word brigadier. However, its highest rank is "Marechal-do-ar" which is a 5 star rankand equivalent to a Brazilian Army marshal. "Marechal-do-ar" is sometimes translated as "air marshal" but as it is a marshalrank, it might also be translated as "marshal of the air" or " marshal of the air force".
Royal Malaysian Air Force's 5 star rank of "Marshal Udara" may be translated as "Air Marshal" or " Marshal of the Royal Malaysian Air Force". Marshals of the Royal Air Forceare also occasionally described as air marshals.
RAF officer ranks
Ranks of the RAAF
Comparative military ranks
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