RFA Rank Insignia

Random

Lantern Swinger
...Spotted worn by the RFA skipper of one of their vessels between buoys at Greenwich a year or so ago.

Probably a fair few others sprinkled throughout the RFA, perhaps @Seadog could confirm?
More than a few dolphins in the company, we had a Leading Steward who wore his at every service and also managed to grab a Royal Yacht flash as well before joining us.

I suspect we almost have enough to man a (RFA) submarine, sans officers.
 

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
More than a few dolphins in the company, we had a Leading Steward who wore his at every service and also managed to grab a Royal Yacht flash as well before joining us.

I suspect we almost have enough to man a (RFA) submarine, sans officers.
So we may yet see a RFA 'Milk Cow'..... RFA Cravendale - 'It's not milk!'





Further reading! - German submarine U-459 was a Type XIV supply and replenishment U-boat (Milchkuh or 'milk cow') of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. Her keel was laid down on 22 November 1940 by Deutsche Werke in Kiel as yard number 290.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
So we may yet see a RFA 'Milk Cow'..... RFA Cravendale - 'It's not milk!'





Further reading! - German submarine U-459 was a Type XIV supply and replenishment U-boat (Milchkuh or 'milk cow') of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. Her keel was laid down on 22 November 1940 by Deutsche Werke in Kiel as yard number 290.
Recently read this one on the kindle, it's a good read.

 

Skylarker

Lantern Swinger
Last announcement I heard under the One Navy Branding we ain't going to be authorized our own ensign's for the uniform. But we are still a few months away from issue and hopefully that will change.

We will have RFA on the front tape, and will have our own rank slides to hopefully lessen the confusion about our legal status.
Yeah I'm at Raleigh at the moment and we've been told our new PCS will be the "One Navy" type with us under the white ensign on uniform
 
Please, God, no.
The "improved" PCS is bad enough.

Totally agree with you on that part. But as for everything else, we’re pretty much already there, dolphins, branch badges, wings, commando flashes, bomb disposal flashes. We’re one navy, but we’re many different arms.

Jago said:
where as the RN a war fighting branch
not me I’m in the loggie branch ;)

To be fair it is true that a lot of RN service personnel have never even heard of the RFA before they join us lot, I was extremely lucky I got a drafting to RFA “HMS” Argus and RFA Fort George, before her decommissioning, as RN ships company and it was eye opening to see how the ships were run, to do the job under a white ensign would have probably had twice the man power atleast. I got a great insight into what it’s like on the other side of a RAS and there’s a lot of stuff behind the scenes that the ABs and LHs on RN ships will never see or know and it’s something that should have some greater two way communication from the bottom up (my first nights on Argus I slept in the austere accommodation as I thought someone was trying to get me on a bit when I was shown to my cabin the first day)
 

Random

Lantern Swinger
Totally agree with you on that part. But as for everything else, we’re pretty much already there, dolphins, branch badges, wings, commando flashes, bomb disposal
It was suggested at our last town hall that perhaps a different beret colour (we did rock pantone blue for a while) or our own stable belt would help internal morale and highlighting our non military status, but this was felt by leadership as not in keeping with the new one navy branding (which I get, even if I do not like).

Argus and the New Forts have been an education for the RFA and the military who join us aboard. Very much a clash of cultures which I think is a beneficial to both services (similar to what happens at Dartmouth and Raleigh). Unfortunately as like all clashes it's uncomfortable and for the most of the RFA these are their least favourite ships to serve on. Closely followed by the Bays where we have a similar meeting of minds with Royal and the British Army.

Learning to work together closely is in everyone's interests, and it's not fun having your preconceptions challenged/shot down. But this is not an excuse to pretend we are all the same and we should celebrate our differences along with our ability to overcome them as a team.

We all bring something to the party, it needs promoting, and I am not sure the current branding push takes this into account.
 

Union Jack

Lantern Swinger
It was suggested at our last town hall that perhaps a different beret colour (we did rock pantone blue for a while) or our own stable belt would help internal morale and highlighting our non military status, but this was felt by leadership as not in keeping with the new one navy branding (which I get, even if I do not like).

Argus and the New Forts have been an education for the RFA and the military who join us aboard. Very much a clash of cultures which I think is a beneficial to both services (similar to what happens at Dartmouth and Raleigh). Unfortunately as like all clashes it's uncomfortable and for the most of the RFA these are their least favourite ships to serve on. Closely followed by the Bays where we have a similar meeting of minds with Royal and the British Army.

Learning to work together closely is in everyone's interests, and it's not fun having your preconceptions challenged/shot down. But this is not an excuse to pretend we are all the same and we should celebrate our differences along with our ability to overcome them as a team.

We all bring something to the party, it needs promoting, and I am not sure the current branding push takes this into account.
Hear! Hear! I suspect that this is very much a case of "be careful what you wish for",
certainly so far as officers are concerned, since more senior RFA officers, such as Masters, Chief Officers, and Chief Engineers, could end up wearing fewer stripes than they do now, depending on which vessels they were serving in.

For comparative purposes, commanding officers in the RN can vary in rank from Lieutenant (two stripers) to Captain (four stripers), whereas I'm pretty sure all Masters expect to wear four stripes, whatever their command. Similarly, Chief Officers three, and Chief Engineers four, whereas their RN counterparts as XO, the Chief Officer's equivalent, might be two and a half stripers, and Marine Engineer Officers never more than three stripers, and more often two and a half stripers or even two stripers.

Incidentally, the expression"epaulettes" is regrettably frequently misused, since they were only ever heavy brass or gold bullion items such as https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/74457.html. and only applicable to Royal Navy officers' Full Dress, which has not been worn since the outbreak of WWII. The simple way to remember the correct names concerned is that "rank slides are soft, and shoulder straps are hard"!:eek:

Jack
 
Last edited:

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
...Spotted worn by the RFA skipper of one of their vessels between buoys at Greenwich a year or so ago.

Probably a fair few others sprinkled throughout the RFA, perhaps @Seadog could confirm?
I know an RFA Captain who is a former RN submarine officer and wears his dolphins on his reefer jacket.

Another RFA officer (an engineer ) with an RN past, since moved on who was qualified to wear dolphins, a commando dagger and an impressive rack of tin who was modest enough not to wear any of it. I told him if I had that lot, I'd wear it on my smoking jacket.
 

Antijanner

Midshipman
RFA officer stripes aren’t standard MN uniform anyway.
Diamond on top is RFA
Diamond in the middle is MN
The RFA stripes are a happy medium between the 2. Companies like BP wear an executive curl, they were awarded the right to wear it after WW2 and the amount of men and tonnage they lost.
 

Attachments

  • 9A91B1CC-CFBA-463E-B6AE-B50201620B02.png
    9A91B1CC-CFBA-463E-B6AE-B50201620B02.png
    258.3 KB · Views: 0
  • 52DA62BB-EA3E-4587-80B8-9BA99CF9B7C4.png
    52DA62BB-EA3E-4587-80B8-9BA99CF9B7C4.png
    287.6 KB · Views: 0

Random

Lantern Swinger
Hear! Hear! I suspect that this is very much a case of "be careful what you wish for",
certainly so far as officers are concerned, since more senior RFA officers, such as Masters, Chief Officers, and Chief Engineers, could end up wearing fewer stripes than they do now, depending on which vessels they were serving in.

For comparative purposes, commanding officers in the RN can vary in rank from Lieutenant (two stripers) to Captain (four stripers), whereas I'm pretty sure all Masters expect to wear four stripes, whatever their command. Similarly, Chief Officers three, and Chief Engineers four, whereas their RN counterparts as XO, the Chief Officer's equivalent, might be two and a half stripers, and Marine Engineer Officers never more than three stripers, and more often two and a half stripers or even two stripers.

For your awareness we do have 3 stripe commands, this is when our ships are at a low op tempo and not expected to go play with the navy :D all departments at this point are minimally manned and are at TSoC (Tailored Scheme of Compliment) Low. On balance when we go following the RN into more dangerous waters our manning scale is supposed to shift to TSoC High.

All our (3 Stripe) MEOs and Chief Mates hold the correct licences to act as Chief Engineer and Master of our ships respectively; what the Naval Service believes is that like on RN big ships, a little more experience is normally needed to Command vessels of that size and critical importance while on operation. Especially given that replenishment at sea is probably one of the most dangerous evolutions ships can do at sea (without opening fire on each other). Our more junior deck and marine engineers are qualified to do the same on limited tonnage, in the same way a Lt RN could be appointed captain of a patrol boat. However no one has provided the RFA with ships that small for a very long time*.

The question should not be about removing stripes from qualified officers, the RFA have earnt theirs as much as the RN. It should be do we have the right balance of skills / experience and numbers of people onboard to complete our missions. You seem to suggest that we dont, and that would be an interesting discussion to be had .. but probably best to start a new thread if we want to head down that rabbit hole!

*edited for spelling and as a friend has just mentioned that the new work boats require a licenced deck officer to be in charge of them.
 

Union Jack

Lantern Swinger
For your awareness we do have 3 stripe commands, this is when our ships are at a low op tempo and not expected to go play with the navy :D all departments at this point are minimally manned and are at TSoC (Tailored Scheme of Compliment) Low. On balance when we go following the RN into more dangerous waters our manning scale is supposed to shift to TSoC High.

All our (3 Stripe) MEOs and Chief Mates hold the correct licences to act as Chief Engineer and Master of our ships respectively; what the Naval Service believes is that like on RN big ships, a little more experience is normally needed to Command vessels of that size and critical importance while on operation. Especially given that replenishment at sea is probably one of the most dangerous evolutions ships can do at sea (without opening fire on each other). Our more junior deck and marine engineers are qualified to do the same on limited tonnage, in the same way a Lt RN could be appointed captain of a patrol boat. However no one has provided the RFA with ships that small for a very long time*.

The question should not be about removing stripes from qualified officers, the RFA have earnt theirs as much as the RN. It should be do we have the right balance of skills / experience and numbers of people onboard to complete our missions. You seem to suggest that we dont, and that would be an interesting discussion to be had .. but probably best to start a new thread if we want to head down that rabbit hole!

*edited for spelling and as a friend has just mentioned that the new work boats require a licenced deck officer to be in charge of them.
Absolutely not, and not clear how you came to that conclusion, especially since I fully agree with your preceding sentence. It was Landscrubber who started the ball rolling and, so far as I am concerned, it's like the old naval saying, "different ships, different cap tallies" which, according to Antijanner, the RFA has already in in the form of distinctive stripes.

At least there doesn't seem to be a move in the same direction as in cruise ships, where half the captains now seem to masquerade as full admirals by wearing a thicker bottom stripe....:eek:

Jack
 

Latest Threads

Top