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Air Marshal (Air Mshl or AM) is a three-star[1] air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force.[2] The rank is also used by the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence, including the Commonwealth, 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. Air marshal
Air marshal
is a three-star rank and has a NATO
NATO
ranking code of OF-8, equivalent to a vice-admiral in the Royal Navy
Navy
or a lieutenant-general in the British Army
Army
or the Royal Marines. In other NATO
NATO
forces, such as the United States Armed Forces
United States Armed Forces
and the Canadian Armed Forces, the equivalent three-star rank is lieutenant general. The rank of air marshal is immediately senior to the rank of air vice-marshal and immediately subordinate to the rank of air chief marshal. Officers in the rank of air marshal typically hold very senior appointments such as commander-in-chief of an air force or a large air force formation. Officers in the ranks of air chief marshal and air vice-marshal are also referred to generically as air marshals.[3] Occasionally, air force officers of marshal rank are considered to be air marshals.

Contents

1 Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
use and history

1.1 Origins 1.2 RAF insignia, command flag and star plate

2 Other air forces

2.1 Royal Australian Air Force 2.2 Royal New Zealand Air Force 2.3 Royal Canadian Air Force

3 Gallery 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
use and history[edit] Origins[edit] 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-officer ranks 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 was first used on 11 August 1919 when Sir Hugh Trenchard was promoted to the rank[4] and it has been used ever since. RAF insignia, command flag and star plate[edit] 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 lower sleeves of the dress uniform or on shoulders of the flying suit or working 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.

An RAF air marshal's mess sleeve insignia

An RAF air marshal's shoulder board

An RAF air marshal's sleeve on No. 1 Service Dress Uniform

An RAF air marshal's command flag

Other air forces[edit] The rank of air marshal is also used in a number of the air forces in the Commonwealth, including the Bangladesh Air Force, Indian Air Force, Pakistan Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
and Royal New Zealand Air Force. It is also used in the Nigerian Air Force, Ghana Air Force, Hellenic Air Force
Hellenic Air Force
(antipterarchos), Air Force of Zimbabwe (including its predecessor, the Rhodesian Air Force) and 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; similarly, the rank of فريق (fariq) in the Egyptian Air Force
Egyptian Air Force
is commonly translated as "air marshal", although the Arabic-language names of officer ranks are the same across all of Egypt's military and paramilitary forces. The Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force
does 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, the equivalent to a Brazilian Army
Army
marshal. Marechal-do-ar can be translated as air marshal or marshal of the air. Similarly, the Royal Malaysian Air Force's five-star rank of marshal udara translates as air marshal. Royal Australian Air Force[edit] Main article: Air marshal
Air marshal
(Australia)

An RAAF air marshal's rank insignia.

The Australian Air Corps
Australian Air Corps
adopted the RAF rank system on 9 November 1920[5] and this usage was continued by its successor, the Royal Australian Air Force. However, the rank of air marshal was not used by the Australian Armed Forces until 1940 when Richard Williams, an RAAF officer, was promoted.[6] In Australia, there are four appointments available for air marshals: the Chief of Air Force and, at times when they are occupied by an air force officer, the Vice Chief of Defence Force, the Chief of Joint Operations, and the Chief of Capability Development Group. See also: List of Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
air marshals Royal New Zealand Air Force[edit]

An RNZAF
RNZAF
air marshal's rank insignia,

In New Zealand, the head of the air force holds the lower rank of air vice-marshal. However, when an air force officer holds the country's senior military appointment, Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, he is granted the rank of air marshal. The last air force Chief of the Defence Force was Air Marshal Sir Bruce Ferguson
Bruce Ferguson
who served in that appointment from 2001 to 2006. The full list of New Zealand air marshals is as follows:

Sir Richard Bolt, promoted 1976, retired 1980 Sir Ewan Jamieson, promoted 1983 David Crooks, promoted 1986 Carey Adamson Sir Bruce Ferguson, promoted 2001

Royal Canadian Air Force[edit] The Royal 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. The Canadian Chief of the Air Staff ordinarily held the rank of air marshal. The following RCAF officers held the rank (dates in rank in parentheses):

Billy Bishop
Billy Bishop
(1938 to 1944), rank retained on retirement George Croil (c. 1940 to 1944), rank retained on retirement Lloyd Samuel Breadner
Lloyd Samuel Breadner
(1941 to 1945), subsequently promoted to air chief marshal Gus Edwards (1942 to 1944), rank retained on retirement Albert Cuffe (1942 to 1944), rank retained on retirement Robert Leckie (1944 to 1947), rank retained on retirement George Owen Johnson
George Owen Johnson
(to 1947), rank retained on retirement Wilfred Curtis (c. 1947 to 1953), rank retained on retirement Roy Slemon (c. 1953 to 1964), rank retained on retirement Frank Robert Miller (1955 to 1961), subsequently promoted to air chief marshal Hugh Campbell (1957 to 1962), rank retained on retirement Clare Annis (1962 to 1966), rank retained on retirement[7] Clarence Dunlap (1962 to 1968), rank retained on retirement William Ross MacBrien (1958 to 1968), rank retained on retirement Edwin Reyno (1966 to 1968), later regraded to lieutenant-general

Gallery[edit]

A Royal Thai Air Force
Royal Thai Air Force
air marshal's rank insignia

A Hellenic Air Force
Hellenic Air Force
air marshal's rank insignia

An Indian Air Force
Indian Air Force
air marshal's shoulder patch

A PAF air marshal's shoulder patch.

See also[edit]

Air force
Air force
officer rank insignia Comparative military ranks RAF officer ranks Ranks of the RAAF

References[edit]

^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-21.  ^ "Ranks and Badges of the Royal Air Force". Royal Air Force. 2007. Archived from the original on 13 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-26.  ^ "Forms Of Address: Air Chief Marshal, Air Marshal and Air Vice-Marshal". Debrett's. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015.  ^ http://www.rafweb.org/Biographies/Trenchard.htm ^ Gillison, Douglas Napier (1962). "Chapter 1: Formation of the Royal Australian Air Force" (digitised book). Royal Australian Air Force, 1939–1942 (1st ed.). Australian War Memorial. pp. 5–6.  ^ Gillison, Douglas Napier (1962). "Chapter 5: The New Command" (digitised book). Royal Australian Air Force, 1939–1942 (1st ed.). Australian War Memorial. pp. 92–93.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 February 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 

External links[edit]

Look up Air Marshal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Air marshals.

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Commissioned officer ranks of the British Armed Forces

NATO
NATO
rank code Student officer OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 * OF-7 ** OF-8 *** OF-9 **** OF-10 *****

Royal Navy O Cdt Mid SLt Lt Lt Cdr Cdr Capt Cdre RAdm (list) VAdm (list) Adm (list) Adm of the Fleet

Royal Marines O Cdt 2Lt Lt Capt Maj Lt Col Col Brig Maj-Gen Lt-Gen Gen (list) Capt-Gen

Army O Cdt 2Lt Lt Capt Maj Lt Col Col Brig Maj-Gen (list) Lt-Gen (list) Gen (list) Fd Mshl

Royal Air Force Off Cdt / SO APO / Plt Off Fg Off Flt Lt Sqn Ldr Wg Cdr Gp Capt Air Cdre AVM Air Mshl Air Chf Mshl (list) Mshl of the RAF

v t e

Military ranks and insignia by country

List of comparative military ranks

Africa

Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad Comoros DR Congo Republic of the Congo Djibouti Egypt

Army Navy Air Force

Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Ivory Coast Kenya Lesotho Liberia Libya Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Morocco Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Rwanda São Tomé and Príncipe Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa South Sudan Sudan Swaziland Tanzania Togo Tunisia Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe

Former

Biafra Bophuthatswana Ciskei Kingdom of Egypt Ethiopian Empire Rhodesia South West Africa Transkei Venda Zaire

Comparative

Army

Officers Enlisted

Air force

Officers Enlisted

Navy

Officers Enlisted

Apartheid States in Southern Africa

Americas

Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Bahamas Barbados Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Chile

Army Air Force Navy

Colombia Cuba Dominican Republic Ecuador El Salvador Guatemala Guyana Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico

Army Navy

Nicaragua Paraguay Peru Saint Kitts and Nevis Suriname Trinidad and Tobago United States

Officers:

Army Navy Air Force Coast Guard

Enlisted:

Army Navy Air Force Coast Guard

Other:

Marine Corps Warrant officer

Uruguay Venezuela

Former

United States Army
Army
enlisted

World War I World War II

Comparative

Army

Officers Enlisted

Air force

Officers Enlisted

Navy

Officers Enlisted

Asia

Afghanistan Armenia Azerbaijan Bahrain Bangladesh

Army Navy Air Force

Bhutan Brunei Cambodia PR of China

Army Navy Air Force

Republic of China(Taiwan)

Army Navy Air Force

East Timor India

Army Air Force Navy

Indonesia Iran Iraq Israel Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Korea(North & South) Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Lebanon Malaysia Maldives Mongolia Myanmar

Army Navy Air Force

Nepal Oman Pakistan

Army Air Force Navy

Philippines Qatar Saudi Arabia Singapore Sri Lanka

Army Navy Air Force

Syria Tajikistan Thailand Turkmenistan United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Vietnam Yemen

Former

Democratic Kampuchea Imperial Iran Imperial Japan

Army Navy

Mengjiang Manchukuo South Vietnam

Comparative

Army

Officers Enlisted

Air force

Officers Enlisted

Navy

Officers Enlisted

Europe

Albania Austria Belarus Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark

Army Navy Air Force

Estonia Finland France

Army Navy Gendarmerie Air Force Foresters

Germany

Rank information Rank insignia

Georgia Greece Hungary Iceland

Land Forces Coast Guard

Ireland Italy

Army Navy Air Force Carabinieri Finance Guard

Kosovo Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia Malta Moldova Monaco Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia

Army Navy Air Force Between 1994 and 2010

San Marino Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey Ukraine United Kingdom

Army
Army
officers Army
Army
other ranks Navy
Navy
officers Navy
Navy
ratings Air Force officers Air Force other ranks

Vatican

Former

Austria–Hungary

Army Navy

Independent State of Croatia Czechoslovakia German Empire Nazi Germany

Army Navy Air Force People's Militia SA SS Nazi Party

East Germany Kingdom of Greece

Army Navy Air Force

Kingdom of Hungary Hungarian People's Republic Kingdom of Italy

Blackshirts

Ottoman Empire Russian Empire Soviet Union

1918–35 1935–40 1940–43 1943–55 1955–91

Kingdom of Yugoslavia SFR Yugoslavia FR Yugoslavia

Comparative

Army

Officers Enlisted

Air force

Officers Enlisted

Navy

Officers Enlisted

Oceania

Australia Fiji New Zealand Papua New Guinea Tonga Vanuatu

Comparative

Army

Officers Enlisted

Air force

Officers Enlisted

Navy

Officers Enlisted

Post-Soviet states

Army

Officers Enlisted

Air force

Officers Enlisted

Navy

Officers Enlisted

Commonwealth of Nations

Army

Officers Enlisted

Air force

Officers Enlisted

Navy

Officers Enlisted

NATO

Army

Officers Enlisted

Air Force

Officers Enlisted

Navy

Officers Enlisted

Comparative officer ranks of

World War I World War II

v t e

Star officer grades

General officer Flag officer Air officer

By star ranks

Six-star rank
Six-star rank
(proposed) Five-star rank Four-star rank Three-star rank Two-star rank One-star rank

By titles

Generalissimo Generalissimus of the Soviet Union Supreme Allied Commander Admiral
Admiral
of the Navy General of the Armies Generalfeldmarschall Field marshal Mareşal Marshal of the air force Marshal of the Russian Federation Marshal of the Soviet Union Mushir Caudillo Magister militum Spahbed Ispahsalar Beylerbey Constable of France Grand Domestic Dux bellorum Grand marshal Hetman Jenderal besar Reichsmarschall Sardar Serasker Strategos autokrator First marshal of the empire Dai-gensui Taewonsu Voivoda Wonsu Yuan Shuai Da yuan shuai Marshal of Yugoslavia

v t e

Highest military ranks

General officer Flag officer Air officer

Imperator Marshal of Italy Generalissimo Generalissimus of the Soviet Union Supreme Allied Commander Admiral
Admiral
of the Navy General of the Armies General of the Air Force Generalfeldmarschall Mareşal Marshal of the air force Marshal of the Soviet Union Marshal of the Russian Federation Mushir Magister militum Spahbed Ispahsalar Beylerbey Bojni Vojvoda Chom Thap Thai Constable of France Domestic of the Schools Grand Domestic Shōgun Dux bellorum Grand marshal Hetman Jenderal besar Polemarch Reichsmarschall Federal General of Switzerland Sardar Serasker Autokrator First marshal of the empire Da yuan shuai Dai-gensui Taewonsu Yuan shuai Wonsu Mar

.