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RAAF marks centenary by dropping gendered ‘airman’ term in favour of ‘aviator’

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Not sure if their ranks of Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman and Leading AC/ACW will change as well, like ours did.

The Royal Australian Air Force has announced it is replacing the term “airmen” with “aviators” as its marks a century since its establishment.

Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld announced the change at a private dinner of past and present RAAF members last week at a 100th anniversary event.


 

daftandbarmy

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Not sure if their ranks of Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman and Leading AC/ACW will change as well, like ours did.




But the word 'aviator' suggests that everyone is a pilot, of course.

I can see some ego trampling coming up fast :)
 

Loachman

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Even "aviator" is "gendered". "Aviatrix" is the female version.

Likewise actresses no longer wish to be known as such, instead preferring the masculine term "actor", while some simultaneously denounce "woman" because its second syllable is "man". "Female actor", which I have seen more than once, also amuses me.

I also find it ridiculous that few, if any, aviators actually aviate, and no actual aviators are aviators.
 

SupersonicMax

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But the word 'aviator' suggests that everyone is a pilot, of course.

I can see some ego trampling coming up fast :)
I do not get wrapped up in titles and names too too much. Given it is a rank, rather than a function, I have zero issue with it.
 

daftandbarmy

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I do not get wrapped up in titles and names too too much. Given it is a rank, rather than a function, I have zero issue with it.

And then, of course, they'll also need to have the rank 'aviatrix' to be gender balanced about the whole thing :)


pilot smile GIF by Beeld en Geluid Labs
 

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But the word 'aviator' suggests that everyone is a pilot, of course.

I can see some ego trampling coming up fast :)
The hilarious part to me is that the RAAF ranks for 2Lt and Lt equivalent are Pilot Officer and Flying Officer regardless of trade, but no one seems bothered about that.
 

TCM621

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I do not get wrapped up in titles and names too too much. Given it is a rank, rather than a function, I have zero issue with it.
It doesn't affect my day to day life one bit and once it became official it was a moot point but the choice of aviator as a replacement for either private or airman shows how messed up our process is. First of all, as Pilots and ACSOs make up the vast majority of our officers the odds of someone not knowing that an aviator is one who aviates, or in other words one who flies a plane or other aircraft, seems quite low. Second, it seems likely they spent a ton of person hours and probably a few expensive in person round tables to hash this out but the perception is the meeting went something like this:
Gen: We need to think up a new name for a Private. It's too new, too modern. We have only had 50 years to get used to it and I don't think it is taking. A new rank name should be the ticket to up retention. Any ideas.

Chief: The Australians use Aviator, sir.

Gen: Perfect. That's great, now I won't miss my tee-time. Any objections? Shut up, Sam. Ok great job everyone, my EA will send out the LOAs tomorrow.

It's done and at this point it is what it is. I have to explain to people that an Aviator and an aviator are different but it is no different than explaining what a Master Bombardier is or a Sapper are. The issue for me is that it is another example of trying to wallpaper over gaping holes with lazy ideas that make for a good press release but don't do anything for the people on the ground. Did getting silver rank insignia or being called aviator instead of private really make a difference to anyone's moral or esprit de corps? Maybe a couple of people but I bet you could change the ranks to Shirtbird 1st, 2nd and 3rd class if you gave them enough money to purchase a house, or PMQs that don't a breeze in the living room.
 

Loachman

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At least they did not revert to the illogical pre-unification officer rank terms. There were some pushing for that.

The one and only good thing about hitting CRA was not having to wear the latest rank insignia. My much-despised blue uniforms all ended up in a ceremonial bonfire.
 

daftandbarmy

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At least they did not revert to the illogical pre-unification officer rank terms. There were some pushing for that.

The one and only good thing about hitting CRA was not having to wear the latest rank insignia. My much-despised blue uniforms all ended up in a ceremonial bonfire.

I hope you removed all the morale patches first, or the smoke would have been classified as even more toxic. :)
 

Loachman

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There were none of those on my service dress.

And my flying suit was a lovely shade of green.
 
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