The meaning of a coat

It’s quite an ambiguous title but funnily enough, you wouldn’t necessarily know that certain uniforms and styles in the armed forces dictate their rank. Now, my brother is in the RAF and is a Flight Lieutenant. When he’s at work, service men below his rank salute him, and above his rank he salutes, how does he know whom to salute? From the uniform they wear.

The RAF Uniform is mainly Blue Grey or Wedgewood Blue.

Depending on your rank and what duties you have to partake in, there are a number of different uniforms.

The Number 1 is the service dress, worn on formal and ceremonial occasions.

The Number 2 range is the Service working dress, and then you will find ground working dress, air duty dress, Mess Dress, which is very formal, and Full Dress which now a days is only worn by the RAF bands men. The system of different clothing items could be quite complicated for your average Joe.

When it comes to hierarchy, it is based on the number of stripes on the lower arm of your jacket, you can find out more about the ranking orders here.

The RAF uniform is one of the oldest and hardly changed when it comes to the armed forces. It was introduced in 1918 when the RAF became an independent service. The jackets are made from thick heavy wool. They are matched with a belt and leather gloves, not forgetting the hat, trousers and boots.

So the next time you see a man or woman in uniform, if they are displaying a lot of finery or stripes or medals or badges, they are probably very important or high up. I’m not sure if this works with cub scouts, but it does mean they have achieved a lot.