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Why are military officers allowed to use or do use their former rank following retirement??
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Why are military officers allowed to use or do use their former rank following retirement??

This applied to all military service (RAF, RM, RN,Army) and in in the Western World. Former high ranking Fire Fighters, Police, Customs etc do not use their former rank. Just wondering really!!!

James F
A commissioned officer may use his rank after retirement provided it is followed by (retired). However, it is generally accepted that only high ranking former officers use their rank in day-to-day situations.

These, - I believe, - are what are known as "COURTESY" ranks, - they CAN be used, by a former military personage, - provided, that the said "PERSONAGE", attained the minimum rank of MAJOR, - or the equivalent, for another branch of the services!

If you notice it is only senior officers who still use the rank. so for Army is Major or above for RAF its squadron leader or above and Royal navy is LT Commander or above. Its because its the fact that the queen has given the commisson and as its says before it doesn't expire.

Commission are for life. They can call you back to active duty if you are not to old to serve.

Because they hold the Queens commission unlike the the services you mentioned

to *my* understanding, you have to do at least 20 yrs in the military (whether as enlisted or an officer) to consider yourself "retired" if you served the military more than 20 yrs and retired....you have the right to use the rank you had when on active duty (by using "ret" after your name & rank). however, you cannot call yourself "retired" if you did 4 yrs. in the military. if you got out after 4-8 yrs, you did not retire. because you did not have a retirement ceremony n what not. doing four yrs is not considred a career, it just means you did your patriotic duty as an american. what i am trying to say is, (for "unif") you can't consider yourself 'retired' if you didn't do at least 20 yrs in the service. HOWEVER, it DOES make you a Veteran. There is NO WAY that a cpl would go 20 yrs without picking up rank. I could be wrong. and i hope i didn't confuse anyone, but like i said, to *MY* understanding, i thought you had to do AT LEAST 20 yrs in service to be considered "retired" i used to talk about friends who did 4 yrs in the military and i would say they were retired, but the friends i have now (who have done more than 15 yrs (some who ARE retired Marines after serving more than 30 yrs) have corrected me and told me that no one is considered to be retired unless they did at least 20 yrs in sevice. umm, i'm sure most of you are as confused as i am lol.

so can enlisted, whats the problem. it's a badge of distinction to some, and my father in law is the former fire chief of a city in NY state, his letter say, Chief *********, retired, so I don't know abouit your statement of police and fireman not doing it. if your just a private or police officer, I can see why? I don't think that would draw anymore interest. I'm a former Sergeant, Many call me sarge isntead of boss at work, my desk plate says Sgt******* it's from my days in the service. so I'm proud to use my own enlisted rank.

The RN officer answered the question but a little concisely. A commission in the Armed Forces is granted by the Queen. An Officer in the Armed Forces cannot be sacked except by Courts Martial requiring the Queen's signature. If an Officer resigns his/her commission then they lose their rank unless held for 7+ years. On retirement they have not resigned they have just been put out to pasture. Hence they keep their rank. ie. Sqn Ldr ******* RAF (Ret)

If they have retired it is a sign of respect, jsut like when you call someone a doctor who is no longer a doctor.

John T
After 20+ years of service, they've earned the privilege. Yes, it must be followed by the (ret) caveat and they can be recalled to service at the needs of the service. (Nothing is free.) The real question is why after a single 2-6 year term are congressmen allowed to use their title!?

Any one can use their rank but it just looks better when officers use it. I did my service and in letters I send off to military installations for friend I use my rank even tho I am not in service anymore. Pretty much like this: CLP (Ret) Jose R. It is your rank while you were in and it remains with you. I dont use it all the time just when it comes to military matters. It does not look as good as a officer or high ranking NCO.

Officers who retire remain subject to recall through the reserves.

Mike T
Because their commission has been bestowed on them by the Queen ,and it doesn't expire.

I would guess it's because they've earned it. A Doctor is still a Doctor after retirement because they've earned their degree. A high ranking military officer earned their rank. When they use the title they usually specify that they are retired.

All Retired Military are allowed to use their Rank...but it has to have (Ret) behind it. Example: Bill Smith, LTG (Ret) or Jack Jones, SFC (Ret)...

You don't need training to be a firefighter, most firefighters depending on the town, city, etc. aren't even paid, it's just volunteered. Police, you go through a short academy. Now Military, and Army, Air Force, etc, are things that take lots of training, hard work, dedication, etc. to do. You have to earn your position as an Officer, and so on. It's like earning a school reward, you will always have it, it will always be a part of you. Just because you are not in school anymore don't mean anything. So just because you retire don't mean you loose your position. You only have to serve in the Air Force for 20 years before you can retire, which isn't bad.



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