Squadron Leader

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(Redirected from Squadron leader)
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Sqn-ldr.gif
A Squadron Leader's sleeve/shoulder insignia

Squadron Leader is a senior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. It ranks above Flight Lieutenant and immediately below Wing Commander.

It has a NATO ranking code of OF-3, and is equivalent to a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy or a Major in the British Army or the Royal Marines.

A squadron leader once commanded a squadron of aircraft, hence the name. Today, however, a squadron is usually commanded by a wing commander, with each of the two flights under a squadron leader.

The rank insignia consists of a thin blue band on a slightly wider black band between two narrow blue bands on slightly wider black bands. This is worn on both the lower sleeves of the tunic or on the shoulders of the flying suit or the casual uniform.

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A Squadron Leader's Command Flag

This rank is the lowest RAF grade that uses a command flag, either painted on the person's aeroplane, or flying from a flagpole if he/she is in command. It is also not uncommon on an RAF base to see the flag used as a car pennant. If the squadron leader is in command of a squadron, then the number of the squadron would also be depicted on the flag. The depiction of the eagle in the top left corner was added to differentiate this flag from the one used by the rank of Air Commodore.

In the Household Cavalry and Royal Armoured Corps, a squadron leader is the title (but not the rank) often given to the commander of a squadron (company) of armoured fighting vehicles. The squadron leader is usually a major, although the post was often held by a captain in the Second World War.

The rank has been borrowed in science fiction including the Star Wars films and its extended universe of literature and comics.

See also

Template:UK officer ranks

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