Air chief marshal (Australia)

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See air chief marshal for other countries which use this rank.
An Australian air chief marshal's rank insignia

Air chief marshal is the highest active rank of the Royal Australian Air Force and was created as a direct equivalent of the British Royal Air Force rank of air chief marshal. It is also considered a four-star rank. The only time the rank is held is when the Chief of the Defence Force is an Air Force officer.

Air chief marshal is a higher rank than air marshal and is a lower rank than Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force, which has only ever been awarded as an honorary rank. Air chief marshal is a direct equivalent of admiral in the Royal Australian Navy and general in the Australian Army.


An air chief marshal's officer distinguishing flag

The insignia worn on the uniform is three light blue bands (each on a slightly wider black band) over a light blue band on a black broad band.

Australian air chief marshals may also fly an officer distinguishing flag. For air chief marshals this comprises five horizontal stripes which from top to bottom are coloured: dark blue, light blue, red (double thickness), light blue and dark blue with four stars imposed in a line on the red stripe.[1]

Australian air chief marshals[edit]

With the establishment of the Australian Air Board on 9 November 1920, Australian Air Corps officers dropped their army ranks in favour of those based on the Royal Air Force. However, it was not until 1965 when Sir Frederick Scherger became Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and was promoted to air chief marshal that an RAAF officer attained the rank. Throughout the history of the RAAF, only four of its officers have held the rank. Apart from Scherger, they are Sir Neville McNamara (in 1982), Angus Houston (in 2005) and Mark Binskin (in 2014).

Name Postnominals Promoted Retired Died
Frederick Scherger.jpg Sir Frederick Scherger KBE CB DSO AFC 1961 18 May 1966 16 January 1984
P02032.002NevMcNamara.jpg Sir Neville McNamara KBE AO AFC AE 1982 1984 7 May 2014
Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston.jpg Sir Angus Houston AK AFC 2005 3 July 2011 Living
Air Marshal Mark Binskin 2010.png Mark Binskin AC 30 June 2014 Living

See also[edit]