Air marshal (Australia)

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For other countries which use this rank, see Air marshal.
Air marshal
Australia RAAF OF-8.svg
An Australian air marshal's rank insignia
Country  Australia
Service branch  Royal Australian Air Force
Abbreviation AIRSMHL
Rank Air Marshal
NATO rank OF-8
Non-NATO rank O-9
Formation 1940
Next higher rank Air chief marshal
Next lower rank Air vice-marshal
Equivalent ranks

Air marshal (abbreviated as AIRSMHL) is the second 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 marshal, it is also considered a three-star rank. The rank is held by the Chief of Air Force (CAF), and when the Vice Chief of the Defence Force (VCDF), the Chief of Joint Operations (CJOPS) and/or the Chief of the Capability Development executive (CCDE) are Air Force officers.

Air marshal is a higher rank than air vice-marshal and is lower than air chief marshal. It is a direct equivalent of vice admiral in the Royal Australian Navy and lieutenant general in the Australian Army.

The insignia is two light blue bands (each on a slightly wider black band) over a light blue band on a black broad band.

The Australian Air Corps adopted the RAF rank system on 9 November 1920[1] and this usage was continued by its successor, the Royal Australian Air Force. However, the rank of air marshal was not used by the Australian Armed Forces until 1940 when Richard Williams, a RAAF officer, was promoted.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gillison, Douglas Napier (1962). "Chapter 1: Formation of the Royal Australian Air Force" (digitised book). Royal Australian Air Force, 1939–1942 (1st ed.). Australian War Memorial. pp. 5–6. 
  2. ^ Gillison, Douglas Napier (1962). "Chapter 5: The New Command" (digitised book). Royal Australian Air Force, 1939–1942 (1st ed.). Australian War Memorial. pp. 92–93.