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Leading aircraftman (LAC) or leading aircraftwoman (LACW) is a junior rank in some air forces. It sits between aircraftman and senior aircraftman, and has a NATO rank code of OR-2. The rank badge is a horizontal two-bladed propeller. The rank was renamed air specialist (class 2) (AS2) in the Royal Air Force in July 2022.
The rank originated in the Royal Air Force, when it was formed in 1918. It replaced the Royal Flying Corps rank of air mechanic 1st class (which wore the same badge). It was only a trade classification until 1 January 1951, when it became a rank, although it is non-supervisory.
Leading aircraftman is also a rank in the Royal Australian Air Force (which uses a single chevron rather than a propeller device) where it is the senior aircraftman rank.
It was a rank until 1968 in the Royal Canadian Air Force being replaced by the army rank of private after unification, which then in 2015 was replaced by aviator (basic).
In the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the rank is awarded after three years of service or completion of a senior trade course, whichever comes first.
Leading air cadet (LAC) in the New Zealand Air Training Corps also uses the propeller badge. It is not technically a rank (although many units regard it as a very junior NCO rank), and may be awarded to cadets who have attended a minimum of thirty parades, or completed one year in a unit. The rank is generally awarded to those cadets who show obvious leadership skill.
- ^ "RAF Distinguishing Insignia" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- ^ RAF website
- ^ The spellings "aircraftsman" and "aircraftswoman", despite being occasionally seen even in official documents, are incorrect in any air force.
- ^ RAF Ranks
- ^ "Ranks". Royal Australian Air Force. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
- ^ "BAF RANKS". Bangladesh Air Force Website. BAF Communication Unit. 2020. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- ^ "RANKS AND BADGES IN THE AFZ". Air Force of Zimbabwe Website. Air Force of Zimbabwe. 2020. Retrieved 13 December 2020.