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RAAF to replace ‘airmen’ with ‘aviators’

The Royal Australian Air Force unveiled its intentions to replace the term to foster identity in the service.

The Royal Australian Air Force unveiled its intentions to replace the term to foster identity in the service.

The Royal Australian Air Force confirmed that it intends to update the term “airmen” with “aviators”, with the Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, AO, DSC, unveiling the changes at a RAAF centenary dinner on 31 March.


AIRMSHL Hupfeld outlined that the change is expected to implement stronger identity among the RAAF’s aviators, having been unveiled as part of the RAAF’s Our Air Force, Our Culture program.

“Of all the work that has been done in developing our Air Force culture, the most challenging dilemma has been fully explaining who we are,” AIRMSHL Hupfeld said.

“We understand well enough what we are and what we do – but have never quite managed to successfully articulate who we are.

“We are all aviators.

“As an Air Force, we are born of the air and space. It is our home, and the place from which we serve our nation. Our trade is aviation.


“In everything that we do, we are aviators first and foremost. All of us, by virtue of what we do and what we believe. It is what binds us together," AIRMSHL Hupfeld concluded.

AIRMSHL Hupfeld commented that all aviators – regardless whether or not they are RAAF pilots – have the objective “to think, act and imagine from the perspective of the skies and space above us”.

[Related: RAAF celebrates centenary]

Liam Garman

Liam Garman

Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Liam began his career as a speech writer at New South Wales Parliament before working for world leading campaigns and research agencies in Sydney and Auckland. Throughout his career, Liam has managed and executed a range of international media and communications campaigns spanning politics, business, industrial relations and infrastructure. He’s since shifted his attention to researching and writing extensively on geopolitics and defence, specifically in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney and is undertaking a Masters in Strategy and Security from UNSW Canberra.
RAAF to replace ‘airmen’ with ‘aviators’
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