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Podcast: Is RAAF ruining tradition by axing ‘airmen’ for ‘aviators’?

written by Robyn Tongol | April 14, 2021

Part of No. 204 pilots course’s graduation "thunderbird" formation flight. (LAC Allan Cooper/RAAF)
An image from part of No. 204 pilots course’s graduation “thunderbird” formation flight. (LAC Allan Cooper/RAAF)

Last week, a mini-RAAF revolution took place when the Air Force decided to drop the term airmen in favour of aviators.

But on this week’s Australian Aviation Podcast, our chief pilot Christian “Boo” Boucousis tells stand-in host Adam Thorn they’ve got it all wrong.

The pair discuss whether the move wrecks tradition or will be an important part of modernising the organisation. What should the RAAF be doing to get the next generation itching to become fighter pilots?

Finally, the team discusses the latest problems to hit the country’s vaccine rollout. Will Fortress Australia ever lower its walls to the rest of the world?

Comments (5)

  • Anonymous


    I get it that we want to change culture to achieve a more equal and inclusive team, but as an Air Force Officer of 20+ years I’m very proud of my role as a non-aviator commissioned airmen, and my contribution to the effective generation of air power!

    Absolutely the wrong decision. I wonder what focus group dreamed this up?

  • Nicholas


    I had hoped that with Dutton and Hastie on board we’d have less of the Woke disease, as it is literally is, as it has done to our defense forces exactly what a disease does to the body, so sad to see the focus on the superficial continue.

  • So please ask the dumbest who dreamt this idea up if they know the gender of an AVIATRIX ?
    The RAAF is being infiltrated by a bunch of politically correct numbskulls with limited education so let’s get rid of them before they cause some operational disaster.

  • Ralph Hamilton


    As with all other butchery of our language; such as chairperson, it is meant to be more inclusive, and non-gender specific. Remember LGBTQI?

    Whatever have they done to the old Mother Tongue….Marum.

  • After 12 years in the RAAF I always was an airman never an aviator. Now days a retired airman once again never an aviator!!!

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