Renaming of Staff Sergeant Majors First Class & Sub-Conductors RAOC

ORD 1/BR/2150(DOS) Dated 12 November 1968 Warrant Officer Class I Appointments in the RAOC

Transcribed from Photocopy of Original Foolscap Document as sent to all RAOC Warrant Officers ' (With thanks to retired WO1 (Cdr) R.J. White RAOC- August 2004). Initial transcription by Mike Comerford 2004. Edited for the web by Mike Coyle


First Avenue House

High Holborn

London WC 1

Tel: 01 242 1680 Ext: 1393

ORD 1/BR/2150(DOS)

Distribution Below

1. I am writing to every Warrant Officer in the Corps regarding my decision, : taken with the concurrence of  the Colonels Commandants  to rationalise the title's and appointments of Warrant Officers Class 1 of the Corps.

2. You are aware that Conductors and Staff Sergeant-Majors 1st Class hold a special position in the Army and that these titles, have long historical traditions.  I am enclosing with this letter a brief historical background of the titles, compiled by the Curator of the Corps Museum which may interest you if you do not know it in detail. 

3. You will appreciate, I am sure,  that it would be most undesirable to perpetuate differences in the titles according  to Warrant Officers of the same rank and standing in the same Corps, It is both confusing and unnecessary, At the same time you will all wish to see our long traditions continued,      As you will see from the enclosed notes, "Conductor" was originally the senior title in both the 'Army Service Corps and the Ordnance Store Corps. The most satisfactory and equitable solution,  therefore  is for Conductors and Staff Sergeant-Majors 1st Class to assume the title of "Conductor" and for Staff Sergeant-Majors and Sub-Conductors to take the title "Staff Sergeant-Major". In this way we shall retain the beet of both traditions and I believe the prestige of our Warrant Officers wall be enhanced as a result.

4. The new titles are to be taken into use with effect from 1st January, 1968.  I would ask all of you who hold position as Senior Corps member in Sergeants' Messes to ensure that all our senior Non-Commissioned Officers in the Corps are instructed in the history and traditions of our Warrant Officer titles so that they become well known, not only in the Corps but throughout the Army.

Army Council Instruction 1195 of 1945 introduced the practice of Officers Class I wearing, with battledress the badges of rank on a background ORD 1/BR/2150(DOS) Dated 12 November 1968 Warrant Officer Class I Appointments in the RAOC

5. In the past there have been anomalies between the system and rules for appointment to Conductor and Staff Sergeant-Major lst Class. Due to the changes I have outlined and at the same time to correct any inequitable differences in the rules, the rules for appointment to the combined appointment of Conductor, have been revised. The new rules will be published in due course in Corps Instruction 601. The same number and type of seniority promotion and commissioning rolls will, however, be continued. at least for the time being.

6. The changes will not affect the precedence already enjoyed by Conductors and Staff Sergeant-Major, all Warrant Officers in any group shown in the table at paragraph 391 of Queen's Regulations 1961 are of equal status, taking seniority within the group by their individual seniority dates of appointment. Where two or more Warrant Officer in any one group share the same seniority date then order of precedence is that of their Regiment or Corps. If in the same Corps, their seniority is determined by their order in their Corps Seniority List. Thus, the deletion of a title in any group will not affect the order of precedence in any way.

7. Finally you will wish to know that Queen's Regulations are to be amended delete the discontinued titles.  There will be no change to the status of Warrant Officers Class1 RAOC of the colour worn as a backing to badges of rank by Officers of the same vis a vis officers (para 394) and Conductors will continue to be exempt from membership of messes other than their own (para 1327)

J I Payne

Director of Ordnance Services

Distribution:  All RAOC  Warrant Officers