Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force (RAF) – the world’s first and most famous independent Air Force.
On this day in 1918, the RAF was formed through the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). The RAF took its place beside the British Navy and Army as a separate military service with its own ministry.
On the same date, the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) was also created
The RAF is celebrating its centenary through its RAF100 campaign and various events across the year.
RAF100 hopes that the centenary will provide unique opportunities to commemorate 100 years of extraordinary service, achievement and sacrifice; celebrate the professionalism and dedication of today’s RAF; and inspire future generations.
The campaign launches officially today with the RAF100 Baton Relay and will run for approximately six months, with a programme of public events at national and regional levels.
RAF100 is also supporting the national ‘Never Such Innocence’ arts competition and launched the RAF Youth/STEM programme in 2017.
The centrepiece of RAF100 takes place 10 July 2018 with a centenary service in Westminster Abbey, followed by a parade in The Mall and mass flypast.
Below, WeAreTheCity takes a look at just some of the inspiring stories and news articles about the RAF:
The RAF is to open ground close combat roles to women in September, ahead of schedule.
The opening of the RAF Regiment to women means that from September 2017, every trade and branch in the RAF will be open to all genders.
The RAF Regiment is the Air Force’s ground fighting force, protecting RAF bases, aircraft and equipment at home and abroad.
The Royal Air Force has appointed Sergeant Hilary Rosenthal as Deputy Drum Major – the first female to ever hold the role.
Sgt Rosenthal, 31, from Greasby, on The Wirral, joined the RAF in November 2004 on French horn, serving with the Central Band. In March 2015, she was posted to the Band of the RAF Regiment.
Her appointment as the first female Deputy Drum Major comes after the Women’s Royal Air Force Band was disbanded.
The RAF is on its way to embracing diversity and promoting gender equality and Sarah Maskell MBE is helping to drive that change.
In 2012, Maskell took up her current role as the lead for Diversity and Inclusion Policy for the Royal Air Force and has strived to improve the lived experience of personnel.
Female military personnel have been praised for keeping Britain safe, on international Women’s Day.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson reflected on the “amazing contribution” women make within the Armed Forces, during a visit to RAF Brize Norton.
Servicewomen have joined forces for a photo shoot to commemorate a century of women in the Armed Forces.
Organised by SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, the photo shoot brings together inspiring women who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces.
Armed Forces Day is a chance to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets.
Armed Forces Day takes place on the last Saturday each June and is celebrated throughout the UK in a series of events and social media campaigns.