Last Friday, members of the Regular and Reserve RAF joined local employers and community representatives in the grounds of the High School of Glasgow to witness the Presentation of a new Standard to 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron.
The Standard Presentation is a ceremony marking an anniversary or event in a military unit’s history. This involves the consecration of a new Standard – a banner of sky-blue silk emblazoned with the unit’s Battle Honours. The new Standard for 602 Squadron displays nine such Honours, dating back as far as the Second World War. In fact, the Standard Presentation for the squadron comes in time to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force in October 2024, as well as the centenary of 602 Squadron’s formation in September 2025.
Historically, Colours and Standards have been used as key rallying points for troops and used as a means of locating a unit commander. However, in recent times, they have moved away from battlefields in the face of newer warfare techniques and technology. Instead, they are used primarily as symbols of a unit’s identity and displayed at formal unit events.
Speaking just prior to the presentation, Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Ranald Torquil Ian Munro CBE, Commandant General Royal Auxiliary Air Force, addressed the employers in attendance, thanking them for their continued support of the Defence community.
‘I’m a Reservist, and when I’m not doing this I’m a lawyer in London,’ said AVM Munro, ‘which is why I’m really excited and grateful that you could be here today.
‘Defence is changing and employers like you are critical to us delivering what we need to deliver as a Whole Force; that is to say Regulars coming back into civilian industry and also Reservists currently serving in the Armed Forces.’
The consecration service for the new 602 Squadron Standard was performed by Air Vice-Marshal John Raymond Ellis, CB, QHC, RAF Chaplain-in-Chief. A parade then followed, overseen by the Lord-Lieutenant of Glasgow, the Right Honourable Lord Provost Councillor Jacqueline McLaren.
Following the presentation and parade, the Squadron and guests returned to Glasgow City Chambers for a civic reception hosted by the Lord-Lieutenant. Cllr McLaren, who had taken the salute at the Presentation of Colours, remarked upon 602 Squadron’s ‘heroic and distinguished’ history, and how the new Standard reflects ‘the risk, the reward and the tragedy’ that the unit known as ‘Glasgow’s Own’ has faced in its many decades of service.