McCaw was given the honourary title after being a squadron leader for the past seven years, and his new patches were pinned in place at the Air Force Leadership Forum at Ohakea.
McCaw is not all hot air in this regard though, as he is a licensed fixed-wing pilot, is working on his helicopter license, and is eager to get his commercial license as well.
The RNZAF said on their Facebook page on Thursday: “Richie’s left the playing field behind for the air field!
“The man famous for his leadership skills on the rugby ground is joining the Air Force Leadership Forum at Base Ohakea today.
“With two Rugby World Cup triumphs under his belt, we reckon he’s a pretty good fit. Richie’s career has also been built on very similar values that the NZDF holds dear – Courage, Commitment and Comradeship. And let’s not forget his love of aviation.
“Since 2009 Richie has been an honorary Air Force Squadron Leader. He excels in performance, leadership, developing diversity and commitment to serving – not just as the All Blacks captain, but as a Kiwi who epitomises the values we all aspire to.
“Because of this, the Chief of Air Force is proud to today promote him to Wing Commander.