GERMAN ARMY RANKS 

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      The German  Army (Heer) as the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) distinguishes three career paths: officers (Offiziere), NCO's (Unteroffiziere) and enlisted men (Mannschaften). Rank insignia are worn on both shoulders.

 

ENLISTED PRESONNEL VOJNICI Unteroffiziere

     The rank Soldat is replaced by ranks specific to their Truppengattung (branch of service): Flieger (Flg) Aviator; Funker (Fu) Signaller; Grenadier (Gren) Infantrymen; Jäger (Jg) Light Infantryman; Kanonier (Kan) Gunner; Pionier (Pi) Sapper; Panzerfunker (PzFu) Armoured-Signaler; Panzergrenadier (PzGren) Armoured-Infantryman; Panzerjäger (PzJg) Tank Destroyer; Panzerkanonier (PzKan) Armored-Gunner; Panzerpionier (PzPi) Armoured-Sapper; Panzerschütze (PzSchtz) Tanker; Panzersoldat (PzSdt) Tanker; Sanitätssoldat (SanSdt) Medic and Schütze (Schtz) Rifleman.

 
 
 
SOLDIER PRIVATE 1st CLASS PRIVATE 1st CLASS CORPORAL
Soldat Gefreiter Gefreiter Obergefreiter
Vojnik  Vojnik prve klase  Vojnik prve klase  

     Gefreiter is the equivalent for Private (OR-2) in the armed services. Gefreiter was the lowest rank to which an ordinary soldier could be promoted. As a military rank it has existed since at least the 16th century. From the 1920s on Gefreiter has expanded into several additional ranks, those being Obergefreiter, Hauptgefreiter, Stabsgefreiter and Oberstabsgefreiter. A similar rank exists in Russia ("Ефрейтор"; yefreytor, efreitor), Ukraine (Єфрейтор, ; yefreytor, efreitor) and Belarus and existed in late Soviet Union. In today's German Federal Armed Forces, almost every soldier or sailor successfully passing the 12 weeks basic training is promoted to Gefreiter.

     
Hauptgefreiter Stabsgefreiter Oberstabsgefreiter  
       
       

     To be promoted to Oberstabsgefreiter a soldier requires at least six years of enlisted service and has to be a soldier for five years. The most important distinction between NCOs and enlisted men is that the enlisted cannot give any order even to lower-ranking soldiers unless specific circumstances apply (e.g. while on guard duty or to soldiers ordered to do so by their regular chain of command).

 

NCO'S CANDIDATES KANDIDATI ZA PODOFICIRE Unterffiziereanwärter

Unteroffizieranwärter may be combined with any enlisted rank. Čin pooficirskog kandidata može biti kombiniran sa svakim vojničkim činom.

  Gefreiter    
  Unteroffizieranwärter    
     
       
       

NCO's PODOFICIRI Unteroffiziere

     NCOs (Unteroffiziere) play an important role in the Heer as they are entrusted the command of most sub-company units. They often are referred to as the backbone of the army. Especially Feldwebels and above carry similar responsibilities officers have. This is largely due to the German military doctrine of Auftragstaktik: German orders usually do not include specific instructions, but rather a task, the available time and the available means. This gives leaders of smaller units a great deal of freedom and responsibility. Since the ancient time of Prussian Army, the non-commissioned officers or subofficers of German armies are distinguished into a) Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee (sub-officers without sword-knot) b) Unteroffiziere mit Portepee (sub-officers with sword-knot). Sub-officers from Feldwebel upwards were entitled to bear a sword-knot at their sabre.

 
    STAFF SERGEANT SERGEANT 1st CLASS
Unteroffizier Stabsunteroffizier Feldwebel Oberfeldwebel
Podoficir Štabni podoficir Stožerni narednik Narednik 1. klase

     Feldwebel as military rank existed since at least the 18th century with usage as a title dating to the Middle Ages. The word Feldwebel is usually, but incorrectly, translated as Sergeant. As a rank it is more equivalent to the British "warrant officer". The German word Feldwebel derives from the old German term 'waibel', a part of a loom to bring all strings on a line. The Landsknecht regiments first installed Feldwaibel to keep the men at line at the battlefield. In the Swiss Army, the rank is still today called Feldweibel. In the modern German, Feldwebel is considered a Senior NCO, due in part to the large number of Corporal positions which exist as junior grades.

SERGEANT 1st CLASS MASTER SERGEANT MASTER SERGEANT STAFF SERGEANT
Oberfeldwebel Hauptfeldwebel Hauptfeldwebel Stabsfeldwebel
Narednik 1. klase Glavni narednik Glavni narednik Štabni narednik

     In the German military, the appointment of Hauptfeldwebel was the German equivalent of a Commonwealth Company Sergeant Major or American Company First Sergeant. There was one such NCO in every infantry company, artillery battery, cavalry squadron, etc. He was the senior NCO of his subunit, but his duties were largely administrative and he was not expected to accompany his unit into an assault or a firefight. Today, the former billet Hauptfeldwebel as a company's Senior NCO has become a regular rank between Oberfeldwebel and Stabsfeldwebel. It is comparable to the United States rank Master Sergeant.

   
HIGHER STAFF SERGEANT HIGHER STAFF SERGEANT    
Oberstabsfeldwebel Oberstabsfeldwebel    
Viši štabni narednik Viši štabni narednik    
 

OFFICERS CANDIDATES KANDIDATI ZA OFICIRE Offiziereanwärter

Offizieranwärter may be combined with any enlisted rank. Čin oficirskog kandidata može biti kombiniran sa svakim vojničkim činom.

 
   
  Obergefraiter Fahnenjunker Fähnrich

Equivalent to NCO ranks:   Odgovara podoficirskom činu:

    Unteroffizier Feldwebel
Oberfähnrich      
Hauptfeldwebel      
       

OFFICERS OFICIRI Offiziere

SECOND LIEUTENANT SECOND LIEUTENANT FIRST LIEUTENANT CAPTAIN (dentist)
Leutnant Leutnant Oberleutnant Hauptmann (Zahnarzt)
Potporučnik (Poručnik) Potporučnik (Poručnik) Poručnik (Nadporučnik) Kapetan (Zubar)
   
CAPTAIN (artillery) CAPTAIN STAFF CAPTAIN  
Hauptmann (Artilery) Hauptman Stabshauptmann  
Kapetan (Artiljerija) Satnik (Kapetan) Štabni kapetan

     Staff captain (Stabshauptmann) is very rear rank,mainly in specialist careers. Štabni kapetan Ovaj je čin vrlo rijedak, uglavnom u specijalističkim službama.

     In order to be promoted to Major (major; a rank only career officers can achieve), the officers have to complete successfully a course called field grade officer basic course (Stabsoffizierlehrgang SOL). It takes a minimum of 10 years of officer's service to become a major. Lt. colonel (Oberstleutnant) is the standard final rank for career officers which can be awarded after 17 years of service. Colonel (Oberst) is the highest field grade rank (promotion requires a minimum of 17 years of officer's service, i.e. 20 years of service overall).

MAJOR MAJOR LIEUTENANT COLONEL COLONEL
Major Major Oberstleutnant Oberst
Major Major Potpukovnik Pukovnik
       

     About 1.5 per cent of each crew are chosen to take part in the general staff course (Generalstabslehrgang) at the military academy (Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr) at Hamburg. This course lasts two years after the completion of which the participants put a "i.G." after their rank, meaning in general staff service (im Generalstabsdienst). Having completed this course, the minimum rank those officers achieve is usually colonel (Oberst). The Generalstabslehrgang is a necessary requirement for the promotion to a General's rank.

* Detail from "special" Brigadirs rank: this is insignia for brigadiers from military courts used in war time only.

BRIGADIER BRIGADIER *    
Brigadegeneral Brigadegeneral Detalj sa čina Brigadira člana vojnog suda - koristi se samo u ratno vrijeme. Vrlo rijetka oznaka.
Brigadni general Brigadni general
   
MAJOR GENERAL LIEUTENANT GENERAL GENERAL  
Generalmajor Generalleutnant General  
General major General pukovnik General  
       
       
       
       
       

 

 

 

 

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