|Service branch|| German Army |
German Air Force
|Rank||Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee grade|
|NATO rank code||OR-5b|
|Next higher rank||Stabsunteroffizier|
|Next lower rank||Oberstabsgefreiter|
Unteroffizier is a military rank of the Bundeswehr and of former German-speaking armed forces (Heer and Luftwaffe), OR-5b on the NATO scale of ranks. There is no equivalent in the British Army, Royal Marines and various Commonwealth armies (it is senior to an OR-4 Corporal and junior to an OR-6 Sergeant), although the Canadian Army equivalent is OR-5 Master Corporal. The equivalent in the United States Army and United States Marine Corps is OR-5 sergeant. However, Unteroffizier is also the collective name for all non-commissioned officers.
In German military, Unteroffizier ("subordinate officer") is both a specific military rank as well as a generic term for any non-commissioned officer (NCO) in the army and air force, while in the navy the term Deckoffizier is used. It has existed since the 17th century.
Unteroffizier means a specific junior NCO rank of both the Heer and Luftwaffe. It is placed between Gefreiter and Feldwebel, roughly equivalent to a Corporal in the English-speaking world.
Until the end of German Reich, the equivalent of Unteroffizier rank in Jäger units was Oberjäger.
The term Unteroffizier continues to be used by the German Bundeswehr .
Informally, the non-commissioned officers "mit Portepee" are often called "Feldwebel ranks", which creates confusion as the collective term Unteroffizier already exists.[ clarification needed ] The word Unteroffizier, in turn, is getting a third meaning, namely: non-commissioned officer ohne Portepee, as opposed to "Feldwebel ranks".
Unteroffizier translates as "subordinate-officer" and, when meaning the specific rank, is in modern-day usage considered the equivalent to sergeant under the NATO rank scale. Historically the Unteroffizier rank was considered a corporaland thus similar in duties to a British Army corporal. In peacetime an Unteroffizier was a career soldier who trained conscripts or led squads and platoons. He could rise through the ranks to become an Unteroffizier mit Portepee, i.e. a Feldwebel, which was the highest rank a career soldier could reach. Since the German officer corps was immensely class conscious a rise through the ranks from a NCO to become an officer was hardly possible except in times of war.
The Unteroffizierskorps was made up of professional soldiers which formed the backbone of German armies. This tradition has not been changed by the Bundeswehr where all ranks of Unteroffizier and up consist only of professional soldiers who sign up for a period extending conscription.
Unteroffizier is one of the few German military ranks whose insignia has remained unchanged over the past one hundred years. The shoulder boards of a modern Unteroffizier are relatively similar to the World War I and World War II designs.
A modern-day German Bundeswehr Unteroffizier typically commands squad sized formations or acts as an assistant platoon NCO. The rank is also used in the modern-day German Air Force. In the Bundeswehr the grade of Stabsunteroffizier (a junior NCO) ranks between Unteroffizier and Feldwebel.
(German NCO rank)
|Name||Unteroffizier|| Maat e.g.|
By the East German National People's Army (NP's A) and the Border troops the grade was introduced in 1956, comparable to NATO OR-6b. The rank insignia remained almost identically to these Wehrmacht and Reichswehr. There designation of the two classes of non-commissioned officers, i.e. "Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee" and "Unteroffiziere mit Portepee", was generally disapproved by the East German communist military leadership, and consequently uncustomary.
There sequence of grades was as follows:
Unteroffizier(e), also Unteroffizier corps (en: Non-commissioned officer(s)), is the collective name to all junior NCO-ranks in the modern day's Austrian Bundesheer. It comprises the ranks of the assignment group M BUO 2 (professional NCO 2; de: Berufsunteroffizier 2) with the rank Oberwachtmeister (OR6), and M ZUO 2 (time serving NCO 2; de: Zeitunteroffizier 2) with the rank Wachtmeister (OR5).
Training and education of the Unteroffizier corps was reformed in 1995 and until 2000 finally introduced to the armed forces. First effected were professional NCOs of the assignment group M BUO 1 (Stabsunteroffiziere, staff NCO's), followed by the assignment group M BUO 2 (Unteroffiziere, NCO's).
In the result of a positive entrance examination aspirants attended the NCO trainings course (new) on the Heeresunteroffiziersakademie (HUAk) in Enns. After positive HUAk-graduation regular assignments to a Unteroffizier might be squad leader (de: Gruppenkommandant), or service in a military staff or headquarters.
|Rank group||NCOs (de: Unteroffiziere)|
|Corps colour||Medical service||Aviator|
|Rank||Oberwachtmeister (OWm)||Wachtmeister (Wm)|
|NATO equivalent||Staff sergeant||Sergeant|
Maat is a naval rank of the German Navy equivalent to the army/ air force rank of Unteroffizier. It is grouped as OR5 in NATO, equivalent to Petty officer, second class in the US Navy. However, Maate is also the collective name to all junior NCO-ranks in the modern day's German Navy.
Feldwebel , literally "field usher", is a non-commissioned officer (NCO) rank in several countries. The rank originated in Germany, and is also used in Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, and Estonia. The rank has also been used in Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria.
Unterfeldwebel was a rank of the Wehrmacht, from 1935 until 1945. It was also used in the East German National People's Army from 1956 to 1990. The equivalent to Unterfeldwebel in the Bundeswehr of West Germany and later the Federal Republic of Germany is the rank Stabsunteroffizier (OR-5).
Unteroffizier(e) ohne Portepee, is the designation for German junior non-commissioned officers (NCOs) in the German Armed Forces. The category was a division of the NCO class, separating junior NCOs from Unteroffiziere mit Portepee, or senior NCOs. The name is derived from earlier traditions in which German senior NCOs (Feldwebel) would carry the officer's sidearms with the officer's swordknot.
Unteroffizier(e) mit Portepee, also Portepeeunteroffizier(e), is the designation for German senior NCO in the armed forces of Germany. The name derives from earlier traditions in which senior enlisted men would carry a sword into battle. The word portepee derives from French port(e)-épée.
In the German Wehrmacht, Hauptfeldwebel was not a rank but a position title, assignment or appointment, equivalent to the Commonwealth company sergeant major or U.S. company-level first sergeant. There was one such non-commissioned officer (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.
Fähnrich zur See designates in the German Navy of the Bundeswehr a military person or member of the armed forces with the second highest Officer Aspirant rank. According to the salary class it is equivalent to the Portepeeunteroffizier ranks Bootsmann (Marine) and Feldwebel of Heer or Luftwaffe.
Seekadett is a military rank of the Bundeswehr and of former German-speaking naval forces.
The rank insignia of the federal armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany indicate rank and branch of service in the German Army (Heer), German Air Force (Luftwaffe), or the German Navy (Marine).
The Kriegsmarine was the navy of Nazi Germany prior to and during World War II. Kriegsmarine uniform design followed that of the preexisting Reichsmarine, itself based on that of the First World War Kaiserliche Marine. Kriegsmarine styles of uniform and insignia had many features in common with those of other European navies, all derived from the British Royal Navy of the 19th century, such as officers' frock coats, sleeve braid, and the "sailor suit" uniform for enlisted personnel and petty officers.
Oberstabsfeldwebel is the highest Non-commissioned officer (NCO) rank in German Army and German Air Force. It is grouped as OR9 in NATO, equivalent to a Sergeant Major in the United States Army and a Warrant Officer Class 1 in the British Army. Attainment of this rank requires at least sixteen years since promotion to feldwebel and at least six years since promotion to hauptfeldwebel
Fahnenjunker is a military rank of the Bundeswehr and of some former German armed forces. In earlier German armed forces it was also the collective name for many Officer aspirant ranks. It was established by the Presidential order of the Federal president on rank insignia and uniforms of soldiers
The ranks of the German Armed Forces,, were set up by the President with the Anordnung des Bundespräsidenten über die Dienstgradbezeichnungen und die Uniform der Soldaten on the basis of section 4, paragraph 3 of the Soldatengesetz. The Bundesbesoldungsordnung regulates the salary scales of all Federal office holders and employees including soldiers. The 'ZdV-64/10 – Abkürzungen in der Bundeswehr' gives the abbreviations and a list of the abbreviations.
Oberstabsbootsmann is the highest Non-commissioned officer (NCO) rank in the German Navy. It is grouped as OR9 in NATO, equivalent to a Master Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy, and a Warrant Officer Class 1 in the British Royal Navy.
Stabsbootsmann is the second highest Non-commissioned officer (NCO) rank in the German Navy. It is grouped as OR8 in NATO, equivalent to First Sergeant, Master Sergeant, or Senior Chief Petty Officer in the US Armed forces, and to Warrant Officer Class 2 in the British Army and Royal Navy.
Hauptfeldwebel is the third highest Non-commissioned officer (NCO) grade in German Army and German Air Force. It is grouped as OR-7 / OR-8 in NATO, equivalent to US Army Sergeant 1st Class and Master Sergeant. In army/ air force context NCOs of this rank were formally addressed as Herr Hauptfeldwebel also informally / short Hauptfeld.
Obermaat is a military rank of the Bundeswehr and earlier other German-speaking armed forces.
Hauptbootsmann designates in the German Navy of the Bundeswehr a military person or member of the armed forces. It belongs to the particular rank group Senior NCOs with port épée.
Oberbootsmann designates in the German Navy of the Bundeswehr a military person or member of the armed forces. It belongs to the particular rank group Senior NCOs with port epée.
Stabsunteroffizier is a military rank of the German Bundeswehr. It was preceded by the rank Unterfeldwebel that was used between 1935 and 1945 in the armed forces of Nazi Germany, the Wehrmacht. The East German National People's Army used the rank Unterfeldwebel from 1956 to 1990. In the Austrian Armed Forces Stabsunteroffizier is the collective name to all higher Non-commissioned officers.