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Fähnrich (German pronunciation: [ˈfɛːnʁɪç]) is an officer candidate rank in the Austrian Bundesheer and German Bundeswehr. The word Fähnrich comes from an older German military title, Fahnenträger (flag bearer), and first became a distinct military rank in Germany on 1 January 1899. However, Fähnrich ranks are often incorrectly compared with the rank of ensign,[citation needed] which shares a similar etymology but is a full-fledged (albeit junior) commissioned officer rank.

Fähnrich
HD H 31a Fähnrich Pi.svg LD B 31a Fähnrich.svg
Heer and Luftwaffe shoulder insignia
Country Germany
Service branch German Army
 German Air Force
AbbreviationFähnr
RankGerman NCO rank
NATO rankOR-6
Non-NATO rankE-6
Formation1956
Next higher rankOberfähnrich
Next lower rankFahnenjunker
Equivalent ranksFähnrich zur See

In the German Landsknecht armies, recorded from ca. 1480, the equivalent rank of a Cornet existed. The cornet carried the troop standard, known as a "cornet".

Contents

GermanyEdit

BundeswehrEdit

A Fähnrich of the Bundeswehr is a soldier who serves in the ranks, first as Fahnenjunker (OR-5, comparable to the junior non-commissioned officer rank Unteroffizier), then in subsequent grades: Fähnrich (OR-6, equivalent to Feldwebel), and Oberfähnrich (OR-7 equivalent to Hauptfeldwebel).

In the German Bundeswehr, an officer candidate (German: Offiziersanwärter) can reach the rank of Fähnrich after 21 months of service. The German Navy equivalent is Ensign at sea" (German: Fähnrich zur See).

An officer candidate's career is indicated by the enlisted rank with a thin silver cord on the shoulder strap.

from
1956
     
                         
                 
Distinction Oberfähnrich
(Senior cadet sergeant)
Fähnrich
(Cadet sergeant)
Fahnenjunker
(Officer cadet
senior grade)
Oberfähnrich
(Senior aviation cadet)
Fähnrich
(Aviation cadet)
Fahnenjunker
(Officer cadet
senior grade)
Oberfähnrich zur See
(Senior midshipman)
Fähnrich zur See
(Midshipman)
Seekadett[1]


(Naval cadet)

Rangcode (OR-7) (OR-6) (OR-5) (OR-7) (OR-6) (OR-5) (OR-7) (OR-6) (OR-5)
NATO Cadet sergeant Midshipman
USAF Aviation cadet auch Warrant Officer
RAF Acting pilot officer

National People's ArmyEdit

 
Fähnrich (NPA)

The rank name Fähnrich was in use in East Germany NPA as a direct counterpart from the Soviet Praporshchik rank.

Fähnrich until 1945Edit

Until 1945 in Heer and Luftwaffe of the Wehrmacht there were also three appropriate officer dedicated ranks:

  • Fahnenjunker, equivalent to Unteroffizier, additionally with two parallel braids
  • Fähnrich, equivalent to Unterfeldwebel, additionally with two parallel braids
  • Oberfähnrich, equivalent to Oberfeldwebel, additionally with two parallel braids

The status of an officer aspirant career (de: Offizier-Anwärter - OA) was indicated by additional two parallel silver braids as on the appropriate rank epaulet.

In the Waffen-SS there were the four ranks of SS-Junker, SS-Oberjunker, SS-Standartenjunker and SS-Oberstandartenjunker for officer candidates and officer cadets.

to
1945
Heer   and   Luftwaffe   Kriegsmarine Waffen-SS
                   
     [2]
Distinction Oberfähnrich
(Senior cadet sergeant)
Fähnrich
(Cadet sergeant)
Fahnenjunker
(Officer cadet)
Oberfähnrich
zur See

(Senior midshipman)
Fähnrich
zur See

(Midshipman)
Seekadett
(Junior midshipman)
SS-Standarten-
oberjunker
SS-Standarten-
junker
SS-Oberjunker SS-Junker

Other countriesEdit

The rank also exists in a few other European military organizations, often with historical ties to the German system. Examples are the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Finland (see Fänrik). The French Army has a similar position called an Aspirant.

In the Finnish landforces and airforce, Vänrikki (Fänrik) is the lowest commissioned officer rank, which is granted to the soldiers in the national service on the day they are released from their 347-day service. Finnish Vänrikki are thus of equal rank to the German lieutenant (also a platoon leader).

AustriaEdit

Austrian BundesheerEdit

Fähnrich in Austria
     
Rank insignia Austrian Bundesheer
Introduction ca. 1955
Rank group Officers
Army / Air Force Fähnrich
Navy no equivalent
Lower:
Higher:
Vizeleutnant
Leutnant
NATO
equivalent
OF-1c[3]

Fähnrich, short Fhr, is the lowest rank of the commissioned officers CO rank group (also rank group: Officers) in the Austrian Bundesheer.

Austria-Hungaria (until 1918)Edit

Fähnrich was the lowest officer rank in the k.u.k. Common Army. In 1838 it was renamed to Unterleutnant 2. Gebürnisklasse, from 1849 to Unterleutnant 2. Klasse, since 1868 to Unterleutnant, and finally approximately from 1868 to Leutnant. In 1908 Fähnrich was re-introduced as lowest cadet-officer rank in order to replace the 1869 rank designation Kadett-Offiziersstellvertreter. Fähnrich, Kadett-Offiziersstellvertreter respectively completed training and education on the less famous so-called k.u.k. Kadettenschule. As the Kadett-Offiziersstellvertreter was the highest NCO-rank, became Fähnrich a separate rank-class. However, graduates from the much more famous Militärakademie became the officer patent for Leutnant.

In the k.u. Royal Hungarian Honvéd army Zászlós was the equivalent to the Fähnrich rank. It accounted immediately to the officer corps.

Designation Cadet officer-deputy until 1908 Fähnrich 1908-1918
       
Paroli
Rank description Kadett-Offizierstellvertreter Fähnrich
(Hungarian) (Hadapród-Tiszthelyettes) (Zászlós)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Langenscheidt´s Encyclopaedic Dictionary of the English and German language: „Der Große Muret-Sander“, Part II German-English, Second Volume L–Z, 8th edition 1999, ISBN 3-468-01126-1; p. 1.381
  2. ^ On the lower end of both sleeves of the uniform jacket: One golden surrounding braid (de: Tresse), below the golden five-pointed naval star, typically to navy officers.
  3. ^ The abbreviation "OF" stands for de: "Offizier / en: officer / fr: officier / ru: офицер"