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Oberfeldarzt (short: OFArzt or OFA) is a military rank in German speaking armed forces. It denotes a medical staff officer surgeon or medical staff officer dentist and is comparable in rank to lieutenant colonel (de: Oberstleutnant) or (naval) commander (de: Fregattenkapitän) NATO-Rangcode OF4 in anglophone armed forces.

Flag of Germany.svg
HD H 52b Oberfeldarzt HFlg HM L.svg
Rank insignia German medical service ranks
Rank group Commissioned officers
Army / Air Force Oberfeldarzt (equiv. Oberstleutnant)
Navy Flottillenarzt (equiv. Fregattenkapitän)
Short OFArzt (OFA)



In the Joint Medical Service of the German Bundeswehr Oberfeldarzt, Oberfeldapotheker, and Oberfeldveterinär are comparable in NATO to the OF-4 rank Oberstleutnant; Flottillenenarzt, and Flottillenapotheker are equivalent in to the rank Fregattenkapitän, OF-4 as well.


The manner of formal addressing of military surgeons/dentists with the rank Oberfeldarzt is "Herr/Frau Oberfeldarzt"; with the rank Oberfeldapotheker, "Herr/Frau Oberfeldapotheker". A Flottillenenarzt will be addressed "Herr/Frau Flottillenarzt"; and the Flottillenapotheker, "Herr/Frau Flottillenapotheker".

Rank insigniasEdit

On the shoulder straps (Heer, Luftwaffe) there are two silver stars in silver oak leaves and the career insignia (de: Laufbahnabzeichen) as symbol of the medical standing, or course of studies. The piping on shoulder straps shows the Waffenfarbe (en: corps- or troop-function colour), corresponding to the appropriate military service, branch, or special force. The corps colour of the "Bundeswehr Joint Medical Service" is dark blue.

In the Navy, the career insignia is in the middle of both sleeves, 3 cm above the cuff strips, and on the shoulder straps between strips and button.

junior Rank
German medical officer rank
senior Rank


Rank insignia

Oberfeldarzt of the German Wehrmacht was comparable to the Oberstleutnant / Fregattenkapitän (OF-4), as well as to the Obersturmbannführer and Oberstleutnant of the Waffen-SS.

In line to the so-called Reichsbesoldungsordnung (en: Reich's salary order), appendixes to the Salary law of the German Empire (de: Besoldungsgesetz des Deutschen Reiches) of 1927[1] (changes 1937 – 1940), the comparative ranks were as follows: C 5

  • Oberstleutnant (Heer and Luftwaffe)
  • Fregattenkapitän (Kriegsmarine)
  • Oberfeldarzt (medical service of the Wehrmacht)
  • Geschwaderarzt, introduced June 26, 1935 (medical service of the Kriegsmarine)
  • Oberfeldveterinär from 1934 (veterinarian service of the Wehrmacht)

During wartime, regular assignments of Oberfeldarzt was chief of a, field-, evacuation-, or war hospital (de. Feldlazarett / Krieslazarett). However. However, a field hospital could be managed by an Oberstabsarzt (OF3) as well.

The corps colour of the military Health Service Support (HSS) in German armed forces was traditional  dark bluedark blue, and of the veterinarian service  carmine red.[2] This tradition was continued by the medical service corps in Heer and Luftwaffe of the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht. However, the corps colour of the Waffen-SS and Kriegsmarine HSS was  cornflower blue.

Ranks Wehrmacht until 1945[3]  
Medical service en translation Equivalent Heer en equivalent
Generaloberstabsarzt Senior Staff-Surgeon General General der Waffengattung three star rank OF-8
Generalstabsarzt Staff-Surgeon General Generalleutnant two star rank OF-7
Generalarzt Surgeon General Generalmajor one star rank OF-6
Oberstarzt Colonel (Dr.) Oberst Colonel OF-5
Oberfeldarzt Lieutenant colonel (Dr.) Oberstleutnant Lieutenant colonel OF-4
Oberstabsarzt Major (Dr.)
Stabsarzt Captain (Dr.) Hauptmann Captain (army) OF-2
Oberarzt First lieutenant (Dr.) Oberleutnant First lieutenant OF-1a
Assistenzarzt Second lieutenant (Dr.) Leutnant Second lieutenant OF-1b
Unterarzt Sergeant 1st Class (Dr.) Fahnenjunker-Oberfeldwebel
Officer Aspirant OR-7[4]
Feldunterarzt (since 1940)


Shoulder board
Sleeve lace
Ranks Kriegsmarine (medical service)  
Medical service en translation Equivalent Kriegsmarine en equivalent
Admiraloberstabsarzt Surgeon general Admiral (Germany) three star rank OF-8
Admiralstabsarzt Rear admiral upper half (Dr.) Vizeadmiral two star rank OF-7
Admiralarzt Rear admiral lower half (Dr.) Konteradmiral one star rank OF-6
Flottenarzt Captain naval (Dr.) Kapitän zur See Captain (naval) OF-5
Geschaderarzt Commander (Dr.) Fregattenkapitän Commander OF-4
Marineoberstabsarzt Lieutenant commander (Dr.) Korvettenkapitän Lieutenant commander OF-3
Marinestabsarzt Lieutenant naval (Dr.) Kapitänleutnant Lieutenant (naval) OF-2
Marineoberarzt Lieutenant junior grade (Dr.) Oberleutnant zur See Lieutenant (junior grade) OF-1a
Marineassistenzarzt Ensign (Dr.) Leutnant zur See Ensign OF-1b


In the Austria-Hungarian Common Army (de: Gemeinsame Armee or k.u.k. Armee) there was the rank Oberstabsarzt 2. Klasse (en: Senior staff surgeon 2nd class) until 1918 equivalent to Oberfeldarzt in Germany. That particular rank was comparable to the Oberstleutnant OF4-rank (en: colonel) as well.

Ranks k.u.k. Army until 1918  
Medical service en Equivalent Heer en
Generalstabsarzt Staff-Surgeon General Generalmajor Major general OF-6
Oberstabsarzt I. Klasse Colonel (Dr. 1st class) Oberst Colonel OF-5
Oberstabsarzt II. Klasse Lieutenant colonel (Dr. 2nd class) Oberstleutnant Lieutenant colonel OF-4
Stabsarzt Major (Dr.)
Regimentsarzt I. Klasse Captain (Dr. 1st class) Hauptmann Captain OF-2
Regimentsarzt II. Klasse Captain (Dr. 2nd class)
Oberarzt First lieutenant (Dr.) Oberleutnant First lieutenant OF-1
Assistenzarzt Secon lieutenant (Dr.) Leutnant Second lieutenant


In the Swiss Armed Forces the Oberfeldarzt of the Army is the most senior representative of the medical service of the Heer. However, the Swiss Oberfeldarzt of the Army might be promoted up to Divisionär (en: Divisional general). This equates to the NATO code of OF-7, or a "two-star rank".


  1. ^ Besoldungsgesetz vom 16. Dezember 1927 (RGBl. I …, C Soldaten S. 391), changes 1937 to 1940
  2. ^ “War and victory 1870-71”, culture history, published by Julius von Pflugk-Harttung. (Original title: Krieg und Sieg 1870-71, Kulturgeschichte, Herausgeber Julius von Pflugk-Harttung.)
  3. ^ F. Altrichter: “The reserve officer”, fourteenth checked addition, Berlin 1941, pages 158-159. (Original title: F. Altrichter: „Der Reserveoffizier“, vierzehnte durchgesehene Auflage, Berlin 1941, Seiten 158-159.)
  4. ^ The abbreviation "OR" stands for "Other Ranks / fr: sous-officiers et militaires du rang / ru:другие ранги, кроме офицероф"