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Ranks of the National People's Army

DesignEdit

The design of the rank insignias followed the tradition of the German Army (Heer) with some modifications. For example, the cuff titles (chevron insignias) of the Gefreiter were replaced by Soviet-styled shoulder straps with cross-stripes.

Shoulder strap rank insigniasEdit

Commissioned officer ranks up to Oberst featured four-pointed golden stars in increasing number according to seniority, and arranged following the Soviet pattern.

Junior officer (lieutenant and captain ranks) shoulder straps were made of silver satin string (German: Silberplattschnur). Unterleutnant had a single golden star, Leutnant two side-by-side stars, and Oberleutnant three stars in a triangle. Hauptmann rank had a fourth star above the triangular formation.

Senior officer shoulder straps were twisted silver cords, Major had a single star, Oberstleutnant two stars, and Oberst three stars, again arranged following the Soviet example.

Generals wore twisted golden and silver cords with five-pointed stars numbering from one (Generalmajor) to four (Armeegeneral).

Ground forces, Air force, and Border troopsEdit

Remark: The different colours represent the appropriate service, branch, branch of service, or special troop.

General and Officer ranksEdit

Equivalent
NATO code
OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) and student officer
 
Army
East Germany
                        See below
Marschall der DDR Armeegeneral Generaloberst Generalleutnant Generalmajor Oberst Oberstleutnant Major Hauptmann Oberleutnant Leutnant Unterleutnant

Officer candidate or officer aspirant (OA)Edit

The table below contains the Ofiziersschüler ranks (en: student officers; equivalent to officer candidate or officer aspirant (OA)).

Offiziersschüler (OF(D))
Academic year 6th 5th 4th 3rd 2nd 1st Preparation course
Shoulder boards              
Corps colour/ Troops Air Force
(Luftstreitkräfter)
Motorized infantry
(Mot.-Schützen)
Engineers
(Pioniere)
Armourde troops
(Panzertruppen)
Communications
(Nachrichten)
Motorized infantry

Warrant officersEdit

Fähnrichkorps and Fähnrichschüler of the NPA
Sleeve insignia
(1979-1990)
 
(not to Fähnrich-student)
Stabsoberfähnrich Stabsfähnrich Oberfähnrich Fähnrich Fähnrichschüler
W-4 W-3 W-2 W-1 W (Student)
           
(Staff-senior-Warrant Officer) (Staff-Warrant Officer) (Senior-Warrant Officer) (Warrant Officer) (Warrant Officer-Cadet)
Sleeve insignia as to 1973-1979
20 years of service 15 years of service 10 years of service

NCO and enlisted ranksEdit

Equivalent
NATO code
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
 
East
Germany
No
equivalent
                   
Stabsfeldwebel Oberfeldwebel Feldwebel Unterfeldwebel Unteroffizier Stabsgefreiter Unteroffiziersshüler Gefreiter Soldat

VolksmarineEdit

While the sleeve ranks of the Volksmarine officers were of the style used by the Soviet Navy, all shoulder board insignia used were German in origin, with the star arrangement for officers based on the Soviet rank insignia.

Flag officer ranksEdit

Unlike most Warsaw pact navies, the People's Navy also used staff corps insignia on the sleeve following traditional German practice. The sleevel rank insignia shown are those of the line officer corps.

Equivalent
NATO code
OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) and student officer
  East Germany No equivalent                                  
                       
Flottenadmiral Admiral Vizeadmiral Konteradmiral Kapitän zur See Fregattenkapitän Korvettenkapitän Kapitänleutnant Oberleutnant zur See Leutnant zur See Unterleutnant zur See Offiziersschüler

Warrant officersEdit

Fähnrichkorps and Fähnrichschüler of the NPA
Sleeve insignia
(as to 1979-1990)
 

(not to Fähnrich-student)

Stabsoberfähnrich Stabsfähnrich Oberfähnrich Fähnrich Fähnrichschüler
W-4 W-3 W-2 W-1 W (Student)
           
       
(Staff-senior-Warrant Officer) (Staff-Warrant Officer) (Senior-Warrant Officer) (Warrant Officer) (Warrant Officer-Cadet)
Sleeve insignia as to 1973-1979
20 years of service 15 years of service 10 years of service

NCOs and enlistedEdit

Equivalent
NATO code
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
  East Germany No
equivalent
            No
equivalent
   
Meister to Stabsobermeister
wore the career insignia on shoulder straps only
         
Stabsobermeister Obermeister Meister Obermaat Maat Stabsmatrose Obermatrose Matrose

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

  • "Germany 1949-1990 (Democratic Republic)". uniforminsignia.org. The International Encyclopedia of Uniform Insignia. Retrieved 20 November 2018.