Ranks of the National People's Army

Coat of arms of NVA (East Germany).svg

The Ranks of the National People's Army were the military insignia used by the National People's Army, the army of the German Democratic Republic, from 1956 to 1990.

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

Rank group General/flag officers Field/senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
 
East Germany[1]
                        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
(Luftstreitkräfte)
Motorized infantry
(Mot.-Schützen)
Engineers
(Pioniere)
Armoured 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

Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
 
East
Germany
                   
Stabsfeldwebel Oberfeldwebel Feldwebel Unterfeldwebel Unteroffizier Stabsgefreiter Gefreiter der Ausbildung Unteroffiziersschüler 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.

Officer ranks and insigniaEdit

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

Rank group General/flag officers Field/senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
  East Germany[1]                                  
                       
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

Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
  East Germany[1]                
Meister to Stabsobermeister
wore the career insignia on shoulder straps only
         
Stabsobermeister Obermeister Meister Obermaat Maat Stabsmatrose Obermatrose Matrose

Other insigniaEdit

Field insignia (1960–1964)Edit

Officers
 
General officers Field officers Junior officers
Insignia[2]

Ground and
air forces
Armeegeneral Generaloberst Generalleutnant Generalmajor Oberst Oberstleutnant Major Hauptmann Oberleutnant Leutnant Unterleutnant
Enlisted
 
Insignia[2]

Ground and
air forces
Hauptfeldwebel
Stabsfeldwebel
Stabsfeldwebel
Oberfeldwebel
Feldwebel Unterfeldwebel
Unteroffizier

Aviator and technician suit insigniaEdit

Officers
 
General officers Field officers Junior officers
Insignia[3]                        

Ground and
air forces
Marschall der DDR Armeegeneral Generaloberst Generalleutnant Generalmajor Oberst Oberstleutnant Major Hauptmann Oberleutnant Leutnant Unterleutnant
Navy Flottenadmiral Admiral Vizeadmiral Konteradmiral Kapitän zur See Fregattenkapitän Korvettenkapitän Kapitänleutnant Oberleutnant zur See Leutnant zur See Unterleutnant zur See
Officer candidate
 
Insignia[3]        

Ground,
air forces &
navy
4th year 3rd year 2nd year 1st year
Offiziersschüler
Warrant officers
 
Insignia[3]            

Ground,
air forces &
navy
Stabsoberfähnrich Stabsfähnrich Oberfähnrich Fähnrich 2nd year 1st year
Fähnrichschüler
Enlisted
Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
Insignia[3]                  
Ground and
air forces
Stabsfeldwebel Oberfeldwebel Feldwebel Unterfeldwebel Unteroffizier Stabsgefreiter Gefreiter der Ausbildung Gefreiter Soldat
Navy Stabsobermeister Obermeister Meister Obermaat Maat Stabsmatrose Obermatrose Matrose

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Luft, Kathleen (1988). "National Security". In Burant, Stephen R. (ed.). Easy Germany: a country study. Area Handbook (3rd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. pp. 264–265. LCCN 87600490. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  2. ^ a b Krauß, Michael (2010). "Dienstgradabzeichen". flaechentarn-kraus.hpage.com (in German). Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d "DV 010/0/005 Uniformarten und ihre Trageweise- Bekleidungsvorschrift (1990)". nva-flieger.de (in German). Retrieved 7 January 2021.

External linksEdit