Maat (military)
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Maat Military
Shoulder board / cuff title / mounting loop
Country Germany
Service branchBundeswehr Logo Marine with lettering.svg German Navy
NATO rankOR-5
Formation1955 Modern
Next higher rankObermaat
Next lower rankOberstabsgefreiter
Equivalent ranksUnteroffizier (Army & Air force)

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 (ranks: Maat, Seekadett, and Obermaat) in the modern day's German Navy.

In navy context NCOs of this rank were formally addressed as Herr/ Frau Maat also informally / short Maat. The sequence of ranks (top-down approach) in that particular group is as follows:
Unteroffizier ohne Portepee


The term is derived from the low German m?t (comrade).[1] Via the Dutch language, the word became a nautical term and described the assistant to a deck officer. Since the second half of the 17th century Maate were the lowest class of non-commissioned officers aboard a warship. In the Prussian Navy and the Kaiserliche Marine Maate were Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee. According to their specialization, Maate would be known as e.g. Steuermannsmaat (Coxswain's Mate), Feuerwerksmaat (Ordnance Mate), Bootsmannsmaat (Boatswain's Mate) or Maschinistenmaat (Machinist's Mate).[2]Maate were recruited among conscripts who volunteered to serve for a minimum of six years. After approximately four years they could expect to become Maat. Re-enlistment was common but in most specialities the career options would end with achieving the rank of Obermaat; only after 18 years in service was a promotion as supernumary Vizefeldwebel possible, and only if there was a billet open. The 1914/15 naval budget included 7857 billets for Maate and 5237 for Obermaate.[3]

Maat Nazi-Kriegsmarine until 1945

Maate (Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee)
Title Maat
Collar tab Kriegsmarine OR5b-MT col 1945.svg
Sleeve insignia Kriegsmarine sleeve Steuermannmaat.svg Kriegsmarine sleeve Bootsmannmaat.svg
Steuermannmaat Bootsmannmaat
Soulder strap ShorePettyOfficerKM.jpg N/A
Wehrmacht equivalent Unteroffizier
US Equivalent Petty officer, third class
NATO equivalent OR-5b

Equivalent in other NATO countries

  • Flag of Belgium.svg - Second-maître/ Tweede meester
  • Flag of Canada.svg - Master Seaman/ Matelot-chefe classe
  • Flag of Croatia.svg - Desetnik
  • Flag of Denmark.svg - Sergent
  • Flag of France.svg - Second-Maître
  • Flag of Greece.svg - no equivalent
  • Flag of Iceland.svg - sergente
  • Flag of Italy.svg - secondo capo
  • Flag of the Netherlands.svg - Sergeant
  • Flag of Norway.svg - Kvartermester
  • Flag of Poland.svg - Bosman
  • Flag of Portugal.svg - Primerio-subsargento/ Segundo-subsargento
  • Flag of Spain.svg - Cabo mayor
  • Flag of the United Kingdom.svg - RN: no equivalent
  • Flag of the United States.svg - USN: Petty Officer Second Class

Preceded by
junior Rank
Bundeswehr Logo Marine with lettering.svg

(German NCO rank)

Succeeded by
senior Rank

See also


  1. ^ Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Deutschen. sv Maat
  2. ^ Wörterbuch zur deutschen Militärgeschichte, sv Maat.
  3. ^ Deutsche Militärgeschichte 1648-1939. Vol. VIII, p.283,285,292.
  4. ^ Handbook on German Military Forces 1945. TM-E 30-451. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, plate XVI, XVII.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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