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Heer and Luftwaffe shoulder insignia
Country Germany
Service branch German Army
 German Air Force
RankUnteroffiziere mit Portepee grade
NATO rankOR-6
Non-NATO rankE-6
Next higher rankHauptfeldwebel
Next lower rankFeldwebel
Equivalent ranksOberbootsmann

Oberfeldwebel (OFw or OF) is the fourth-lowest non-commissioned officer (NCO) rank in German Army and German Air Force[1].


The rank was introduced first by the German Reichswehr in 1920. Preferable most experienced Protégée-NCO of the old army have been promoted.

The Reichswehr Oberfeldwebel (OR-7) was taken over as second-highest Protégée-NCO rank by the German Wehrmacht in 1935. In the military branch cavalry, artillery and anti-aircraft artillery it was called Oberwachtmeister.

The equivalent rank to the Oberfeldwebel in the Waffen-SS was the SS-Hauptscharführer from 1938 until 1945.

The rank has been used in the GDR National People's Army from 1956 until 1990 as well.

Rank information

It is grouped as OR6 in NATO, equivalent in the US Army to Staff Sergeant, or in British Army / RAF to Sergeant.

In army/ air force context NCOs of this rank were formally addressed as Herr Oberfeldwebel also informally / short Oberfeld.

The sequence of ranks (top-down approach) in that particular group (Senior NCOs with portepee) is as follows:


The abbreviation "OR" stands for "Other Ranks / fr: sous-officiers et militaires du rang / ru?, "!

Equivalent in other NATO countries Army/Air Force

  • Flag of Albania.svg - Tetar / no equivalent
  • Flag of Belgium.svg - 1er sergeant-chef and 1er sergeant
  • Flag of Bulgaria.svg - ? (en: Sershant)
  • Flag of Canada.svg - Sergeant
  • Flag of Croatia.svg - Narednik
  • Flag of the Czech Republic.svg - Nadrotmistr/
  • Flag of Denmark.svg - no equivalent
  • Flag of Estonia.svg - Veebel/
  • Flag of France.svg - Sergent-chef; Maréchal-des-logis-chef
  • Flag of Greece.svg - ; Epilochias
  • Flag of Hungary.svg - Törzs?rmester
  • Flag of Iceland.svg - Flokkstjóri 1.
  • Flag of Italy.svg - Sergente maggiore
  • Flag of Latvia.svg - Virsser?ants
  • Flag of Lithuania.svg - Vyresnysis ser?antas
  • Flag of Luxembourg.svg - N.N.
  • Flag of the Netherlands.svg - Sergeant der 1e klasse; Wachtmeester der 1e klasse
  • Flag of Norway.svg - no equivalent
  • Flag of Poland.svg - Starszy sier?ant
  • Flag of Portugal.svg - Primeiro-sargento
  • Flag of Romania.svg -
  • Flag of Slovakia.svg - Rotný
  • Flag of Slovenia.svg - Vi?ji vodnik
  • Flag of Spain.svg - Sargento
  • Flag of Turkey.svg - Astsubay K?demli Çavu?
  • Flag of Ukraine.svg - (en: Starshina)
  • Flag of the United Kingdom.svg - Sergeant (British Army/Royal Air Force)
  • Flag of the United States.svg - Staff Sergeant(US Army)/Technical Sergeant (USAF)



  • BROCKHAUS, Die Enzyklopädie in 24 Bänden (1796-2001), Band 5: 3-7653-3665-3, S. 487, Definition: Oberfeldwebel
  • BROCKHAUS, Die Enzyklopädie in 24 Bänden (1796-2001), Band 7: 3-7653-3676-9, S. 185, Oberfeldwebel

  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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