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Heer shoulder and Marine sleeve insignia
Country Germany
Service branch German Army
 German Navy
 German Air Force
RankGerman enlisted rank
NATO rankOR-4
Non-NATO rankE-4
Next higher rankOberstabsgefreiter
Next lower rankHauptgefreiter

Stabsgefreiter (abbr. StGefr, on lits[clarification needed]SG) is the second highest rank of enlisted men in the German Bundeswehr,[1] which might be comparable to specialist (OR-4b) in Anglophone armed forces.[2]

rank insignia field- and battle dress


In the 19th century German Army the OR2-rank Gefreiter (plural: Gefreite) always belonged to the rank group of enlisted men (below noncommissioned (NCO) level). However, during training and fatigue duty Gefreite were competent, authorized, and tasked to act on behalf of NCOs. So Gefreite became the first superior rank above the lowest-level privates. Nevertheless, until 1853 there were no special rank insignia for Gefreiter. In contrast, from 1811-1853 the Vize-Unteroffizier (deputy sergeant) wore the NCO Portepee (sword-knot).

In 1846 the rank of Obergefreiter (OR3; en: 1st/Senior Gefreiter) was introduced. This rank was shown by the so-called sergeant's button on the collar and the NCO Portepee on the sword. From 1853-1919 promotion to Obergefreiter was suspended with the exception of the Fussartillerie (foot artillery).

In the early German Reichswehr the ranks of Gefreiter and "Obergefreiter" were both indicated by one identical horizontal 9 mm Tressenstreifen" (lace stripe) on both upper arms of the uniform jacket.

Regarding[clarification needed] regular 12 years duty time from 1921 onwards, the newly introduced ranks of enlisted men (Oberschütze (1st/Senior rifleman (OR-1a)) and Stabsgefreiter (OR-4; Staff Gefreiter) were indicated by angular cuff chevrons on the left upper arm. The sequence of ranks of enlisted men was now as follows:

Stabsgefreiter Wehrmacht
Final ranks to enlisted men until 1945
Waffen-SS Heer (Army) Luftwaffe (Air Force) Kriegsmarine (Navy)
SS-Schütze Soldat Flieger Matrose
SS-Oberschütze Oberschütze
SS-Sturmmann Gefreiter Matrosengefreiter
SS-Rottenführer Obergefreiter Matrosenobergefreiter
No equivalent Hauptgefreiter Matrosenhauptgefreiter
No equivalent Stabsgefreiter Matrosenstabsgefreiter
No equivalent Matrosenoberstabsgefreiter

National People's Army

In the GDR National People's Army the rank Stabsgefreiter was OR-3 as well and used until 1990. The equivalent of the Volksmarine was Stabsmatrose.

See also main articles


A soldier of the German Bundeswehr might be promoted from OR1 Soldat (en: private) to Stabsgefreiter OR4b after a regular service time of 36 months.

See also

External links


  1. ^ BROCKHAUS, The encyclopedia in 24 volumes (1796-2001), Volume 20: 3-7653-3680-7, page 700.
  2. ^ Official Website (Bundeswehr): Dienstgrade und Uniformen der Bundeswehr (Service Ranks and Uniforms of the German Federal Defence Forces), in German. [1]
  3. ^ Word and tradition in the German Army, by Transfeldt - v. Brand - Quenstedt, 6th increased edition, Hamburg 11 H.G. Schulz 1967, p. 48(§68).

  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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