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Unterfeldwebel (lit. 'Under Field Sergeant') was a rank of the Wehrmacht, from 1935 until 1945. It was also used in the East German National People's Army from 1956 to 1990. The equivalent to Unterfeldwebel in the Bundeswehr of West Germany and later the Federal Republic of Germany is the rank Stabsunteroffizier (OR-5).


Unterfeldwebel (in Cavalry, Artillery, and Armoured corps: Unterwachtmeister) was in Germany the designation to a person in uniform with the second lowest NCO-rank (after Unteroffizier). It was counted to the rank-group Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee.

The rank-designations Unterfeldwebel, respectively Unterfeldwebel were created by renaming of the Sergeant rank of the German Empire Army.

Independent to the military assignment an Unteroffizier could be promoted to Unterfeldwebel after a service time of three to four years. Since 1936 this rank could normally be skipped in Heer and Luftwaffe, and NCOs with the rank Unteroffizier were promoted to Feldwebel.

Rank designation Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS until 1945

Branch Heer - decal for helmet 1942.svg
German Army
COA Luftwaffe eagle gold (looking left).svg
Kriegsmarine insignia casco.svg
Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg
Collar Collar tabs of Panzergrenadier.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Unterfeldwebel 3D.svg Kriegsmarine OR5a-OMT col02 1945.svg SS-Scharführer.svg
Shoulder WMacht H OR5a UFw Inf h.svg WMacht Lw OR5a UFw h 1945.svg Kriegsmarine-Unterfeldwebel-Shore h.svg SS-Scharführer h.svg
Sleeve UFw Scha OR5a cam slv 1945.svg Luftwaffe flightsuit Unterfeldwebel.svg Kriegsmarine sleeve Oberbootsmannmaat.svg UFw Scha OR5a cam slv 1945.svg
Name Unterfeldwebel Obermaat SS-Scharführer

Nationale People's Army

Border troops

By the GDR National People's Army and the Border Troops the rank was introduced in 1962, comparable to NATO OR-6a[1]. The rank insignia remained almost identically to these Wehrmacht and Reichswehr.


  1. ^ The abbreviation "OR" stands for "Other Rank, officers excepted / fr: sous-officiers et militaires du rang / ru?, "


  • Dictionary to the German military history, 1st edition (Liz.5, P189/84, LSV:0547, B-Nr. 746 635 0), military publishing house of the GDR (VEB) - Berlin, 1985, Volume 2, page 1013.

  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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