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HD H 32 Oberfeldwebel HFla.svg LD B 32 Oberfeldwebel.svg
Heer and Luftwaffe shoulder insignia
Country Germany
Service branch German Army
 German Air Force
RankGerman NCO rank
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[edit]

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:другие ранги, кроме офицероф"!

junior Rank
Bundeswehr Logo Heer with lettering.svg Bundeswehr Logo Luftwaffe with lettering.svg

(German NCO rank)

senior Rank

Equivalent in other NATO countries Army/Air Force[edit]

  • Flag of Albania.svg – Tetar / no equivalent
  • Flag of Belgium.svg – 1er sergeant-chef and 1er sergeant
  • Flag of Bulgaria.svg – Сержант (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 – Επιλοχίας; Epilochias
  • Flag of Hungary.svg – Törzsőrmester
  • Flag of Iceland.svg – Flokkstjóri 1.
  • Flag of Italy.svg – Sergente maggiore
  • Flag of Latvia.svg – Virsseržants
  • Flag of Lithuania.svg – Vyresnysis seržantas
  • 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 sierżant
  • Flag of Portugal.svg – Primeiro-sargento
  • Flag of Romania.svg
  • Flag of Slovakia.svg – Rotný
  • Flag of Slovenia.svg – Višji vodnik
  • Flag of Spain.svg – Sargento
  • Flag of Turkey.svg – Astsubay Kıdemli Çavuş
  • Flag of Ukraine.svg – Старшина (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)


  1. ^ BROCKHAUS, The encyclopedia in 24 volumes (1796–2001), Volume 7: 3-7653-3676-9, page 185