SS-Sturmscharführer was a Nazi rank of the Waffen-SS that existed between 1934 and 1945. The rank was the most senior enlisted rank in the Waffen-SS, the equivalent of a sergeant major in other military organizations. Sturmscharführer was unique to the Waffen-SS and was not used in the regular SS (the Allgemeine-SS), where the highest enlisted rank was Hauptscharführer.
The rank of Sturmscharführer was first created in June 1934, after the Night of the Long Knives. Due to a reorganization of the SS, Sturmscharführer was created as the most senior enlisted rank of the SS-Verfügungstruppe, replacing the older Sturmabteilung (SA) title of Haupttruppführer.
By 1941, the Waffen-SS had become the successor organization to the SS-Verfügungstruppe and Sturmscharführer was established as the most senior enlisted rank. A Sturmscharführer was typically assigned as the head sergeant of an entire regiment or, in some cases, an infantry division.
Sturmscharführer was not the same as Stabsscharführer, which was a positional title given to the head SS non-commissioned officer of a company. The rank of Sturmscharführer was also not a prerequisite for promotion to Untersturmführer and was generally considered as a rank for “career” enlisted SS soldiers, rather than a rank on the path to becoming an officer.
The insignia for Sturmscharführer was two silver pips and two silver stripes worn on a collar patch along with the shoulder boards of a Wehrmacht Stabsfeldwebel. As was the case with Waffen-SS enlisted insignia, the collar patch of a Sturmscharführer was edged with black-and-silver twist cord until 1940 when the edging was dropped; like all non-commissioned officers the collar was bordered with 9mm silver-grey braid.
- Insignia of rank SS-Sturmschaführer of the Waffen-SS
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