Portepeeunteroffizier(e), also Unteroffizier(e) with Portepee or Portepee-NCO (literally "petty officer(s) with swordknot"), is the designation for German senior non-commissioned officers (NCO)in the Armed forces of Germany. The name derives from earlier traditions in which senior enlisted men would carry a sword into battle. The word portepee derives from French port(e)-épée.
Any Portepeeunteroffizier of the former Prussian Army was entitled to wear (in addition to the to dress uniform - to go with a ...) a sword-knot to its personal sabre, which was originally restricted to officers only.
The sequence of ranks (top-down approach) in that particular group is as follows:
- OR-9: Oberstabsfeldwebel / Oberstabsbootsmann this rank was introduced by the Bundeswehr in 1983
- OR-8: Stabsfeldwebel / Stabsbootsmann (in the Kriegsmarine Stabsoberbootsmann, Stabsobersteuermann, and Stabsobermaschinist)
- OR-7: Hauptfeldwebel (Oberfähnrich)/ Hauptbootsmann (Oberfähnrich zur See), this rank was introduced by the Bundeswehr after being an assignment/ position of service (informally Spieß and officially now Kompaniefeldwebel in the Reichswehr, Wehrmacht, and National People's Army)
- OR-6a: Oberfeldwebel / Oberbootsmann
- OR-6b: Feldwebel / Bootsmann
The abbreviation "OR" stands for "Other Ranks / fr: sous-officiers et militaires du rang / ru:другие ранги, кроме офицероф"!
- See also
And equivalents of the Navy—replacing Feldwebel with Bootsmann—and, historically, the Cavalry and Artillery (with Wachtmeister). The latter is not to be confused with the Navy's "Kompaniefeldwebel" of today which are also called Wachtmeister.
German non-commissioned officers were identified by the use of metallic lace (called Tresse) on the collar of the uniform jacket, as well as the edges of the shoulder straps. Senior non-commissioned officers in the Wehrmacht also used silver "stars" on the shoulder strap to differentiate between ranks; one star for a Feldwebel, two for an Oberfeldwebel, and three for a Stabsfeldwebel.
Table of Portepee-ranks
|Senior NCOs with port epée of Heer, Luftwaffe and Marine|
|German payment level||A9Z||A9||A8Z||A7Z||A7|
(Oberfähnrich zur See)
(Fähnrich zur See)
- BROCKHAUS, Die Enzyklopädie in 24 Bänden (1796–2001), Band 5: 3-7653-3665-3, S. 488