Major (Germany)

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For the use of this rank in other countries, see major.
HD H 51 Major FJg.svg LD B 51 Major.svg
Army and Air Force insignia
Country Germany
Service branchBundeswehr Logo Heer with lettering.svg German Army
Bundeswehr Logo Luftwaffe with lettering.svg German Air Force
NATO rank codeOF-3
Non-NATO rankO-4
Next higher rankOberstleutnant
Next lower rankHauptmann
Equivalent ranks

Major (German pronunciation: [maˈjoːɐ]) is the lowest staff officer rank in the German Army (Heer), German Air Force (Luftwaffe). The rank is rated OF-3 in NATO. The rank insignia is a silver oakleaf cluster with a silver pip (star).

The OF-3 equivalent of the German Navy (Marine) is the Korvettenkapitän.

To be appointed to the rank of Major, the officer has to pass a staff officer basic course (Stabsoffizierlehrgang) which is held at the German Armed Forces Command and Staff College (Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr), and serve in a post coded A13 or A13/A14.

In the German Army and the Joint Support Service (Streitkräftebasis), the waiting period between meeting the requirements for promotion and actual promotion to the rank of Major averages 15 months due to budget problems (as of July 2010).

Rank insignia[edit]

On the shoulder straps (Heer, Luftwaffe) there is one silver pip (star) in silver oak leaves.

Bundeswehr Logo Heer with lettering.svg Bundeswehr Logo Luftwaffe with lettering.svg
German Heer/Luftwaffe officer rank
Line officer career
junior Rank
senior Rank
Warrant officer / officer specialist career
Hauptmann Stabshauptmann End of officer specialist career


Major Helmut Viedebantt (1943)

The Major rank in German speaking armed forces dates back to the Middle Ages. It equates to major in the British and US Armies, and is rated OF-3 in NATO.

During World War II, the SS equivalent was Sturmbannführer.

See also[edit]