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Flag of Germany.svg
(Heer / Luftwaffe)
HD H 32 Oberfeldwebel HFla.svg LD B 32 Oberfeldwebel.svg
Rank insignia German NCO rank
Introduction 1957
Rank group Non-commissioned officers
Army / Air Force Oberfeldwebel
Navy Oberbootsmann
US Flag of the United States.svg
UK Flag of the United Kingdom.svg

Oberfeldwebel (OFw or OF) is the second lowest Non-commissioned officer (NCO) rank in German Heer and Luftwaffe.[1]

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


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 was taken over as second highes Protégée-NCO rank by the German Wehrmacht in 1920. 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-Oberscharführer from 1938 until 1945.

The rank has been used in the GDR National People's Army from 1956 until 1990 as well.

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 – Warrant Officer Second Class
  • 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