Leadership ranks of the Sturmabteilung
The supreme commander of the entire SA was Oberster SA-Führer, literally Supreme SA Leader, a titular position, while Chef des Stabes, the Chief of Staff, oversaw the day-to-day operations of the group.
- Emil Maurice (1920–1921)
- Hans Ulrich Klintzsch (1921–1923)
- Hermann Göring (1923)
- None (1923–1925) SA abolished
- Franz Pfeffer von Salomon (1926–1930)
- Adolf Hitler (1930–1945)
To centralize the loyalty of the SA, Hitler personally assumed command of the entire organization in 1930 and remained Oberster SA-Führer for the duration of the group's existence. After 1931, those who held the rank of Stabschef, such as Ernst Röhm, were accepted as the commanders of the SA. The Oberster SA-Führer had no particular uniform insignia and was a paramilitary title that could be denoted in a variety of ways. Göring, for instance, created an elaborate uniform, with swastika armband accompanied with white service stripes. In contrast, Maurice wore simply a brown Nazi stormtrooper shirt with no insignia, as did Hitler when he held the title of Oberster SA-Führer.
After its creation in 1929, Stabschef was considered the actual leader of the SA.
- Otto Wagener (1929–1931)
- Ernst Röhm (1931–1934)
- Viktor Lutze (1934–1943)
- Wilhelm Schepmann (1943–1945)
Wagener held the title of Stabschef, with the rank created by Ernst Röhm. Lutze succeeded Röhm after Röhm was murdered, and Schepmann succeeded Lutze after Lutze died in a car accident.
Initial insignia for Stabschef consisted of an oak leaf patch worn on the collar of the stormtrooper uniform. Photographic evidence shows Röhm wearing such an insignia in his early days as Stabschef. As Röhm's authority increased, so did his insignia. Photographs from mid-1931 show Röhm wearing a two- and then a three-leaf insignia design. After 1933, the insignia for Stabschef consisted of a "crossed lances" pattern wreathed by a half oak leaf circle. Personally designed by Röhm, it was based on the insignia of a Bolivian general (Röhm served as a German military advisor to Bolivia in the late 1920s).
After Röhm was murdered during the Night of the Long Knives in 1934, his successor Lutze changed the insignia to a wreathed oak leaf pattern identical to the insignia of Reichsführer-SS. This remained as the insignia until the end of the war, and the Sturmabteilung, in 1945.
- Ranks and insignia of the Nazi Party
- Ranks and insignia of the Sturmabteilung
- Ranks and insignia of the Schutzstaffel