Ranks and insignia of the Ordnungspolizei

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The wreathed Polizeiadler (police eagle) was worn as a cap badge and on the left sleeve by all uniformed police

The ranks and insignia of the Ordnungspolizei were developed in 1936 after the nationalization of Germany's regular police forces.

Ordnungspolizei rank titles[edit]

Ordnungspolizei (Orpo) ranks were based on local police titles and were considered a separate system from the ranks of the SS. It was also possible for Orpo members to hold dual status in both the Orpo and the SS, meaning that two ranks could be held simultaneously. In the case of Orpo generals, equivalent SS rank was always held in which case the Orpo general would be addressed by their SS rank first, followed by their police titles (for example: SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei). In 1944, all Orpo generals also gained equivalent Waffen-SS rank so that, in the event of capture by the Allies, the Orpo general would hold status as a military officer instead of a police official.

Orpo personnel who were also members of the Allgemeine-SS were authorized to wear an embroidered SS Sigrunen patch on the breast pocket.

Ordnungspolizei rank insignia[edit]

In addition to collar and shoulder insignia, Ordnungspolizei also wore the wreathed police eagle on the upper left sleeve. The collar patch and shoulderboards were backed, and the sleeve eagle (below the rank of Leutnant) embroidered, in truppenfarbe, a color-code which indicated the branch of police: green for Schutzpolizei (protection police) and police general officers, wine-red for Gemeindepolizei (municipal protection police), orange for rural Gendarmerie, carmine-red for fire brigades, gold for maritime police, light grey for administrative police.[1]

General officers[edit]

Shoulder insignia Collar insignia
Collar insignia
Orpo general rank Equivalent SS rank
Reichsführer-SS shoulder.svg Reichsführer-SS Collar Rank.svg Chef der Deutschen Polizei Reichsführer-SS
ORPO-Generaloberst h.svg Collar tabs for the Generals of the German Police.svg GenObst d. Polizei Kragenspiegel 1942-45.gif Generaloberst der Polizei Oberst-gruppenführer
ORPO-General h.svg Gen d. Polizei Kragenspiegel 1942-45.gif General der Polizei Obergruppenführer
ORPO-Generalleutnant h.svg GenLeut d. Polizei Kragenspiegel 1942-45.gif Generalleutnant der Polizei Gruppenführer
ORPO-Generalmajor h.svg GenMaj d. Polizei Kragenspiegel1942-45.gif Generalmajor der Polizei Brigadeführer

Note: Since most police generals, increasingly as time went on, were also SS generals, they typically wore an SS uniform except at police-specific functions.

Field officers[edit]

Shoulder insignia Collar insignia Orpo general rank Equivalent SS rank
ORPO-Oberst h.svg Collar tabs of Offiziere of the ORPO.svg Oberst der Polizei Standartenführer
ORPO-Oberstleutnant h.svg Oberstleutnant der Polizei Obersturmbannführer
ORPO-Major h.svg Major der Polizei Sturmbannführer
ORPO-Hauptmann h.svg Hauptmann der Polizei Hauptsturmführer
ORPO-Oberleutnant h.svg Oberleutnant der Polizei Obersturmführer
ORPO-Leutnant h.svg Leutnant der Polizei Untersturmführer

Enlisted and NCOs[edit]

Shoulder insignia Collar insignia Orpo general rank Translation Equivalent SS rank
ORPO-Meister h.svg None.svg Meister
(Sergeant Major)
Master Sturmscharführer
ORPO-Hauptwachtmeister h.svg Hauptwachtmeister
(Master Sergeant)
Chief watch master Hauptscharführer
ORPO-Revier-Oberwachtmeister h.svg Revier-oberwachtmeister
(Kasernierte Polizei)
(Technical Sergeant)
Precinct senior watch master
District senior watch master
Platoon watch master
ORPO-Oberwachtmeister h.svg Oberwachtmeister Senior watch master
(Staff Sergeant)
ORPO-Wachtmeister h.svg Wachtmeister
Watch master Unterscharführer
ORPO-Rottwachtmeister h.svg Rottmeister
Team master Rottenführer
ORPO-Unterwachtmeister h.svg Unterwachtmeister
Junior watch master Sturmmann
No insignia Anwärter
(Constable Cadet)
Candidate Mann

Rank and Pay[edit]

Pay Grade [3] Annual Pay
Reichsmark (RM)
(basic pay without allowances)[3]
Mannschaften (Enlisted)
Unterführer (NCO)
Offiziere (Officers)
- .. Anwärter
- .. Anwärter with more than 6 months service
- .. Unterwachtmeister
A8c5 1,536 Rottwachtmeister
A8c4 1,920 Wachtmeister
A8c3 2,040 Oberwachtmeister
A8c2 2,340 Revieroberwachtmeister
A8c1 2,370 Hauptwachtmeister with less than 12 years service
A8a 2,100–2,800 Hauptwachtmeister with more than 12 years service (Oberfeldwebel)
A7c 2,000–3,000 Hauptwachtmeister appointed before April 12, 1943 (Oberfeldwebel)
A7a 2,350–3,500 Meister
A5b 2,300–4,200 Obermeister
A4e 2,800–4,600 Leutnant
A4e 2,800–4,600 Oberleutnant
A4c2 2,800–5,000 Inspektor
A4c1 2,800–5,300 Revierhauptmann
A3b 4,800–6,900 Hauptmann
A2c2 8,400 Major
A2b 9,700 Oberstleutnant
A1a 12,600 Oberst
B7a 16,000 Generalmajor
B4 19,000 Generalleutnant
B3a 24,000 General

Mean annual pay for an industrial worker was 1,459 Reichsmark 1939, and for a privately employed white-collar worker 2,772 Reichsmark.[4]


  1. ^ Gordon Williamsson, World War II German Police Units, Osprey Publishing 2006, p. 8.
  2. ^ Schutzpolizei des Reiches Retrieved 2016-01-10.
  3. ^ a b Reichsbesoldungsordnung 1943, RGBl I:38
  4. ^ Die Besoldung eines Soldaten der Wehrmacht Retrieved 2013-11-26