Stabsarzt

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Stabsarzt (short: StArzt or SA), in English Staff Surgeon, is a military commissioned officer rank in German speaking armed forces. In the German Bundeswehr and the former Wehrmacht and Reichswehr, it describes a qualified or licensed surgeon or dentist who practises military medicine, with a rank equal to captain (German: Hauptmann) in the army or air force or lieutenant (German: Kapitänleutnant) in the navy.

This rank corresponds to NATO code OF2, and is known in English as captain (Dr.) for army or air force officers or lieutenant (Dr.) for naval officers. The rank was historically also used in the Austro-Hungarian Common Army and corresponded to major or the NATO code OF-3, known as major (Dr.) in English.

The German word Arzt is the general term for a medical practitioner in German. In English the word surgeon in a military context is applied to any medical practitioner, due to the historical evolution of the term, and does not refer exclusively to the modern specialty of surgery. Thus the title is translated as Staff Surgeon in English. The rank of Staff Surgeon has also existed in English-speaking countries; it was used in the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom until 1918.[1]

Holders of this rank are commissioned officers; in practice their authority is often limited to medical matters and medical staff (such as other doctors, nurses and other medics working under their supervision). Under international humanitarian law (specifically the First and Second Geneva Conventions) they are regarded as neutral non-combatants and accorded the status of "protected persons" when participating in humanitarian work during armed conflicts, such as caring for the sick or wounded. They may wear the red cross as a protective sign. As such, they may not be attacked, harmed or taken as prisoners of war (attacking medical personnel is a war crime), and are entitled under the Geneva Conventions to carry out their work without being inhibited. They may be armed, usually with service pistols, strictly for defensive purposes, including self defense and the defense of patients.

Flag of Germany.svg
Stabsarzt
HD H 43b Stabsarzt San HM L.svg HD H 43b Stabsarzt Jg HM L.svg
Rank insignia German medical service ranks
Introduction
Rank group Commissioned officers
Heer/Luftwaffe
Marine
*Stabsarzt
*Stabsapotheker
*Stabsveterinär
short (in lists) *StArzt (SA)
*StApotheker (SAP)
*StVeterinär (SV)
NATO
equivalent
OF-2

Germany[edit]

Bundeswehr[edit]

In the Joint Medical Service of the German Bundeswehr Stabsarzt (en: Staff surgeon), Stabsapotheker (en: Staff pharmacist), and Stabsveterinär (en: Staff veterinary) are comparable in NATO to the OF-2 ranks Hauptmann, and Kapitänleutnant. The grades belong to the captain rank group (de: Hauptleute).

Address[edit]

The manner of formal addressing of military surgeons/dentists with the rank Stabsarzt is, „Herr/Frau Stabsarzt“; with the rank Stabsapotheker, „Herr/Frau Stabsapotheker“; with the rank Stabsveterinär, „Herr/Frau Stabsveterinär“.

Rank insignias[edit]

On the shoulder straps (Heer, Luftwaffe) there are three silver stars and the career insignia (de: Laufbahnabzeichen) as symbol of the medical standing, or course of studies. The piping on shoulder straps shows the Waffenfarbe (en: corps- or troop-function colour), corresponding to the appropriate military service, branch, or special force. The corps colour of the "Bundeswehr Joint Medical Service" is dark blue.

In the Marines, the career insignia is in the middle of both sleeves, 3 cm above the cuff strips, and on the shoulder straps between strips and button.

Bundeswehr Logo Heer with lettering.svg Bundeswehr Logo Luftwaffe with lettering.svg
Bundeswehr Logo Marine with lettering.svg
junior Rank
Leutnant SanOA
Oberleutnant SanOA
Bundeswehr Logo Sanitaetsdienst with lettering.svg
German medical officer rank
Stabsarzt
senior Rank
Oberstabsarzt

Wehrmacht[edit]

In the German Wehrmacht from 1933 until 1945 there were the OF2-ranks Stabsarzt, Stabsapotheker, and Stabsveterinär, which were equivalent to the Hauptmann rank in the army and air force and the Kapitänleutnant rank in the navy. During wartime, the regular assignment of a Stabsarzt was the management of a main dressing station (German: Hauptverbandsplatz), maintained by the 2nd platoon of the medical company, and supported by first lieutenants (Dr.), second lieutenants (Dr.), and help surgeons (German: Ober-, Assistenz-, and Hilfsärzte). A Stabsarzt also could serve in a variety of other roles.

The corps colour of the military Health Service Support (HSS) in German armed forces was traditional dark blue, and of the veterinarian service carmine red.[2] This tradition was continued by the medical service corps in Heer and Luftwaffe of the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht. However, the corps colour of the Waffen-SS HSS was “cornflower blue”.

Ranks Wehrmacht until 1945[3] Flag of NATO.svg
Ranks
Medical service en Equivalent Heer en
Generaloberstabsarzt Senior Staff-Surgeon General General der Waffengattung General ... OF8
Generalstabsarzt Staff-Surgeon General Generalleutnant Lieutenant general OF7
Generalarzt Surgeon General Generalmajor Major general OF6
Oberstarzt Colonel (Dr.) Oberst Colonel OF5
Oberfeldarzt Lieutenant colonel (Dr.) Oberstleutnant Lieutenant colonel OF4
Oberstabsarzt Major (Dr.)
Major
OF3
Stabsarzt Captain (Dr.) Hauptmann Captain OF2
Oberazt First lieutenant (Dr.) Oberleutnant First lieutenant OF1a
Assistenzarzt Second lieutenant (Dr.) Leutnant Second lieutenant OF1b
Unterarzt Oberfähnrich (Dr.) Oberfähnrich Officer Aspirant OR7[4]

Austria-Hungary[edit]

Josef Hauer (1769-1848), Stabsarzt.

In the Austro-Hungarian Common Army (de: Gemeinsame Armee or k.u.k. Armee) there were the OF2-ranks Regimentsarzt I. Klasse and Regimentsarzt II. Klasse (en: Regiment surgeon 1st class / – 2nd class) until 1918, equivalent to the OF2-rank Stabsarzt in Germany. That particular rank was comparable to the Hauptmann/Captain OF2-rank as well.

Ranks k.u.k. Army until 1918 Flag of NATO.svg
Ranks
Medical service en Equivalent Heer en
Generalstabsarzt Staff-Surgeon General Generalmajor Major general OF6
Oberstabsarzt I. Klasse Colonel (Dr. 1st class) Oberst Colonel OF5
Oberstabsarzt II. Klasse Lieutenant colonel (Dr. 2nd class) Oberstleutnant Lieutenant colonel OF4
Stabsarzt Major (Dr.)
Major
OF3
Regimentsarzt I. Klasse Captain (Dr. 1st class) Hauptmann Captain OF2
Regimentsarzt II. Klasse Captain (Dr. 2nd class)
Oberazt First lieutenant (Dr.) Oberleutnant First lieutenant OF1a
Assistenzarzt Secon lieutenant (Dr.) Leutnant Second lieutenant OF1b

References[edit]

  1. ^ Order in Council of 8 November, 1918. The Orders in Council for the Regulation of the Naval Service. XII. p. 422-423
  2. ^ “War and victory 1870-71”, culture history, published by Julius von Pflugk-Harttung. (Original title: Krieg und Sieg 1870-71, Kulturgeschichte, Herausgeber Julius von Pflugk-Harttung.)
  3. ^ F. Altrichter: “The reserve officer”, fourteenth checked addition, Berlin 1941, pages 158-159. (Original title: F. Altrichter: „Der Reserveoffizier“, vierzehnte durchgesehene Auflage, Berlin 1941, Seiten 158-159.)
  4. ^ The abbreviation "OR" stands for "Other Ranks / fr: sous-officiers et militaires du rang / ru:другие ранги, кроме офицероф"