Ranks and insignia of the Waffen-SS

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This table contains the final ranks and insignia of the Waffen-SS, which were in use from 1942–45, in comparison to the German Wehrmacht Heer. The highest rank of the combined SS (Gesamt-SS) was that of Reichsführer-SS; however, there was no Waffen-SS equivalent to this position.

Table[edit]

Flag of NATO.svg
NATO pay-grade equivalent
Rank insignia Designation
German / (English)
Equivalent to the Wehrmacht
(Heer)
Collar badge Shoulder strap and sleeve Sleeve
(parka)
General ranks
OF-9
HH-SS-Oberstgruppenfuhrer-Collar.png
SS Oberstgruppenführer (Variante).png
Genob-obrstgrf.png
SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer und Generaloberst der Waffen-SS
(SS-Supreme group leader and colonel general of the Waffen-SS)
Generaloberst
Generaloberst (Wehrmacht) 8.svg
OF-8
HH-SS-Obergruppenfuhrer-Collar.png
SS Obergruppenführer (Variante).png
Gend-obgf.png
SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS
(SS-Senior group leader and general of the Waffen-SS)
General ...
General (Wehrmacht) 1.svg
OF-7
HH-SS-Gruppenfuhrer-Collar.png
SS Gruppenführer (Variante).png
Genl-grpf.png
SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS
(SS-Group leader and lieutenant general of the Waffen-SS)
Generalleutnant
Generalleutnant (Wehrmacht).svg
OF-6
HH-SS-Brigadefuhrer-Collar.png
SS Brigadeführer (1).png
Genm-brgf.png
SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS
(SS-Brigadier leader and major general of the Waffen-SS)
Generalmajor
Generalmajor (Wehrmacht).svg
Officer ranks
OF-5
HH-SS-Oberfuhrer-Collar.png
SS Standartenführer (Oberführer) Infantry.png
Oberfuehrer.png
SS-Oberführer
(SS-Senior leader of the Waffen-SS)
No equivalent.
HH-SS-Standartenfuhrer-Collar.png
Oberst-standf.png
SS-Standartenführer
(SS-Standard leader (regiment sized unit))
Oberst
Oberst Epaulette.jpg
OF-4
HH-SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer-Collar.png
Shoulder-wss-ill-obersturmbannf.jpg
Oberstleu-oberstbnf.png
SS-Obersturmbannführer
(SS-Senior storm unit leader (battalion sized unit))
Oberstleutnant
Oberstleutnant Epaulette.jpg
OF-3
SS-Sturmbannfuehrer,collar.png
Shoulder-wss-ill-sturmbannf.jpg
Major-sturmb.png
SS-Sturmbannführer
(SS-Storm unit leader)
Major
Major Epaulette.jpg
OF-2
HH-SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer-Collar.png
SS-Hauptsturmführer (Aufklärung).png
Hauptm-hauptstf.png
SS-Hauptsturmführer
(SS-Head storm leader (company sized sub unit))
Hauptmann/Rittmeister
Hauptmann Epaulette.jpg
OF-1a
HH-SS-Obersturmfuhrer-Collar.png
HH-SS-Obersturmfuhrer-Shoulder Strap.png
Oberleut-oberstf.png
SS-Obersturmführer
(SS-Senior storm leader)
Oberleutnant
Oberleutnant Epaulette.jpg
OF-1b
SS-Untersturmfuehrer collar.png
SS Untersturmführer Fm.png
Leutn-unterstf.png
SS-Untersturmführer
(SS-Second/Junior storm leader)
Leutnant
Leutnant Epaulette.jpg
Non-Commissioned Officer ranks
OR-8
SS-Sturmscharführer.svg
SS Sturmscharführer-SD.jpg
StFW cam slv.gif
SS-Sturmscharführer
(SS-Storm platoon leader)
Stabsfeldwebel
StabsFWEpaulette.jpg
SS-Stabsscharführer was a specific appointment, comparable to "Company Sergeant Major". This position, usually nicknamed "Spiess" in the German armed forces, was held by experienced senior NCOs who had already reached the rank of SS-Hauptscharführer (OR-7) or SS-Oberscharführer (OR-6), rarely SS-Scharführer (OR-5). Appointment insignia: so-called "double piston rings" on both cuffs (of sleeves) on the uniform jacket and the overcoat.
SS Stabsscharfuehrer Insignia.png
SS-Stabsscharführer
(senior NCO, e.g. Hauptscharführer or Oberscharführer, seldom Scharführer)
Hauptfeldwebel
(senior NCO e.g., Oberfeldwebel or Feldwebel, seldom Unterfeldwebel)
OR-7
SS-Hauptscharführer.svg
SS Hauptscharführer (Totenkopfverbände).jpg
ObFW cam slv.gif
SS-Hauptscharführer
(SS-Chief platoon leader)
(SS-Standartenoberjunker OA / Officer Aspiant)
Oberfeldwebel
(Oberfähnrich OA/ Offiziersanwärter)
Luftwaffe epaulette Oberfeldwebel.svg
OR-6
SS-Oberscharführer.svg
SS Oberscharführer-Fm.jpg
FW cam slv.gif
SS-Oberscharführer
(SS-Senior platoon leader)

(SS-Standartenjunker OA/ Officer Aspirant)

Feldwebel
(Fähnrich OA/ Offiziersanwärter)
FeldwebelEpaulette.jpg
OR-5
SS-Scharführer.svg
SS Scharführer (Panzertruppe).jpg
UFW cam slv.gif
SS-Scharführer
(SS-Section leader)
(SS-Oberjunker / Offiziersanwärter)
Unterfeldwebel
Luftwaffe epaulette Unterfeldwebel.svg
OR-4
SS-Unterscharführer.svg
SS Unterscharführer-MP.jpg
UO Cam Slv.gif
SS-Unterscharführer
(SS-Junior section leader)
(SS-Junker OA/ Officer Aspirant)
Unteroffizier
(Fahnenjunker / Offiziersanwärter)
UnteroffEpaulette.jpg
Enlisted men
No equivalent Stabsgefreiter (OR-3) Mannschaft Epaulette 1938.jpg
Rank insignia of Stabsgefreiter of the Wehrmacht.svg
OR-3 center‎
SS Mannschaft.jpg
SS-Rottenführer sleeve.gif
SS-Rottenführer
(SS-Squad leader)
Obergefreiter Mannschaft Epaulette 1938.jpg

Rank insignia of Obergefreiter (over 6 years of service) of the Wehrmacht.svg Rank insignia of Obergefreiter (under 6 years of service) of the Wehrmacht.svg

OR-2 center‎
SS Mannschaft.jpg
SS-Sturmmann sleeve.gif
SS-Sturmmann
(SS-Storm man/Storm trooper)
Gefreiter Mannschaft Epaulette 1938.jpg
Rank insignia of Gefreiter of the Wehrmacht.svg
OR-1
SS-Mann, SS-Schuetze, SS-Oberschuetze collar.svg
SS Mannschaft.jpg
SSpfcsldr.gif
SS-Oberschütze
(SS-Senior rifleman)
Oberschütze Mannschaft Epaulette 1938.jpg
Rank insignia of Oberschütze of the Wehrmacht.svg
SS-Mann, SS-Schuetze, SS-Oberschuetze collar.svg
SS Mannschaft.jpg
SS-Schütze
(SS-Rifleman)
Soldat, Schütze, Grenadier
Mannschaft Epaulette 1938.jpg
Volunteer to the service of the Waffen-SS Conscript or military volunteer who enlists and may become an NCO or Officer of the Wehrmacht
Remarks
  • The color of the Kragenspiegel (collar badge) is  schwarz (black) in SS and NSKK,  cinnabar-red in the staff headquarters of the so-called “Motorobergruppen” (en: Senior motor groups) and independent groups,  carmine-red in higher staff headquarters of the NSKK.[1]
  • Details, conditions, and prerequisites for SS-Candidates, aspirant or volunteers for full membership to the Allgemeine SS (general SS) are described in the main articles SS-Bewerber (SS-applicant) and SS-Anwärter (SS-aspirant).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Quotation as to: "Schlag nach!, Bibliographisches Institut AG., Leipzig, 1938, S.203"

External links[edit]

Sources[edit]