The Bundeswehr is the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities. The States of Germany are not allowed to maintain armed forces of their own, the Bundeswehr is divided into a military part and a civil part with the armed forces administration. The military part of the defense force consists of the Heer, Luftwaffe, Streitkräftebasis, Zentraler Sanitätsdienst. In addition the Bundeswehr has approximately 27,600 reserve personnel. 2%, the Bundeswehr are in the process of integrating smaller NATO members Brigades into divisions of the German army. The Bundeswehr is to play a role as anchor army for smaller NATO states. 2 of 3 Royal Netherlands Army Brigades are now under German Command, in 2014 the 11th Airmobile Brigade, was integrated into the German Division of fast forces. Also the Dutch 43rd Mechanized Brigade, will be integrated into the 1st Panzer Division of the German army, with the integration starting at the beginning of 2016, and the unit becoming operational at the end of 2019.
The Dutch-German military cooperation are seen as an example for setting up a European defense union, the Czech Republics 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade, and Romania’s 81st Mechanized Brigade, will be integrated into Germany’s 10 Armoured Division and Rapid Response Forces Division. The name Bundeswehr was first proposed by the former Wehrmacht general and Liberal politician Hasso von Manteuffel, the Iron Cross is its official emblem. It is a symbol that has an association with the military of Germany. The Schwarzes Kreuz is derived from the black cross insignia of the medieval Teutonic knights, when the Bundeswehr was established in 1955, its founding principles were based on developing a completely new military force for the defence of West Germany. In this respect the Bundeswehr did not consider itself to be a successor to either the Reichswehr of the Weimar Republic or Hitlers Wehrmacht, neither does it adhere to the traditions of any former German military organization. One of the most visible traditions of the modern Bundeswehr is the Großer Zapfenstreich, the FRG reinstated this formal military ceremony in 1952, three years before the foundation of the Bundeswehr.
Today it is performed by a band with 4 fanfare trumpeters and timpani. The Zapfenstreich is only performed during national celebrations or solemn public commemorations and it can honour distinguished persons present such as the German federal president or provide the conclusion to large military exercises. Another important tradition in the modern German armed forces is the Gelöbnis, there are two kinds of oath, for conscripts/recruits it is a pledge but its a solemn vow for full-time personnel. The pledge is made annually on 20 July, the date on which a group of Wehrmacht officers attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944, recruits from the Bundeswehrs Wachbataillon make their vow at the Bendlerblock in Berlin. This was the headquarters of the resistance but where the officers were executed following its failure
Hauptmann is a German word usually translated as captain when it is used as an officers rank in the German and Swiss armies. While haupt in contemporary German means main, it has the meaning of head, i. e. Hauptmann literally translates to head man and it equates to Captain in the British and US Armies, and is rated OF-2 in NATO. More generally, it can be used to denote the head of any hierarchically structured group of people, for example, a Feuerwehrhauptmann is the captain of a fire brigade, while the word Räuberhauptmann refers to the leader of a gang of robbers. Official Austrian/German titles incorporating the word include Landeshauptmann, Bezirkshauptmann and Berghauptmann, in Saxony during the Weimar Republic, the titles of Kreishauptmann and Amtshauptmann were held by senior civil servants. The word may cognate with the Swedish Hövitsman, which has the root meaning Head man or the man at the head and is related to the word hövding, meaning Chieftain. Since medieval times, both titles have used for state administrators rather than military personnel.
See On the shoulder there are three silver pips
Captain (armed forces)
The army rank of captain is a commissioned officer rank historically corresponding to the command of a company of soldiers. The rank is used by some air forces and marine forces. Today, a captain is typically either the commander or second-in-command of a company or artillery battery, in the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army, a captain may command a company, or be the second-in-command of a battalion. In NATO countries, the rank of captain is described by the code OF-2 and is one rank above an OF-1, the rank of captain is generally considered to be the highest rank a soldier can achieve while remaining in the field. The rank of captain should not be confused with the rank of captain or with the British-influenced air force rank of group captain. The term ultimately goes back to Late Latin capitaneus meaning chief, prominent, in Middle English adopted as capitayn in the 14th century, the military rank of captain was in use from the 1560s, referring to an officer who commands a company. The naval sense, an officer who commands a man-of-war, is earlier, from the 1550s.
He would in turn receive money from another nobleman to serve as his lieutenant, the funding to provide for the troops came from the monarch or his government, the captain had to be responsible for it. If he was not, or was otherwise court-martialed, he would be dismissed, the only pension for the captain was selling the right to another nobleman when he was ready to retire. In most countries, the air force is the junior service, such as the United States Air Force, use a rank structure and insignia similar to those of the army. However, the United Kingdoms Royal Air Force, many other Commonwealth air forces, a group captain is OF-5 and was derived from the naval rank of captain. In the unified system of the Canadian Forces, the air force rank titles are pearl grey, a variety of images illustrative of different forces insignia for captain are shown below, Captain Captain Senior captain Staff captain
Lieutenant commander is a commissioned officer rank in many navies. The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander, the corresponding rank in most armies and air forces is major, and in the Royal Air Force and other Commonwealth air forces is squadron leader. The NATO rank code is mostly OF-3, a lieutenant commander is a senior department officer or the executive officer on many warships and smaller shore installation, or the commanding officer of a smaller ship/installation. They are senior department officers in naval aviation squadrons, most Commonwealth and other navies address lieutenant commanders by their full rank or the positions they occupy. The United States Navy, addresses officers by their rank or the higher grade of the rank. For example, oral communications in formal and informal situations, a Lieutenant is abbreviated as Lieutenant, Lieutenants were commonly put in command of smaller vessels not warranting a commander or captain. Such a lieutenant was called a lieutenant commanding or lieutenant commandant in the United States Navy, the USN settled on lieutenant commander in 1862 and made it a distinct rank.
The RN followed suit in March 1914, the insignia worn by a Royal Navy lieutenant commander is two medium gold braid stripes with one thin gold stripe running in between, placed upon a navy blue/black background. The top stripe has the ubiquitous loop used in all RN officer rank insignia, the RAF follows this pattern with its equivalent rank of squadron leader. This distinction was abolished when the rank of lieutenant commander was introduced, throughout much of its existence, the British Royal Observer Corps maintained a rank of observer lieutenant commander. The ROC wore a Royal Air Force uniform and their rank insignia appeared similar to that of an RAF squadron leader except that the stripes were shown entirely in black, prior to the renaming, the rank had been known as observer lieutenant. In the Royal Canadian Navy, the rank is the naval rank equal to Major in the army or air force and is the first senior officer rank, Lieutenant Commanders are senior to Lieutenants and to army and air force Captains, and are junior to Commanders and Lieutenant Colonels.
There are two insignia used by USN and USCG Lieutenant Commanders, in all dress uniforms, they wear sleeve braid or shoulder boards bearing a single gold quarter-inch stripe between two gold half-inch strips. Above or inboard of the stripes, they wear their speciality insignia and this rank is used on in Pakistan Navy. The rank of lieutenant commander is used in the Irish Naval Service. The majority of commanders in the Irish Naval Service hold the rank of lieutenant commander, with a commander being a senior. The corresponding rank in the German Navy, Italian Navy, Argentine Navy, Brazilian Navy, French Navy, Spanish Navy and most other French and Spanish-speaking countries is corvette captain. The insignia of kapteeniluutnantti, the rank immediately below the former, is one thin stripe between two wider ones, which could cause confusion among the naval personnel of other nations
Oberleutnant is the highest lieutenant officer rank in the armed forces of Germany, Austrian Armed Forces, and Military of Switzerland. In the German Army, it dates from the early 19th century, translated as senior lieutenant, the rank is typically bestowed upon commissioned officers after five to six years of active duty service. Oberleutnant is used by both the German Army and the German Air Force, in the NATO military comparison system, a German Oberleutnant is the equivalent of a First lieutenant or Poruchik in the Army/Air Forces of Allied nations. Other uses The equivalent naval rank is Oberleutnant zur See, in Nazi Germany, within the SS, SA and Waffen-SS, the rank of Obersturmführer was considered the equivalent of an Oberleutnant in the German Army. Comparative military ranks of World War I Comparative military ranks of World War II Ranks of the German Bundeswehr Rank insignia of the German Bundeswehr Yliluutnantti
Rank insignia of the German Bundeswehr
The rank insignia of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany indicate rank and branch of service in the German Army, German Air Force, or the German Navy. They are regulated by the order on rank designation and military uniform. The ZdV-37/10 – Anzugsordnung für Soldaten der Bundeswehr gives the dress order, the Federal Office of Equipment, IT, and In-Service Support of the Bundeswehr provides numerous details. As to naval persons in uniform there will be additionally depicted sleeve insignias on the uniform jacket, pertaining army persons in uniform there will be shown next shoulder straps of the uniform jacket. Variations of the first instance depicted rank insignias will be explained in more detail, this type of rank insignias is rather seldom in practice. Beside the rank insignia on shoulder straps, as shown above. This version of shoulder straps will be worn to uniform shirt, sleeve insignias on shirts more simple, but pertaining form and dimensions identically to those on jackets.
In the place of stripes, with parts of metallic spinning fibers wire yarn, for Army and Air Force personnel in Bundeswehr dress uniform, as well as for all female soldiers, shoulder straps are mandatory. However, male naval persons in uniform wear cuff titles, known from the jacket, deviating from the description above, naval enlisted personnel of the Guard Battalion of the MOD-Germany are exempted from wearing any sleeve rating mark on all uniforms. Also in deviation from the description above, on the service jacket, mounting straps or loops are in principle absolutely identical to the design of the shoulder straps, depicted above. From this point of view it might be sufficient to demonstrate exemplarily the different versions of design, official procured mounting straps are weaved. The field uniform type of mounting straps, used most, shows black or golden emblems on stone-grey/ olive-colour basic textile, almost similar performed mounting straps do exist for different coloured uniform parts as well as to Army, Air Force and Navy persons in uniform.
Army persons in uniform for wear on shoulder straps to the grey pullover. For naval persons dark-blue mounting straps are widespread in particular to the ship-parka, for Air Force pilots flying suits there exists a version of mounting straps with bright-grey emblems on dark-blue basic textile. The Air Force double-wing is mounted to other parts of the flying suit and they will be replaced by black-colored ones. In practice, the replacement of the obsolete grey-colored mounting loops by the new fashioned black-colour version is almost complete, however, on unicolored flying suits of army pilots and aviation technicians, mounting loops with grey-colored rank insignias conform to the regulations. The following below depicted gallery of mounting loops are practically in use in conjunction with the 5- or 3 color flecktarn fighting suit, this particular versions are not neither mentioned and depicted in the ZDv 37/10, nor officially procured. Mounting loops in 5- and 3-color flecktarn are de facto in contradiction to the Presidential Order on Rank Designation and Uniform of Soldiers, and might be only procured individually
For the use of this rank in other countries, see major. Major is the lowest staff officer rank in the German Army, the rank is rated OF-3 in NATO. The rank insignia is a silver oakleaf cluster with a silver pip, the OF-3 equivalent of the German Navy is the Korvettenkapitän. On the shoulder there is one silver pip in silver oak leaves. The Major rank in German speaking armed forces dates back to the Middle Ages and it equates to major in the British and US Armies, and is rated OF-3 in NATO. During World War II, the SS equivalent was Sturmbannführer, ranks of the German Bundeswehr Rank insignia of the German Bundeswehr Comparative military ranks of World War I Comparative military ranks of World War II
Oberst is a military rank in several German-speaking and Scandinavian countries, equivalent to Colonel. It is currently used by both the ground and air forces of Austria, Switzerland and Norway, the Swedish rank överste is a direct translation, as are the Finnish rank eversti and the Icelandic rank ofursti. In the Netherlands the rank overste is used as a synonym for a lieutenant colonel, Oberst is the highest staff officer rank in the German Army, German Air Force. On the shoulder there are three silver pips in silver oak leaves. Spelled with a capital O, Oberst is a noun and defines the military rank of colonel or group captain. Spelled with a lower case o, or oberst, it is an adjective, meaning top, uppermost, chief, first, both usages derive from the superlative of ober, the upper or the uppermost. As a family name, Oberst is common in the southwest of Germany, the name is concentrated in the north-central cantons of Switzerland. Here the Swiss version of Oberst is spelled Obrist, the name first appeared in the thirteenth century in the German-Swiss border area, and early forms were Zoberist and Oberist.
The name most likely refers to the tribe that lives the highest on the mountain or the family that lives the highest in the village, with the emergence of professional armies in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, an Oberst became the commander of regiment or battalion-sized formations. By the eighteenth century, Obersten were typically afforded aides or lieutenants and this led to formation of the modern German rank of the same name, translated as lieutenant colonel. Oberst was used in the militaries of Germany and Austria during both World Wars, Oberst was used as the prefix of the now obsolete SS rank of Oberstgruppenführer. The SS Standartenführer was equivalent to an Oberst, a colonel general during the World Wars was called Generaloberst. Again, rather than literally meaning colonel general, its more accurate translation is supreme general as it was normally the highest peacetime military rank, the rank of Oberst is known in American cinema, since several popular movies have featured characters holding the rank.
Luftwaffe Colonel Klink of the television series Hogans Heroes was a caricature of such a character