Maat (rank)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Naval Ensign of Germany.svg
MDS 21 Maat 10.svg MDJA 21 Maat 10 Lo.svg MA OG5 21 Maat.svg
shoulder board / cuff title / mounting loop
Rank insigniaGerman NCO rank
Rank groupNon-commissioned officers
Army / Air ForceUnteroffizier
NavyPetty officer, second class

Maat is a naval rank of the German Navy equivalent to the army/ air force rank of Unteroffizier. It is grouped as OR5 in NATO, equivalent to Petty officer, second class in the US Navy. However, Maate is also the collective name to all junior NCO-ranks (ranks: Maat, Seekadett, and Obermaat) in the modern day´s German Navy.

In navy context NCOs of this rank were formally addressed as Herr/ Frau Maat also informally / short Maat; the sequence of ranks (top-down approach) in that particular group is as follows:
Unteroffizier ohne Portepee

The abbreviation "OR" stands for "Other Ranks / fr: sous-officiers et militaires du rang / ru:другие ранги, кроме офицероф"!

Preceded by
junior Rank
Bundeswehr Logo Marine with lettering.svg

(German NCO rank)

Succeeded by
senior Rank

Equivalent in other NATO countries[edit]

  • Flag of Belgium.svg – Second-maître/ Tweede meester
  • Flag of Canada.svg – Master Seaman/ Matelot-chefe classe
  • Flag of Croatia.svg – Desetnik
  • Flag of Denmark.svg – Sergent
  • Flag of France.svg – Second-Maître
  • Flag of Greece.svg – no equivalent
  • Flag of Iceland.svg – sergente
  • Flag of Italy.svg – secondo capo
  • Flag of the Netherlands.svg – Sergeant
  • Flag of Norway.svg – Kvartermester
  • Flag of Poland.svg – Bosman
  • Flag of Portugal.svg – Primerio-subsargento/ Segundo-subsargento
  • Flag of Spain.svg – Cabo mayor
  • Flag of the United Kingdom.svg – RN: no equivalent
  • Flag of the United States.svg – USN: Petty Officer Second Class


Nazi-Kriegsmarine rank insignia for Bootsmannsmaat

The term is derived from the low German māt (comrade).[1] Via the Dutch language, the word became a nautical term and described the assistant to a deck officer. Since the second half of the 17th century Maate were the lowest class of non-commissioned officers aboard a warship. In the Prussian Navy and the Kaiserliche Marine Maate were Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee. According to their specialization, Maate would be known as e.g. Steuermannsmaat (Coxswain's Mate), Feuerwerksmaat (Ordnance Mate), Bootsmannsmaat (Boatswain's Mate) or Maschinistenmaat (Machinist's Mate).[2] Maate were recruited among conscripts who volunteered to serve for a minimum of six years. After approximately four years they could expect to become Maat. Re-enlistment was common but in most specialities the career options would end with achieving the rank of Obermaat; only after 18 years in service was a promotion as supernumary Vizefeldwebel possible, and only if there was a billet open; the 1914/15 naval budget included 7857 billets for Maate and 5237 for Obermaate.[3]


  1. ^ Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Deutschen. sv Maat
  2. ^ Wörterbuch zur deutschen Militärgeschichte, sv Maat.
  3. ^ Deutsche Militärgeschichte 1648-1939. Vol. VIII, p.283,285,292.