by Shawn Bohannon

The below were the ranks of the Landstreitkräfte & Luftstreitkräfte / Luftverteidigung (Ground Forces and Air Force), the ranks of the Volksmarine were different.

General Officers
Marschall der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (DDR)
Armeegeneral
Generaloberst
Generalleutnant
Generalmajor

Note: The rank of Marschall der DDR was instituted on 25 March 1982; it was apparently abolished in 1989. Although never bestowed, Armeegeneral Dr. h.c., Dipl.-Mil. Heinz Hoffmann (died 2 Dec 1985), the East German Minister for National Defense and senior serving general of the NVA, would have been the prime candidate for promotion to Marschall der DDR in the event of war.

Field Grade Officers
Oberst
Oberstleutnant
Major

Company Grade Officers
Hauptmann
Oberleutnant
Leutnant
Unterleutnant (for “Offiziere auf Zeit” with a minimum service obligation of three, later four years)

Warrant Officers
Stabsoberfähnrich
Stabsfähnrich
Oberfähnrich
Fähnrich

Note: A Fähnrich, et al. of the NVA was usually not an officer candidate, but a rank of the special, 15-year (including two-year training) service commitmemnt Fähnrichslaufbahn (warrant officer career).

Non-Commissioned Officers

Stabsfeldwebel
Oberfeldwebel
Feldwebel
Unterfeldwebel
Unteroffizier

Note: Hauptfeldwebel was the duty title for those senior NCOs serving as company first sergeants. The position was denoted by the wear of a single braid band on each uniform sleeve cuff. In the Wehrmacht of World War II as well as in the Bundeswehr, such NCOs were known as "Der Spiess," but wore two braid bands on each sleeve cuff.

Soldiers
Stabsgefreiter
Gefreiter
Soldat

Note: The rank of Soldat was initially Flieger in the Luftsreitkräfte / Luftverteidigung, though this appears to have been changed to Soldat.

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