- Published: 23 January 2012 23 January 2012
- Last Updated: 07 April 2012 07 April 2012
by Arvo L. Vercamer
As the various German military branches maintained a liaison presence at the headquarters of the Reichsjugendführung (RJF), specially selected HJ-Verbindungsoffiziere served as HJ liaison officers to the various branches of the German military. Each German Wehrkreis (military district for the Wehrmacht) and each Luftgau (military district of the Luftwaffe) maintained a Nachwuchsoffizier in each military district. Together, the military recruitment officer worked closely with his HJ-Verbindungsoffizier to identify and select future recruits.
In January of 1944, OKW ordered a direct relationship to be established between field-based military combat units and HJ units in and around Germany. Each German Army regiment was to adopt an HJ Bann so it could be its proverbial Godfather (Patenbann). Each regiment was to select an HJ-Bann, which was located close to its home replacement depot. The soldiers of the home replacement depot were then to work with the Nachwuchsoffizier and the HJ-Verbindungsoffizier to help improve the recruitment efforts. Often, a regimental veteran would work with the new recruits to help train them and to tell them war stories, etc. As can be imagined, as the war progressed, the military basic-training times decreased drastically.