Hauptfeldwebel (rank)

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HD H 33 Hauptfeldwebel ABCAbw.svg LD B 33 Hauptfeldwebel.svg
Heer and Luftwaffe shoulder insignia
Country  Germany
Service branch  German Army
 German Air Force
Abbreviation HptFw
Rank German NCO rank
NATO rank OR-7
Non-NATO rank E-7
Formation 1957
Next higher rank Stabsfeldwebel
Next lower rank Oberfeldwebel
Equivalent ranks Hauptbootsmann

Hauptfeldwebel (HptFw or HF) is the third highest Non-commissioned officer (NCO) rank in German Army and German Air Force.[1]


The Hauptfeldwebel was introduced by the German Wehrmacht in 1938 not as a military rank but as the assignment to “company sergeant (de: Kompaniefeldwebel or Spiess). Most experienced Portepée-NCO with the rank Stabsfeldwebel or Oberfeldwebel (more seldom Feldwebel) have been assigned to that distinguished position.

The assignment Spiess/Hauptfeldwebel, equivalent to the company sergeant major in Anglo-phonic armed forces, has been used before in the GDR National People's Army from 1956 until 1990 as well.

The equivalent assignment to the company sergeant major in the Waffen-SS was the SS-Stabsscharführer from 1938 until 1945 .

Rank information

It is grouped as OR7 in NATO, equivalent to a US Army Sergeant 1st Class, US Marine Gunnery Sergeant, or US Air Force Master Sergeant, and to Warrant Officer Class 2 in the British Army and Royal Navy.

In army/ air force context NCOs of this rank were formally addressed as Herr Hauptfeldwebel also informally / short Hauptfeld.

The sequence of ranks (top-down approach) in that particular group (Senior NCOs with portepee) is as follows:


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

junior Rank
Bundeswehr Logo Heer with lettering.svg Bundeswehr Logo Luftwaffe with lettering.svg

(German NCO rank)

senior Rank

Equivalent in other NATO countries Army/Air Force

  • Flag of Albania.svg – Rreshter/no equivalent
  • Flag of Belgium.svg – 1er sergeant-major; 1ste sergeant-majoor
  • Flag of Bulgaria.svg – Старши сержант (en: Strshi sershant)
  • Flag of Canada.svg – Warrant Officer; Adjudant
  • Flag of Croatia.svg – Nadnarednik
  • Flag of the Czech Republic.svg – praporčík/
  • Flag of Denmark.svg – Oversergent
  • Flag of Estonia.svg – Vanemveebel/
  • Flag of France.svg – no equivalent
  • Flag of Greece.svg – Επιλοχίας; Epilochias/N.N.
  • Flag of Hungary.svg – Főtörzsőrmester/N.N.
  • Flag of Iceland.svg – no equivalent
  • Flag of Italy.svg – Sergente maggiore capo
  • Flag of Latvia.svg – Štāba virsseržants/N.N.
  • Flag of Lithuania.svg – Štabo seržantas/N.N.
  • Flag of Luxembourg.svg – N.N.
  • Flag of the Netherlands.svg – Sergeant-majoor; Opperwachtmeester/Sergeant-majoor
  • Flag of Norway.svg – no equivalent
  • Flag of Poland.svg – Szef kompanii
  • Flag of Portugal.svg – Sargento-ajudante
  • Flag of Romania.svg – Maistru Militar clasa III
  • Flag of Slovakia.svg – rotmajster
  • Flag of Slovenia.svg – štabni vodnik
  • Flag of Spain.svg – Sargento primero
  • Flag of Turkey.svg – Astsubay Kıdemli Üstçavuş and Astsubay Üstçavuş/
  • Flag of Ukraine.svg – Старшина (en: Starshina)
  • Flag of the United Kingdom.svg – Staff Sergeant and Colour Sergeant/Flight sergeant, Flight sergeant aircrew and Chief sergeant
  • Flag of the United States.svg – Master Sergeant/Sergeant First Class


  1. ^ BROCKHAUS, The encyclopedia in 24 volumes (1796–2001), Volume 7: 3-7653-3676-9, page 185
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