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Flag of Germany.svg
Rank insignia German officer rank
Introduction 1871
Rank group Commissioned officers
Army / Air Force Oberleutnant
Navy Oberleutnant zur See
Army First lieutenant
Navy *Lieutenant (junior grade) *Sub-Lieutenant

Oberleutnant (OF-1a) is the highest lieutenant officer rank in the armed forces of Germany (Bundeswehr), 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.[1][2]

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

(German officer rank)

senior Rank
Rank insignias Oberleutnant/Oberleutnant zur See (OF-1a)
Bundeswehr Logo Heer with lettering.svg Bundeswehr Logo Luftwaffe with lettering.svg Bundeswehr Logo Marine with lettering.svg
HD H 42 Oberleutnant Pz.svg HA OS5 42 Oberleutnant PzGren.svg HA OS5 42 Oberleutnant SanOA San HM L.svg LD B 42 Oberleutnant.svg LA OS5 42 Oberleutnant.svg MDS 42 Oberleutnant zur See Trp.svg MDJA 42 Oberleutnant zur See Trp Lu.svg MA OG5 42 Oberleutnant zur See.svg
Service uniform
(basic form)
(Armored corps)
Field uniform
(Armored infantry)
San OA Service uniform
(basic form)
Field uniform San OA Shoulder strap Sleeve insignia Mountain loop San OA

See also


  1. ^ Flaherty 2004, p. 148.
  2. ^ McNab 2009, p. 15.


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