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Army insignia
Air Force insignia
Country  Germany
Service branch Bundeswehr Logo Heer with lettering.svg German Army
Bundeswehr Logo Luftwaffe with lettering.svg German Air Force
Abbreviation OLT
NATO rank OF-4
Formation 1956
Next higher rank Oberst
Next lower rank Major
Equivalent ranks

Oberstleutnant (German pronunciation: [ˈʔoːbɐstlɔʏtnant]) is a German Army and German Air Force rank equal to lieutenant colonel, above Major, and below Oberst.

There are two paygrades associated to the rank of Oberstleutnant. Paygrade A14 is the standard level paygrade whereas A15 is assigned to senior Oberstleutnant personnel.

Oberstleutnant of the General Staff or Reserve have the words "im Generalstabsdienst" (i.G.), "der Reserve" (d.R.) after their rank—thus: "OTL i.G.", "OTL d.R."

Oberstleutnant who are definitely retired are described as "außer Dienst" (a.D.).

Contrary to (unofficial) practice in many English-speaking militaries, a German Oberstleutnant is never referred to as an Oberst, neither to shorten the address nor as a form of courtesy.

During World War II, the SS maintained an equivalent rank known as Obersturmbannführer.

Rank insignia

On the shoulder straps (Heer, Luftwaffe) there are two silver pips (stars) in silver oak leaves.

Heer Luftwaffe
Junior rank
Bundeswehr Logo Heer with lettering.svg Bundeswehr Logo Luftwaffe with lettering.svg

(German officer rank)

Senior rank

See also

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