Ranks and insignia of the Ordnungspolizei

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File:Kommandant der OrPo.svg
The wreathed Polizeiadler (police eagle) was worn as a cap badge and on the left sleeve by all uniformed police

The ranks and insignia of the Ordnungspolizei were developed in 1936 after the nationalization of Germany's regular police forces.

Ordnungspolizei rank titles

Ordnungspolizei (Orpo) ranks were based on local police titles and were considered a separate system from the ranks of the SS. It was also possible for Orpo members to hold dual status in both the Orpo and the SS, meaning that two ranks could be held simultaneously. In the case of Orpo generals, equivalent SS rank was always held in which case the Orpo general would be addressed by their SS rank first, followed by their police titles (for example: SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei). In 1944, all Orpo generals also gained equivalent Waffen-SS rank so that, in the event of capture by the Allies, the Orpo general would hold status as a military officer instead of a police official.

Orpo personnel who were also members of the Allgemeine-SS were authorized to wear an embroidered SS Sigrunen patch on the breast pocket.

Ordnungspolizei rank insignia

In addition to collar and shoulder insignia, Ordnungspolizei also wore the wreathed police eagle on the upper left sleeve. The collar patch and shoulderboards were backed, and the sleeve eagle (below the rank of Leutnant) embroidered, in truppenfarbe, a color-code which indicated the branch of police: green for Schutzpolizei (protection police) and police general officers, wine-red for Gemeindepolizei (municipal protection police), orange for rural Gendarmerie, carmine-red for fire brigades, gold for maritime police, light grey for administrative police.[1]

Orpo general rank SS equivalent Shoulder insignia Collar insignia
Collar insignia
Chef der Deutschen Polizei Reichsführer-SS 80px 65px 65px
Generaloberst der Polizei Oberstgruppenführer Generaloberst der Polizei shoulderboard.gif 60px
General der Polizei Obergruppenführer 65px 60px
Generalleutnant der Polizei Gruppenführer 65px 60px
Generalmajor der Polizei Brigadeführer 65px 60px

Note: Since most police generals, increasingly as time went on, were also SS generals, they typically wore an SS uniform except at police-specific functions.

Orpo officer rank SS equivalent Shoulder insignia Collar insignia
Oberst der Polizei Standartenführer 65px
Oberstleutnant der Polizei Obersturmbannführer 65px
Major der Polizei Sturmbannführer 65px
Hauptmann der Polizei Hauptsturmführer
Oberleutnant der Polizei Obersturmführer
Leutnant der Polizei Untersturmführer
Orpo enlisted rank Translation SS equivalent Shoulder insignia Collar insignia
Meister Master Sturmscharführer
Hauptwachtmeister Chief watch master Hauptscharführer 75px
(Kasernierte Polizei)
Precinct senior watch master
District senior watch master
Platoon watch master
Oberwachtmeister Senior watch master Scharführer
Wachtmeister Watch master Unterscharführer
Rottmeister Team master Rottenführer
Unterwachtmeister Junior watch master Sturmmann
Anwärter Candidate Mann

Rank and Pay

Pay Grade [3] Annual Pay
Reichsmark (RM)
(basic pay without allowances)[3]
Mannschaften (Enlisted)
Unterführer (NCO)
Offiziere (Officers) Corresponding rank in the SS (Wehrmacht) [4]
- .. Anwärter SS-Anwärter (Schütze)
- .. Anwärter with more than 6 months service SS-Mann (Oberschütze)
- .. Unterwachtmeister SS-Sturmmann (Gefreiter)
A8c5 1 536 Rottwachtmeister SS-Rottenführer (Obergefreiter)
A8c4 1 920 Wachtmeister SS-Unterscharführer (Unteroffizier)
A8c3 2 040 Oberwachtmeister SS-Scharführer (Unterfeldwebel)
A8c2 2 340 Revieroberwachtmeister SS-Oberscharführer (Feldwebel)
A8c1 2 370 Hauptwachtmeister with less than 12 years service SS-Hauptscharführer (Oberfeldwebel)
A8a 2 100 - 2 800 Hauptwachtmeister with more than 12 years service SS-Hauptscharführer (Oberfeldwebel)
A7c 2 000 - 3 000 Hauptwachtmeister appointed before April 12, 1943 SS-Hauptscharführer (Oberfeldwebel)
A7a 2 350-3 500 Meister SS-Sturmscharführer (Stabsfeldwebel)
A5b 2 300-4 200 Obermeister
SS-Untersturmführer (Leutnant)
A4e 2 800-4 600 Leutnant SS-Untersturmführer (Leutnant)
A4e 2 800-4 600 Oberleutnant SS-Obersturmführer (Oberleutnant)
A4c2 2 800-5000 Inspektor
SS-Obersturmführer (Oberleutnant)
A4c1 2 800-5 300 Revierhauptmann SS-Hauptsturmführer (Hauptmann)
A3b 4 800-6 900 Hauptmann SS-Hauptsturmführer (Hauptmann)
A2c2 8 400 Major
SS-Sturmbannführer (Major)
A2b 9 700 Oberstleutnant
SS-Obersturmbannführer (Oberstleutnant)
A1a 12 600 Oberst
SS-Standartenführer (Oberst)
B7a 16 000 Generalmajor
SS-Brigadeführer (Generalmajor)
B4 19 000 Generalleutnant
SS-Gruppenführer (Generalleutnant)
B3a 24 000 General
SS-Obergruppenführer (General)

Mean annual pay for an industrial worker was 1,459 Reichsmark 1939, and for a privately employed white-collar worker 2,772 Reichsmark.[5]


  1. Gordon Williamsson, World War II German Police Units, Osprey Publishing 2006, p. 8.
  2. Schutzpolizei des Reiches Retrieved 2016-01-10.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Reichsbesoldungsordnung 1943, RGBl I:38
  4. Andrew Mollo, Uniforms of the SS, Vol. 5: "Sicherheitsdienst und Sicherheitspolizei 1931-1945" (London: Windrow & Green, 1992), p. 51
  5. Die Besoldung eines Soldaten der Wehrmacht Retrieved 2013-11-26