Hauptfeldwebel (rank)

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Flag of Germany.svg
(Heer / Luftwaffe)
HD H 33 Hauptfeldwebel ABCAbw.svg LD B 33 Hauptfeldwebel.svg
Rank insignia German NCO rank
Introduction 1957
Rank group Non-commissioned officers
Army / Air Force Hauptfeldwebel
Navy Hauptbootsmann
US Flag of the United States.svg
UK Flag of the United Kingdom.svg

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

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


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 Protégée-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 .

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 – Pomocnik dowódcy 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