Fähnrich (East Germany)

Not to be confused with German Bundeswehr Officer Aspirant ranks Fähnrich (Army) / Fähnrich zur See (Navy), equivalent to Cadet sergeant / Midshipman in Anglophone armed forces.
Sleeve insignias
Army / Volksmarine
Rank insignia NPA Fänrich rank
Introduction 1973
Rank group Fähnrichs
Army / Air Force Fähnrich
Navy Fähnrich
Army Warrant Officer 1
NavyWarrant Officer 1

Fähnrich (short: Fähnr / in lists: FR) was a military rank in the Army of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) from 1956 to 1990. It was also the designation of the autonomous “Fähnrich rank group” between commissioned officer (CO) and non commissioned officer (NCO) ranks.[1]

The position of that career group might be compared to the Warrant Officer (WO) rank group in English speaking armed forces.

With that concept the NPA administration followed the Soviet military doctrine, who introduced to the Soviet Army the praporshchik (ru: пра́порщик) rank in 1972, along with the michman (ru: ми́чман; "midshipman") rank in the Soviet Navy. Most other Warsaw Pact countries followed this approach. However, most countries used historical rank designations in order to pursue national military traditions.

Fähnrichs served for at least fifteen years.[2]

Countries with otheer rank designations

NPA Fähnrich ranks

Air Force, land forces, and border troopsVolksmarine
Colour Armor Engineers Airborne troops Border troops Field suit Navy blue
Stabsoberfähnrich Stabsfähnrich Oberfähnrich Fähnrich Fähnrichschüler Stabsoberfähnrich Stabsfähnrich Oberfähnrich Fähnrich Fähnrichschüler
(Staff-senior-fähnrich) (Staff-fähnrich) (Senior-fähnrich) (Fähnrich) (Fähnrich-student
2nd year of studies)
(Staff-senior-fähnrich) (Staff-fähnrich) (Senior-fähnrich) (Fähnrich) (Fähnrich-student
2nd year of studies)
rank WO-4 WO-3 WO-2 WO-1 WO-4 WO-3 WO-2 WO-1

⇒ see main article Ranks of the National People's Army ⇒ see main article Corps colours (NPA)

Junior Rank

(NPA rank)
Senior Rank

See also


  1. Dictionary to the German military history, 1st edition (Liz.5, P189/84, LSV:0547, B-Nr. 746 635 0), military publishing house of the GDR (VEB) – Berlin, 1985, Volume 1, page 190, definition: Fähnrich.
  2. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field%28DOCID+gx0154%29

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