Not to be confused with Kadett (en: Cadet / fr: Cadet) not only in Russia and Germany but also in quite a number of other countries and armed forces worldwide.

Fahnenjunker (en: officer cadet; literal: colors junker) is a military rank of the Bundeswehr and of former German speaking armed forces (Heer/ Luftwaffe). In earlier German armed forces it was also the collective name to all Officer aspirant ranks.


(Heer / Luftwaffe)
Rank insignia German NCO rank
Introduction 1966
Rank group Non-commissioned officers
Army / Air Force Fahnenjunker
Navy Seekadett

Fahnenjunker (short Fhj or FJ) is a military rank of the Deutsche Bundeswehr to persons in uniform of the Heer and Luftwaffe. Legal basis is the Presidential order of the Federal president (de: Bundespräsident) on rank insignia and uniforms of soldiers[1]


Fahnenjunker is the entrance rank to the Officer Aspirant (OA – de: Offizieranwärter) career. According to the salary class it is equivalent to the Unteroffizier ohne Portepee ranks Unteroffizier of Heer or Luftwaffe, and Maat (rank) of Deutsche Marine. It is also grouped as OR-5 in NATO, equivalent to Sergeant, Staff Sergeant in the US Armed forces.

In army context NCOs of this rank were formally addressed as Herr/ Frau Fahnenjunker also informally / short Fahnenjunker.

The sequence of ranks (top-down approach) in that particular group is as follows:
Unteroffizier ohne Portepee

The abbreviation "OR" stands for "Other Ranks / fr: sous-officiers et militaires du rang / ru:другие ранги, кроме офицероф"!

Preceded by
junior Rank

Succeeded by
senior Rank

Rank insignia

An officer candidate's career is indicated by the enlisted rank with a thin silver cord on the shoulder strap in Heer and Luftwaffe, and with the golden nautical star on the shoulder strap and sleeve in the Deutsche Marine.

The rank insignia of Fahnenjunker consist of shoulder straps, bordered by a golden braid that is open to the sleeve seam. Fahnenjunker of the Luftwaffe wear additional the Air Force wing on the open end of the braid. The rank insignia on field- and battle dress are in black colour.

Already below the lowest officer designated rank "Fahnenjunker" any military person, assigned to an officer career, has to wear additionally to the particular rank the two capital letters “OA”, indicating to the “Officer Aspirant” career.

Distinction Oberfähnrich
(Senior cadet sergeant)
(Cadet sergeant)
(Officer cadet
senior grade)
(Senior aviation cadet)
(Aviation cadet)
(Officer cadet
senior grade)
Oberfähnrich zur See
(Senior midshipman)
Fähnrich zur See

(Naval cadet)

Rangcode (OR-7) (OR-6) (OR-5) (OR-7) (OR-6) (OR-5)(OR-7) (OR-6) (OR-5)
NATO Cadet sergeant Midshipman
USAF Aviation cadet auch Warrant Officer
RAF Acting pilot officer


  1. The Federal president (publisher): Order of the Federal president (de: Bundespräsident) on rank insignia and uniform of soldiers (short title: BPräsUnifAnO), ishued July 14, 1978.
  2. Langenscheidt´s Encyclopaedic Dictionary of the English and German language: „Der Große Muret-Sander“, Part II German-English, Second Volume L–Z, 8th edition 1999, ISBN 3-468-01126-1; p. 1.381
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