(Heer / Luftwaffe)
Rank insignia German NCO rank
Introduction 1938
Rank group Non-commissioned officers
Navy Stabsbootsmann
Army / Air Force Stabsfeldwebel
Air Force Senior Master Sergeant

Stabsfeldwebel (StFw or SF) is the second highest Non-commissioned officer (NCO) rank in German Heer and Luftwaffe. It is grouped as OR8 in NATO, equivalent to a First Sergeant, Master Sergeant, or Senior Master Sergeant in the US Armed forces, and to Warrant Officer Class 2 in the British Army and Royal Navy. In terms of years-in-duty, the Stabsfeldwebel has more experience than most other nation's OR8's, since it takes a minimum of 16 years from the promotion to Feldwebel (min. 3 years in service) to reach the rank of Stabsfeldwebel.

In army/ air force context NCOs of this rank were formally addressed as Herr Stabsfeldwebel also informally / short Staber.

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

(German NCO rank)

senior Rank



The ranks Stabsfeldwebel, Stabsoberjäger, Stabsfeuerwerker and Stabswachtmeister were introduced to the Austro-Hungarian Army (k.u.k. armed forces) in 1913.

See also

⇒ main article Rank insignias of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces


The rank was introduced by the German Wehrmacht equivalent to the German Kriegsmarine Stabsoberfeldwebel grades (Stabsoberbootsmann, Stabsobersteuermann and Stabsobersteuwermann) in 1938.

Not all Heer NCO's in this grades were called Unterfeldwebel, Feldwebel, Oberfeldwebel and Stabsfeldwebel which are ranks in the infantry tradition. In some other cervice branches, for example, the equivalent ranks were as follows.

The rank has been used before in the GDR National People's Army until 1990. The equivalent in the Volksmarine OR8-gradt was Stabsobermeister.

Equivalent in other NATO countries Army/Air Force

Equivalent in other countries

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