Fähnrich (East Germany)

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Flag of NVA (East Germany).svg
GDR Army W1-4 Fähnrich sleeve.jpgen: Request for creation and upload of a picture!
Sleeve insignias
Army / Volksmarine
Rank insignia NPA Fänrich rank
Introduction 1973
Rank group Fähnrichs
Army / Air Force Fähnrich
Navy Fähnrich
Army Warrant Officer 1
Navy Warrant 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 troops Volksmarine
Colour Armor Engineers Airborne troops Border toops Field suit Navy blue
Flag of NVA (East Germany).svg GDR Army W4 Stabsoberfähnrich.gif GDR Army W3 Stabsfähnrich.gif GDR Army W2 Oberfähnrich.gif GDR Army W1 Fähnrich.gif 50px GDR Navy W4 Stabsoberfähnrich.gif GDR Navy W3 Stabsfähnrich.gif GDR Navy W2 Oberfähnrich.gif GDR Navy W1 Fähnrich.gif GDR Navy W1 FR-Student II.jpg
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)
Flag of NATO.svg 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
Coat of arms of NVA (East Germany).svg
(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