Generalstabsarzt (short: GenArzt or GA) is the designation of a military rank as well as the official title in German speaking armed forces. It is equivalent to the Admiralarzt / Generalapotheker and Brigadegeneral / Flotillenadmiral.

Rank insignia German medical service ranks
Introduction 1956
Rank group Commissioned officers
Army / Air Force *Generalarzt
Navy * Admiralarzt
* Admiralapotheker
Abbreviation * GenArzt (GA)
* GenAp (GAP)
* AdmArzt (AA)
* AdmAp (AAP)


Generalarzt, Admiralarzt, Generalapotheker, and Admiralapotheker are the lowest general ranks of the Joint Medical Service or the military medical area of the Bundeswehr.

Promoted to that senior rank might be assignments or appointments as follows:

Equivalent to this one-star rank (NATO-Rangcode OF-6) are Brigadegeneral (en: Brigadier general) of the Heer or Luftwaffe, and the Flottillenadmiral (en: Flotilla admiral) of the Marine.


The manner of formal addressing of military surgeons with the rank Generalarzt (OF6, one-star), Generalstabsarzt (OF7, two stars) or Generaloberstabsarzt is, „Herr/Frau Generalarzt“. At the other hand, military surgeons with the rank Admiralarzt (OF6, one-star), Admiralstabsarzt (OF7, two stars) or Admiraloberstabsarzt is, „Herr/Frau Admiralarzt“. Military persons with the rank Generalapotheker (OF6, one-star), will be addressed „Herr/Frau Generapotheker“, and with the rank Admiralapotheker (OF6, one-star), will be addressed „Herr/Frau Admiralrapotheker“,.

Rank insignias

On the shoulder straps (Heer, Luftwaffe) there is one golden star in golden oak leaves and the career insignia (de: Laufbahnabzeichen) as symbol of the medical standing, or course of studies. Regarding the Marine, the career insignia is in the middle of both sleeves, tree cm above the cuff strips, and on the shoulder straps between strips and button.

Heer Luftwaffe Marine
junior Rank

German medical officer rank
senior Rank

Wehrmacht 1933 – 1945

Until introduction of the rank sequence OF8 Generaloberstabsarzt / Admiraloberstabsarzt, OF7 Generalstabsarzt / Admiralstabsarzt, and OF6 Generalarzt / Admiralsarzt, the official title Generalstabsarzt was independent from any military rank. Normally the most senior officer or general of the medical corps or service was appointed to wear the title of Generalarzt.

Rank insignias Generalarzt Heer/Luftwaffe
Rank insignias (dress and service uniform)
Epaulette GenArzt
(Reichswehr 1921)
Epaulette GenVet
Arabesque Lw
Epaulette Lw


The equivalent to Generalarzt of the Wehrmacht was the Admiralarzt of the Kriegsmarine.

Shoulder strap & cuff stripes like Konteradmiral,

However, additionally with Caduceus

Ranks Wehrmacht until 1945[1]
Medical service en Equivalent Heer en
Generaloberstabsarzt Senior Staff-Surgeon General General der Waffengattung General ... OF8
Generalstabsarzt Staff-Surgeon General Generalleutnant Lieutenant general OF7
Generalarzt Surgeon General Generalmajor Major general OF6
Oberstarzt Colonel (Dr.) Oberst Colonel OF5
Oberfeldarzt Lieutenant colonel (Dr.) Oberstleutnant Lieutenant colonel OF4
Oberstabsarzt Major (Dr.)
Stabsarzt Captain (Dr.) Hauptmann Captain OF2
Oberarzt First lieutenant (Dr.) Oberleutnant First lieutenant OF1a
Assistenzarzt Second lieutenant (Dr.) Leutnant Second lieutenant OF1b
Unterarzt Oberfähnrich (Dr.) Oberfähnrich Officer Aspirant OR7[2]

Germany before 1933

Generalarzt D.M. Roth, here as Generalmajor of the Medical Corps, ca. 1885.

In Germany before 1933 Generalstabsarzt was normally the chief of the medical service of an Army corps (Corps surgeon, de: Korpsarzt), and in some cases of a Division (Division surgeon, de: Divisionsarzt).

In Prussian Army Generalarzt, in sense of general surgeon as a staff position, was a senior military official (de: oberer Militärbeamter) with a definite rank, in the first instance Major (OF3). Since 1856 he could rise to Oberstleutnant (OF4) or even to Oberst (OF5). Senior Generalstabsärzte were often promoted to Generalmajor.[3]

Equivalent authority, mandate and competence were with the Admiralarzt of the Imperial German Navy. Regular assignments to that staff position were the Medical Offices on Baltic Sea and North Sea, e.g. Kiel and Wilhelmshaven. An Admiralarzt of the Navy´s Medical corps could normally be promoted up to the OF5-rank Kapitän zur See.

Officers with that rank

Relevant literature


  1. F. Altrichter: “The reserve officer”, fourteenth checked addition, Berlin 1941, pages 158-159. (Original title: F. Altrichter: „Der Reserveoffizier“, vierzehnte durchgesehene Auflage, Berlin 1941, Seiten 158-159.)
  2. The abbreviation "OR" stands for "Other Ranks / fr: sous-officiers et militaires du rang / ru:другие ранги, кроме офицероф"
  3. Krieg und Sieg 1870-71, Kulturgeschichte, Herausgeber Julius von Pflugk-Harttung.
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