Fähnrich zur See

This article is about the German Marine “Fähnrich zur See” OR6. For the equivalent US and UK naval ranks, see Midshipman.
Fähnrich zur See

shoulder board / cuff title / mounting loop
Rank insignia German NCO rank
Introduction 1966
Rank group Non-commissioned officers
Navy Fähnrich zur See
Army / Air Force Fähnrich

Fähnrich zur See (Fähnr zS or FRZS) designates in the German Navy of the Bundeswehr a military person or member of the armed forces with the second highest Officer Aspirant (OA – de: Offizieranwärter) rank. According to the salary class it is equivalent to the Portepeeunteroffizier ranks Bootsmann (Marine) and Feldwebel of Heer or Luftwaffe.

It is also grouped as OR-6 in NATO, equivalent to Technical Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, or Petty Officer First Class in the US Armed forces, and to Petty officer in the British Army and Royal Navy.

In navy context NCOs of this rank were formally addressed as Herr/ Frau Fähnrich zur See also informally / short Fähnrich.

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

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

Preceded by
junior Rank

Fähnrich zur See
Succeeded by
senior Rank

Career and rank insignia

Matrose OA (OR/1) / with nautical star

A Fähnrich zur See of the Deutsche Marine is a soldier who serves in the ranks, first as Seekadett (OR-4, comparable to the junior non-commissioned officer rank Unteroffizier), then in subsequent grades: Fähnrich zur See (OR-6, equivalent to Bootsmann), and Oberfähnrich zur See (OR-7 equivalent to Hauptbootsmann).

In the Deutsche Marine, an officer candidate (de: Offiziersanwärter) can be promoted to the rank of Fähnrich zur See after 21 months of service. The equivalent in Heer and Luftwaffe is Fähnrich" (German: Fähnrich).

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

Already below the lowest officer designated rank "Seekadett" 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. The "nautical star" symbolises the "OA" 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

Equivalent in other countries


  1. 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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