Not to be confused with the Oberfeldarzt of the Swiss Army as appointment/assignment to the most senior medical officer (up to OF7), and the German Bundeswehr “Oberfeldarzt” (OF4-rank).

Oberfeldarzt (short: OFArzt or OFA) is a military rank in German speaking armed forces. It denotes a medical staff officer surgeon or medical staff officer dentist and is comparable in rank to lieutenant colonel (de: Oberstleutnant) or (naval) commander (de: Fregattenkapitän) NATO-Rangcode OF4 in anglophone armed forces.

Rank insignia German medical service ranks
Rank group Commissioned officers
Army / Air Force Oberfeldarzt (equiv. Oberstleutnant)
Navy Flottillenarzt (equiv. Fregattenkapitän)
Short OFArzt (OFA)



In the Joint Medical Service of the German Bundeswehr Obefeldarzt, Obersfeldapotheker, and Oberfeldveterinär are comparable in NATO to the OF-4 rank Oberstleutnant; Flottillenenarzt, and Flottillenenapotheker are equivalent in to the rank Fregattenkapitän, OF-4 as well.


The manner of formal addressing of military surgeons/dentists with the rank Oberfeldarzt is "Herr/Frau Oberfeldarzt"; with the rank Oberfeldapotheker, "Herr/Frau Oberfeldapotheker". A Flottillenenarzt will be addressed "Herr/Frau Flottillenarzt"; and the Flottillenapotheker, "Herr/Frau Flottillenapotheker".

Rank insignias

On the shoulder straps (Heer, Luftwaffe) there are two silver stars in silver oak leaves and the career insignia (de: Laufbahnabzeichen) as symbol of the medical standing, or course of studies. The piping on shoulder straps shows the Waffenfarbe (en: corps- or troop-function colour), corresponding to the appropriate military service, branch, or special force. The corps colour of the "Bundeswehr Joint Medical Service" is dark blue.

In the Marines, the career insignia is in the middle of both sleeves, 3 cm above the cuff strips, and on the shoulder straps between strips and button.

junior Rank

German medical officer rank
senior Rank


8 Oberfeldveterinär

In the German Wehrmacht from 1933 until 1945 there were the OF4-ranks Oberfeldarzt, Oberfeldapotheker, and Oberfeldveterinär, comparable to the Oberstleutnant OF4-rank as well.

During wartime, regular assignments of Oberfeldarzt was chief of a, field-, evacuation-, or war hospital (de. Feldlazarett / Krieslazarett). However. However, a field hospital could be managed by an Oberstabsarzt (OF3) as well.

The corps colour of the military Health Service Support (HSS) in German armed forces was traditional dark blue, and of the veterinarian service carmine red.[1] This tradition was continued by the medical service corps in Heer and Luftwaffe of the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht. However, the corps colour of the Waffen-SS HSS was “cornflower blue”.

Ranks Wehrmacht until 1945[2]
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[3]


In the Austria-Hungarian Common Army (de: Gemeinsame Armee or k.u.k. Armee) there was the rank Oberstabsarzt 2. Klasse (en: Senior staff surgeon 2nd class) until 1918 equivalent to Oberfeldarzt in Germany. That particular rank was comparable to the Oberstleutnant OF4-rank (en: colonel) as well.

Ranks k.u.k. Army until 1918
Medical service en Equivalent Heer en
Generalstabsarzt Staff-Surgeon General Generalmajor Major general OF6
Oberstabsarzt I. Klasse Colonel (Dr. 1st class) Oberst Colonel OF5
Oberstabsarzt II. Klasse Lieutenant colonel (Dr. 2nd class) Oberstleutnant Lieutenant colonel OF4
Stabsarzt Major (Dr.)
Regimentsarzt I. Klasse Captain (Dr. 1st class) Hauptmann Captain OF2
Regimentsarzt II. Klasse Captain (Dr. 2nd class)
Oberarzt First lieutenant (Dr.) Oberleutnant First lieutenant OF1a
Assistenzarzt Secon lieutenant (Dr.) Leutnant Second lieutenant OF1b


In the Swiss Armed Forces the Oberfeldarzt of the Army is the most senior representative of the medical service of the Heer. However, the Swiss Oberfeldarzt of the Army might be promoted up to Divisionär (en: Divisional general). This equates to the NATO code of OF-7, or a "two-star rank".


  1. “War and victory 1870-71”, culture history, published by Julius von Pflugk-Harttung. (Original title: Krieg und Sieg 1870-71, Kulturgeschichte, Herausgeber Julius von Pflugk-Harttung.)
  2. 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.)
  3. The abbreviation "OR" stands for "Other Ranks / fr: sous-officiers et militaires du rang / ru:другие ранги, кроме офицероф"
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