This article is about the German Generaloberstabsarzt OF-8. For the equivalent US rank, see Surgeon General of the United States Army.

Generaloberstabsarzt and Admiraloberstabsarzt are the top Joint Medical Service OF8-ranks of the German Bundeswehr. The equivalent to this ranks in the Heer is Generalleutnant and in the German Navy the Vizeadmiral.

Rank insignia German medical service ranks
Rank group Commissioned officers
Navy AdmOStArzt (AOSA)
Army / Air Force GenOStArzt (GOSA)
US ArmySurgeon General US Army
US Air ForceSurgeon General US Air Force
US NavySurgeon General US Navy


In accordance with traditions in German armed forces, both ranks might be used in Bundeswehr medical service. Normally the Bundeswehr Surgeon General of the medical service (de: Inspekteur des Sanitätsdienstes), or the Chief of Medical Operation´s Command (de: Kommandeur Sanitätsführungskommando) might be assigned. However, in future the Chief position might remain vacant, because the Deputy Surgeon General is mandated to command the Medical Operation´s Command.

Equivalent to that three-star ranks (NATO-Rangcode OF-8) are Generalleutnant (en: Lieutenant general) of the Heer or Luftwaffe, and the Vizeadmiral (en: Vice admiral) of the Marine.


The manner of formal addressing of military surgeons with the rank Generalarzt (OF-6, one-star rank), Generalstabsarzt (OF-7, two-star rank) or Generaloberstabsarzt is, „Herr/Frau Generalarzt“. At the other hand, military surgeons with the rank Admiralarzt (OF-6, one-star rank), Admiralstabsarzt (OF-7, two-star rank) or Admiraloberstabsarzt is, „Herr/Frau Admiralarzt“.

Rank insignias

On the shoulder straps (Heer, Luftwaffe) there are three golden stars 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, three centimeters above the cuff strips, and on the shoulder straps between strips and button.

junior Rank

German medical officer rank
senior Rank

German Wehrmacht 1933–1945


Rank insignias (dress and service uniform)
Epaulette GenOstArzt
Epaulette GenOstVet

Both General of the branch grades Generaloberstabsarzt and Generaloberstabveterinär were the most senior ranks of the medical – and veterinarian service of the German Wehrmacht 1933 to 1945.

Siegfried Handloser was assigned to Generaloberstabsarzt of the German Wehrmacht. He was simultaneous "Chief of the Wehrmacht´s Medical Service in Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht" (de: Chef des Wehrmachtsanitätswesens im Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) as to July 28,. 1942. Curt Schulze was Generaloberstabveterinär of the Wehrmacht.

Generaloberstabsarzt and Generaloberstabveterinär of the Wehrmacht were comparable to the General of the branch (OF8, tree stars), as well as to the Obergruppenführer and General of the Waffen-SS.


The equivalent to Generaloberstabsarzt of the Wehrmacht was the Chief of Medical Service of the Kriegsmarine (de: Sanitätschef der Kriegsmarine) with the rank up to Admiraloberstabsarzt of the Kriegsmarine.

Shoulder strap & cuff stripes like Admiral,

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]


The equivalent to the Heeres-Sanitätsinspekteur and Sanitätschef of the Kriegsmarine was in the area of responsibility of the Luftwaffe the Sanitätsinspekteur of the Luftwaffe.

Shoulder strap as to General der Flieger,

However, additionally with Caduceus

Other armed forces

Stars, shoulder strap, and cuff stripes of an US Surgeon General

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"
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