Not to be confused with the more junior Austrian Bundesheer NCO-rank Oberstabswachtmeister (OR-7).
(Heer / Luftwaffe)
Rank insignia German NCO rank
Introduction 1955
Rank group Non-commissioned officers
Navy Oberstabsbootsmann
Army / Air Force Oberstabsfeldwebel
Army Sergeant Major
Air Force Chief Master Sergeant

Master Chief Petty Officer

Oberstabsfeldwebel (OStFw or OSF) is the highest Non-commissioned officer (NCO) rank in German Heer and Luftwaffe. It is grouped as OR9 in NATO, equivalent to an Sergeant Major in the United States Army / Chief Master Sergeant (United States Air Force), and an Warrant Officer Class 1 in the British Army / Warrant officer (Royal Air Force).

In army/ air force context NCOs of this rank were formally addressed as Herr Oberstabsfeldwebel also informally / short Oberstaber.

The rank was introduced in the German Heer equivalent to the Marine grade Oberstabsbootsmann in 1955, and belongs to the grad group Unteroffiziere mit Portepee.

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


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

junior Rank

(German NCO rank)

senior Rank


The rank has never been used before by the Reichswehr, the Wehrmacht as well as in the GDR National People's Army. However, the rank must not be mixed up with the Stabsoberfeldwebel of the German Wehrmacht´s Kriegsmarine, used in the years from 1939 to 1945.

Equivalent in other NATO countries

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