Oberst



Oberst (German pronunciation: [ˈoːbɐst]) is a senior field officer rank in several German-speaking and Scandinavian countries, equivalent to Colonel.[1] It is currently used by both the ground and air forces of Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, and Norway. The Swedish rank överste is a direct translation, as are the Finnish rank eversti and the Icelandic rank ofursti.

Oberst is a German word. Spelled with a capital O, "Oberst" is a noun and defines the military rank of colonel or group captain. Spelled with a lower case o, or "oberst", it is an adjective, meaning "top, topmost, uppermost, highest, chief, head, first, principal, or supreme". Both usages derive from the superlative of ober(e), "the upper" or "the uppermost".[citation needed]

As a family name, Oberst is common in the southwest of Germany, in the area known as the Black Forest (Schwarzwald). The name is also concentrated in the north-central cantons of Switzerland (Aargau & Zürich). Here the Swiss version of Oberst is spelled Obrist. The name first appeared in the thirteenth century in the German-Swiss border area, and early forms were Zoberist and Oberist. The name most likely refers to the "tribe that lives the highest on the mountain" or "the family that lives the highest in the village".[citation needed]

Translated as "superior" or "supreme", the rank of Oberst can trace its origins to the Middle Ages where the term most likely described the senior knight on a battlefield or the senior captain in a regiment. With the emergence of professional armies in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, an Oberst became the commander of regiment or battalion-sized formations.[citation needed]

By the eighteenth century, Obersten were typically afforded aides or lieutenants, often titled Oberstleutnant. This led to formation of the modern German rank of the same name, translated as lieutenant colonel.[citation needed]

Army

The Danish rank of oberst is based around the German term.[2] It is ranked OF-5 within NATO and has the paygrade of M402.[3] It is used in the Royal Danish Army and the Royal Danish Air Force.

Army

Air Force

Oberst (short: O) is the highest staff officer rank in the German Army (Heer) and the German Air Force (Luftwaffe).

The rank is rated OF-5 in NATO, and is grade A16 or B3 in the pay rules of the Federal Ministry of Defence. It is equivalent to:

On the shoulder straps (Heer, Luftwaffe) there are three silver pips (stars) in silver oak leaves.

Oberst was in the so-called armed organs of the GDR (German: Bewaffnete Organe der DDR), represented by Ministry of National Defence, and Ministry for State Security, the highest field officer rank, comparable to the colonel in many NATO-Armed forces (Rangcode OF-5). This was in reference to Soviet military doctrine and in line with other armed forces of the Warsaw Pact.

Oberst was in the German Reich, and Nazi Germany the highest field officer rank, comparable to the OF-5 rank in many NATO-Armed forces. It was equivalent to Kapitän zur See in the Kriegsmarine, and SS-Standartenführer in the Waffen-SS until 1945.

(German officer rank)
Oberst
(Kapitän zur See)

The rank of oberst was introduced around the same time as Denmark, as Norway at the time was part of Denmark–Norway.[4]

Army

Air Force

The Swedish variant Överste, is the most senior field grade military officer rank in the Swedish Army and the Swedish Air Force, immediately above the rank of lieutenant colonel and just below the rank of brigadier general. It is equivalent to the naval rank of captain in the Swedish Navy.[5]

Army

Amphibious Corps

Air Force

Army

Army

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