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Military Collar Tab and Shoulder Board Identification Guide

This is an identification guide for the many different Collar Tabs and Shoulder Boards worn during the 3rd Reich period by the military. Note that many of these designs were used post war by the East German and West German military. The branch color (Waffenfarbe) is used as an underlay and/or accent on the Collar Tabs and Shoulder Boards. Collar tabs will also be seen with the branch color used as an underlay. These tabs are for the 1936 Dress Uniform. To the best of our knowledge, all the examples shown are original pre-1945 manufacture. If anyone has questions or suggestions, please contact Vern@GermanDaggers.com.

© 2000, 2010, 2013 by GermanDaggers.com

Heer (Army) Collar Tabs

With a few exceptions, Heer collar tabs identified the branch of service of the wearer.





Field Marshall



General



Officer - Infantry - white



Officer - Propaganda - light gray



Officer - Engineers - black



Officer - Transport/Supply - light blue



Officer - Specialist - gray blue



Officer - Medical - dark blue



Officer - Artillery - bright red



Officer - General Staff - crimson



Officer - Recon (pre 1941) - brown



Officer - Smoke/Chemical - wine red



Officer - Armor - rose red



Officer - Feldgendarmerie - red orange



Officer - Ordnance - orange



Officer - Cavalry/Reconn - golden yellow



Officer - Signals - lemon yellow



Officer - Jager - light green



Officer - Armored Infantry - dark green



Enlisted - Infantry - white
Color replaces white for other branches



General Staff - Headquarters



Panzer



Assault Gun



Chaplain



Truppensonderdienst - Medical - Cornflower Blue



Truppensonderdienst - Veterinary - Carmine



Truppensonderdienst - Ordnance - Orange



Truppensonderdienst - Motor park - Pink



Truppensonderdienst - Administrative - Bright Blue



Truppensonderdienst - Judiciary - Wine Red






Heer (Army) Shoulder Boards

With a few exceptions, Heer shoulder boards identified the rank and branch of service of the wearer. Numbers, letters, and cyphers could be added to the shoulder board to identify unit/organization assignment, or speciality.





Generalfeldmarschall (to 1941)



Generalfeldmarschall (1941-45)



Generaloberst



General der Infanterie



Generalleutnant



Generalmajor



Oberst - Panzer



Oberstleutnant - Artillery



Major - Panzer Grenadier



Hauptmann - Infantry



Oberleutnant - Pioneer



Leutnant - Feldgendarmerie



Stabsfeldwebel - Infantry



Oberfeldwebel - Medical



Feldwebel - Signals



Unterfeldwebel - Infantry



Unteroffizer - Cavalry/Reconn



Enlisted Artillery





Hauptmann der Reserve - Infantry - white/gray



Hauptmann der Reserve - Artillery - red/gray





Unteroffizer - Tropical Infantry



Unterfeldwebel - Tropical Artillery



Unterfeldwebel - Tropical Panzer





Truppensonderdienst - Medical - Cornflower Blue



Truppensonderdienst - Veterinary - Carmine



Truppensonderdienst - Ordnance - Orange



Truppensonderdienst - Motor park - Pink



Truppensonderdienst - Administrative - Bright Blue



Truppensonderdienst - Judiciary - Wine Red


Heer (Army) Specialist Shoulder Boards

Two Career paths used Specialist shoulder boards. These personnel were actual NCOs with command authority, not Heeresbeamten. The closest US/English equivilent would be a Naval Warrent Office.





Oberhufbeschlaglehrmeister - Senior Farrier Instruction Master



Hufbeschlaglehrmeister - Farrier Instruction Master



Festungsoberwerkmeister - Fortress Senior Works Master



Festungswerkmeister - Fortress Works Master










Heer (Army) Shoulder Board Cyphers

Different numbers, letters, and symbols could be added to the shoulder board to identify unit/organization assignment, or speciality. Gold metal was used for officers, silver metal for NCOs, and embroidered for enlisted personnel. A few cyphers are identified below.





Administrative Official



Antiaircraft



Engineer



Farrier



5th Cavalry Regiment Skull



Heer Regiment Feldherrenhalle



Justice Official



Medical Personnel



Ordnance



Stalingrad Cross



Veternarian





Medical Academy



Reconnaissance Battalion



Reconnaissance Instruction



Army Group Unit



Observation Battalion



Observation Instruction



Division HQ Staff



Railroad Engineer Unit



Fortress Regiment



Fortress Construction Material



Fortress Engineer



Ordnance Supplementary Officer



Army Group HQ Staff



Heers Flak Unit



Heers Flak Unit



Grossdeutschland



Instandsbesetzung - Vehicle Maintenance



KriegsSchule



Motorcycle Battalion



Motorcycle School



Instruction Regiment



Machinegun Battalion



Heeresmotoriesierung



Panzerjager



Panzer Corps Staff



Radfahr - Bicycle Battalion



Officer's School



NCO Candidate School



NCO Prep School



Armor Test Battalion



Wachregiment Berlin



Wehrersatzdienststelle - Recuiting Service



Wachregiment Wein



Armorer School



Heereswaffenmeisterschule



Dentist


Kreigsmarine (Navy) Collar Tabs

Collar tabs were only worn by Costal Artillery personnel, Enlisted personnel on the Peacoat, and Navy Chaplains.





Coastal Artillery Admiral



Coastal Artillery Officer



Coastal Artillery Enlisted



Enlisted - Obermaat



Enlisted - Maat



Enlisted - Seamann



Senior Chaplain - early style



Chaplain



Chaplain - early style








Kreigsmarine (Navy) Shoulder Boards

Shoulder boards were not worn on all uniforms. Shoulder boards may have a cypher which identifies the Career path (officers) or trade speciality (NCO and enlisted) of the wearer.





Grossadmiral



Grossadmiral



General Admiral



Admiral



Vizeadmiral



Konteradmiral



Kapitän zur See



Fregattenkapitan



Korvettenkapitan



Kapitanleutnant



Oberleutnant - Ordnance



Leutnant - Coastal Artillery



Oberfahnrich



Fahnrich



Stabsfeldwebel - MotorBoat



Oberfeldwebel - Ordnance



Feldwebel - Boatswain



Bootesmann - Coxwain



Enlisted - Coastal Artillery

















Kreigsmarine (Navy) Shoulder Board Cyphers

Shoulder board cyphers are used to identify career path (officers) or trade specialty (NCO and enlisted). Officer cyphers use an identifying emblem, NCOs and enlisted personnel used an emblem superimposed on an anchor. Shoulder boards without cyphers are for the Executive/Command career path.





Administration



Defense Ordnance



Engineer



Costal Artillery



Musician



Ordnance



Signals



Surgeon



Reserve Officer





Administration



Aircraft Spotter



Armourer Artificer



Antiaircraft



Bandsman



Boatswain



Carpenter



Coastal Artillery



Deck Rating



Defense Ordnance Artificer



Engine Room



Gunnery



Motorboat



Ordnance



Purser



Radio Telegraphist



Sick Berth Attendant



Signals



Telegraphist



Torpedo Artificer



Writer




Luftwaffe (Air Force) Collar Tabs

Luftwaffe collar tabs identified both the rank and the branch of service of the wearer. The branch was indicated by the tab color, and the rank by gulls, oakleaves, and/or tesse. The only exceptions are the Flight Engineers, which used propellers instead of gulls until 1940, and Administrative Officers (civilians) which used 3 sided pips instead of gulls.





Reichsmarschall - white - Marshalls, Generals, and the HG Division



Generalfeldmarschall - white - Marshalls, Generals, and the HG Division



Generaloberst - white - Marshalls, Generals, and the HG Division



General der Flieger - white - Marshalls, Generals, and the HG Division



Generalleutnant - white - Marshalls, Generals, and the HG Division



Generalmajor - white - Marshalls, Generals, and the HG Division



Oberst - gold yellow - flight personnel



Oberstleutnant - red - flak, ordnance



Major - crimson - General Staff



Hauptmann - brown - signals



Oberleutnant - orange - recalled officers



Leutnant - white - Hermann Göring Division



Oberfeldwebel - black - pioneer



Feldwebel - gold yellow - flight personnel



Unterfeldwebel - red - flak, ordnance



Unteroffizier - light green - radar



Hauptgefreiter - brown - signals



Obergefreiter - dark green - attached troops



Gefreiter - blue - medical



Flieger - light blue - transport



Generalstabsingenieur - pink - engineer



Generalingenieur - pink - engineer



Oberstingemieur - pink - engineer



Oberstabsingemieur - pink - engineer



Stabsingemieur - pink - engineer



Hauptingenieur - pink - engineer



Oberingenieur - pink - engineer



Ingenieur - pink - engineer



Oberstingemieur - 1940 Regularions



Stabsingemieur - 1940 Regularions



Oberingemieur - 1940 Regularions



Ingenieur - 1940 Regularions



Oberleutnant der Reserve - golden yellow/blue - Flight



Oberleutnant der Reserve - red/blue - Flak



Stabsingemieur der Reserve - pink/blue - Engineer



Hauptingemieur der Reserve - pink/blue - Engineer





Truppensonderdienst - Administrative - Bright Blue



Truppensonderdienst - Judiciary - Wine Red






Luftwaffe (Air Force) Shoulder Boards

Luftwaffe shoulder boards identified both the rank and the branch of service of the wearer. The branch was indicated by the tab color, and the rank by pips and/or tesse. Shoulder boards may have a cypher which identifies the assignment or speciality of the wearer.





Reichsmarschall



Generalfeldmarschall



Generalfeldmarschall (unofficial)



Generaloberst



General der Flieger



Generalleutnant



Generalmajor



Oberst - General Staff



Oberstleutnant - Flight



Major - HG Division



Hauptmann - Signals



Oberleutnant - Medical



Leutnant - Flight



Stabsfeldwebel - Flight



Oberfeldwebel - Flak



Feldwebel - Medical



Unterfeldwebel - Flight



Unteroffizer - Signals



NCO Candidate - Flight



Enlisted - Flight









Unterfeldwebel - Tropical Flight



Enlisted - Tropical Flight



Generalstabsingenieur - Engineer



Generalingenieur - Engineer



Oberstingemieur - Engineer



Oberstabsingemieur - Engineer



Stabsingemieur - Engineer



Hauptingemieur - Engineer



Oberingemieur - Engineer



Ingemieur - Engineer



Oberleutnant der Reserve - golden yellow/blue - Flight



Oberleutnant der Reserve - red/blue - Flak



Stabsingemieur der Reserve - pink/blue - Engineer



Hauptingemieur der Reserve - pink/blue - Engineer





Truppensonderdienst - Administrative - Bright Blue



Truppensonderdienst - Judiciary - Wine Red




Luftwaffe (Air Force) Shoulder Board Cyphers

Different cyphers could be added to the shoulder board to identify unit/organization assignment, or speciality. A few cyphers are identified below.





Medical Personnel



Instructor



Instruction Squadron



Air Ministry Ground Staff



Air High Command Signals Staff



Luftwaffe Guard Battalion



Ordnance School



Aerial Warfare School



Air Traffic Control School



Air Signals School



Antiaircraft School



Motor Transport School



Physical Culture School



Aerial Defence School



Flight Academy



Air Staff College


WehrmachtBeamte (Armed Forces Officials) Collar Tabs

WehrmachtBeamte personnel were Reich civil service personnel who were considered members of the military and were subject to military law. They performed many of the supply and logistic functions. Functions included serving the Reichs Court, Paymasters, Apothecaries, and the Field Post Office. Collar tabs identified the branch and service level of the wearer. The Waffenfarbe colour for officials was dark green, with specialties further specified by a secondary colour (Nebenfarbe).





Wehrmachtbeamte Hoeherer Dienst (General Equivalents)



Wehrmachtbeamte Hoeherer Dienst (General Equivalents)



Wehrmachtbeamte Hoeherer Dienst (General Equivalents)



Wehrmachtbeamte Hoeherer Dienst (Officer Equivalents)



Wehrmachtbeamte Gehobener Dienst



Wehrmachtbeamte Mitteler Dienst



Wehrmachtbeamte Einfacher Dienst



Wehrmachtbeamte Einfacher Dienst


WehrmachtBeamte (Armed Forces Officials) Shoulder Boards

Shoulder boards identified the rank and branch of service of the wearer. Letters and cyphers could be added to the shoulder board to identify unit/organization assignment, or speciality.





Wehrmachtbremte General Equivalents



Wehrmachtbremte Field Grade Officer Equivalents



Wehrmachtbremte Company Grade Officer Equivalents



Wehrmachtbremte Company Grade Officer Equivalents



Wehrmachtbremte NCO Equivalents





Marinebeamte Administrative NCO



Marinebeamte NCO



Wehrmachtbremte Administrative General



Wehrmachtbremte Administrative Officer



Field Post Officer



Field Post NCO





Wehrmacht Geheime Feldpolizei
Feldpolizeidirektor



Wehrmacht Geheime Feldpolizei
FeldpolizeiInspektor



Wehrmacht Geheime Feldpolizei
Feldpolizeiassistent


LuftwaffeBeamte (Luftwaffe Officials) Collar Tabs

LuftwaffeBeamte personnel were Reich civil service personnel who were considered members of the military and were subject to military law. They performed many of the supply and logistic functions for the military. Functions included serving the Reichs Court, Paymasters, Apothecaries, and the Field Post Office. Collar tabs identified the branch and service level of the wearer. The Waffenfarbe colour for officials was dark green, with specialties further specified by a secondary colour (Nebenfarbe).





Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsgeneralinspekteur (General equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsverwaltungschef (Lt. General equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsviceverwaltungschef (Major General equivalent



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsverwaltungabteilungschef (Colonel equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Oberstkriegsverwaltungsrat (Lt. Colonel equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Oberkriegsverwaltungsrat (Major equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsverwaltungsrat (Captain equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsoberinspektor (1st Lieutenant equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsinspektor (2nd Lieutenant equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Oberkriegssekretaer (Warrant Officer equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegssekretaer (Master Sergeant equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsassistent (Chief Sergeant equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsbetriebassistent (Senior Sergeant equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Angestelte (Sergeant equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Assistent (Private equivalent)





LuftwaffeBeamte (Luftwaffe Officials) Shoulder Boards

Shoulder boards identified the rank and branch of service of the wearer. Letters and cyphers could be added to the shoulder board to identify unit/organization assignment, or speciality.





Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsgeneralinspekteur (General equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsverwaltungschef (Lt. General equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsviceverwaltungschef (Major General equivalent



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsverwaltungabteilungschef (Colonel equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Oberstkriegsverwaltungsrat (Lt. Colonel equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Oberkriegsverwaltungsrat (Major equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsverwaltungsrat (Captain equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsoberinspektor (1st Lieutenant equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsinspektor (2nd Lieutenant equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Oberkriegssekretaer (Warrant Officer equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegssekretaer (Master Sergeant equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsassistent (Chief Sergeant equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Kriegsbetriebassistent (Senior Sergeant equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Angestelte (Sergeant equivalent)



Luftwaffebeamte Assistent (Private equivalent)






Luftwaffebeamte Engineering NCO



Luftwaffebeamte Ordnance NCO






Luftwaffe Geheime Feldpolizei
Feldpolizeioberdirektor



Luftwaffe Geheime Feldpolizei
Feldpolizeidirektor



Luftwaffe Geheime Feldpolizei
Feldpolizeikommissar



Luftwaffe Geheime Feldpolizei
Feldpolizeiobersekretar



Luftwaffe Geheime Feldpolizei
Feldpolizeisekretar


WehrmachtBeamte/LuftwaffeBeamte Shoulder Board Cyphers

Different cyphers could be added to the shoulder board to identify unit/organization assignment, or speciality. A few cyphers are identified below.





Armed Forces Official



Military Administration



Field Post



Geheime Feldpolizei



5 Years in Service











Luft (Air) Base Fire Department Collar Tabs

Luftwaffe Base Fire Department collar tabs identified the rank of the wearer. The rank was indicated by gulls and pips. Luftwaffe Base Fire Department personnel were considered civilians until late in the war.





Loschmeister



Oberfeuerwehrmann



Feuerwehrmann





Luft (Air) Base Fire Department Shoulder Boards

Luftwaffe Base Fire Department shoulder boards identified the rank of the wearer. The rank was indicated by gulls and pips. Luftwaffe Base Fire Department personnel were considered civilians until late in the war.





Meister



Loschmeister



Oberfeuerwehrmann



Feuerwehrmann














Sonderfuhrer (Specialist Leader) Collar Tabs

Sonderfuhrer personnel were non-military specialists who were considered members of the military and were subject to military law. They performed special duties functions for the military. If they completed military training, they could join the military at their current rank. Specialties, education levels, and pay levels were specified in regulations. The name was changed to Wehrmachtbeamte auf Kriegsdauer (Military officials for the duration of the War) in the 3rd issue regulations. Specialities included medical, construction, veterinary, interpreters and staff duties. Collar tabs identified the pay grade of the wearer.





Sonderfuhrer
1st Regulation



Sonderfuhrer
2nd Regulation



Sonderfuhrer
2nd Regulation






Wehrmachtbeamte auf Kriegsdauer
Hoeherer Dienst - 3rd Regulation



Wehrmachtbeamte auf Kriegsdauer
Gehobener/Mitteler Dienst - 3rd Regulation



Wehrmachtbeamte auf Kriegsdauer
Einfacher Dienst - 3rd Regulation






Kriegsmarinebeamte auf Kriegsdauer
Hoeherer Dienst - 3rd Regulation



Kriegsmarinebeamte auf Kriegsdauer
Gehobener/Mitteler Dienst - 3rd Regulation



Kriegsmarinebeamte auf Kriegsdauer
Einfacher Dienst - 3rd Regulation






Luftwaffebeamte auf Kriegsdauer
Hoeherer Dienst - 3rd Regulation



Luftwaffebeamte auf Kriegsdauer
Gehobener/Mitteler Dienst - 3rd Regulation



Luftwaffebeamte auf Kriegsdauer
Einfacher Dienst - 3rd Regulation






Luftwaffeingenieur auf Kriegsdauer
Hoeherer Dienst - 3rd Regulation



Luftwaffeingenieur auf Kriegsdauer
Gehobener/Mitteler Dienst - 3rd Regulation



Luftwaffeingenieur auf Kriegsdauer
Einfacher Dienst - 3rd Regulation





Sonderfuhrer (Specialist Leader) Shoulder Boards

Shoulder boards identified the rank of the wearer. Cyphers could be added to the 3rd regulation shoulder board to identify organization assignment, or speciality.





Wehrmacht Sonderfuhrer - Level R
1st Regulation - Regimentsfuhrer



Wehrmacht Sonderfuhrer - Level B
1st & 3rd Regulation - Bataillonsfuhrer



Wehrmacht Sonderfuhrer - Level K
1st & 3rd Regulation - Kompaniefuhrer



Wehrmacht Sonderfuhrer - Level Z
1st & 3rd Regulation - Zugfuhrer



Wehrmacht Sonderfuhrer - Level O
1st & 2nd regulation - Zugfuhrer



Wehrmacht Sonderfuhrer - Level G
1st & 2nd regulation - Gruppenfuhrer



Kriegsmarine Sonderfuhrer - Level R
1st regulation - Regimentsfuhrer



Kriegsmarine Sonderfuhrer - Level K
1st & 3rd regulation - Kompaniefuhrer



Luftwaffe Sonderfuhrer - Level R
1st regulation - Regimentsfuhrer



Sonderfuhrer - Level B
2nd regulation - Bataillonsfuhrer



Sonderfuhrer - Level K
2nd regulation - Kompaniefuhrer



Sonderfuhrer - Level Z
2nd regulation - Zugfuhrer






Luftwaffe Sonderfuhrer - Level B
3rd regulation - Stabsingenieur



Luftwaffe Sonderfuhrer - Level K
3rd regulation - Oberingenieur



Luftwaffe Sonderfuhrer - Level Z
3rd regulation - Ingenieur



Beamter auf Kriegsdauer - Reich Courts
Bordeaux Red



Beamter auf Kriegsdauer - Apothecary
Light Green



Beamter auf Kriegsdauer - Paymaster
White



Beamter auf Kriegsdauer - Field Post
Light Yellow



Beamter auf Kriegsdauer - Remount
Golden Yellow



Beamter auf Kriegsdauer - Military Administration
Light Gray








Sonderfuhrer (Specialist Leader) Shoulder Board Cyphers

Cyphers could be added to the shoulder board to identify unit/organization assignment, or speciality. Official 3rd regulation cyphers are identified below.





Engineer



Fortress Engineer



Veternarian



Medical Personnel



Farrier



Bandsmen



Justice Official



Administrative Official



Eisenbahn