Mehrere bewaffnete Soldaten bewegen sich im Gelände.
Bundeswehr/Andrea Bienert

Bundeswehr Ranks and Careers

A hierarchical structure: the Bundeswehr ranks indicate the position of military personnel within the organisation, which armed service or organisational element they belong to and in some cases even their job. The Bundeswehr ranks are divided into three career groups.

Nonrated personnel ranks and careers

They are the foundation of the Bundeswehr and perform a wide variety of tasks. Although the nonrated personnel hold the lowest ranks, a career change within the Bundeswehr is open to them during their tour of duty if they are suitably qualified.

  • Foundation of the Bundeswehr

  • Operations abroad

  • Enlistment for 4 to 12 years

Soldat kriecht unter einem Hindernis durch

The pillars of the Bundeswehr

Without them, nothing works: the nonrated personnel career group

Noncommissioned officer ranks and careers

They are the Bundeswehr’s subject-matter experts or all-rounders: noncommissioned officers have more professional opportunities than any other career group. Noncommissioned officer careers are divided into two different rank categories: junior and senior noncommissioned officers.

  • Ein deutscher Soldat arbeitet an einem Kampfflugzeug vom Typ Eurofighter.

    Senior noncommissioned officers

    The senior noncommissioned officer rank category comprises the sergeant ranks from OR-6 to OR-9. In the Navy, these are the petty officer…

  • Soldaten knien in einer Reihe auf dem Rasen während der Waffenausbildung

    Junior noncommissioned officers

    Whether sergeant, staff sergeant or petty officer 2nd class (all OR-5), the junior noncommissioned officers are experts in their fields.

Officer ranks and careers

Whether they wear Navy, Army or Air Force uniforms, officers’ careers entail great responsibility. This career group also offers exciting and multifaceted positions. Officers are in command in a wide variety of Bundeswehr areas and fields. And they are more than just „managers in uniform“.

  • AcademicStudies Hamburg or Munich

  • Leadership and responsibility

  • for 13 to 17 years Enlistment

Soldaten knien auf dem Waldboden über einer Karte.

The Bundeswehr’s command personnel

In the officer career group, men and women can rise to the Bundeswehr’s highest ranks.

Civilian careers in the Bundeswehr

In addition to different professional opportunities in uniform, the Bundeswehr also offers a wide range of career options in the civilian sector. They range from technician to legal expert. People with different professional backgrounds are welcome in the Bundeswehr.

  • more than 50 occupations

  • more than 430 training facilities

  • more than 66.000 jobs

Frau und Soldat stehen vor Flipchart

Almost any occupation

With more than 50 different occupations and a good 430 training facilities throughout Germany, the Bundeswehr offers a wide variety of civilian careers.

Voluntary military service in the Bundeswehr

„Trying out the Bundeswehr“: since the suspension of compulsory military service in 2011, voluntary military service has offered interested men and women the opportunity to get to know the armed forces without having to commit to them for a long time.

  • Getting to know the armed forces

  • 7 to 23 months minimum period of service

  • 6 months probationary period

Zwei Soldaten auf der Hindernisbahn, weitere Soldaten sehen im Hintergrund zu

An opportunity, not an obligation

During voluntary military service, you are doing something for your country. And you can find out whether the Bundeswehr might be the right employer for you.

Basic training

In the three-month basic training, the recruits enter into a new world – they are taught basic military skills. In addition to theoretical foundations, these skills also include handling weapons, life in the field and marching in step.

Ein Bundeswehrsoldat gleitet mit dem Gewehr G36 über den Waldboden

One for all

The foundation for every military career is laid in the first three months. What exactly happens in the Bundeswehr’s basic training?