Insignia of the Navy Command

German Navy Headquarters

This maritime headquarters controls the German naval forces out of Rostock.


The German Navy Headquarters – literally “Marinekommando” or Naval Command – is the highest authority within the German naval forces. It bundles the ultimate responsibility for command, control, training and maritime expertise of the Navy. Formally, it is directly subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Defence. At the head of the Navy Headquarters are the German Chief of Navy and his deputy, the Fleet Commander. The headquarters’ staff personnel support them in carrying out their command and control duties.

In addition, the Navy Headquarters must fulfil maritime-specific specialist tasks and control the establishments that are directly subordinate to it. Therefore, it is divided into five divisions:

  • Operations,
  • Operational Support,
  • Plans/Concepts,
  • Naval Medical Service, and
  • Personnel/Training/Organization.

Direct leadership out of “maritime capital” Rostock

To the Personnel/Training/Organization Division report, among other things, all four naval schools as well as the Naval Damage Control Training Centre. There is no separate training command in the Navy, as there is in the Army, for example. The Operations Division manages the German Navy Flotillas 1 and 2 as well as the Germany Naval Aviation Command. This department also includes the Maritime Operations Centre in Glücksburg near Flensburg, which is the command and control hub for the fleet worldwide.

In addition, other independent organizational elements are part of the Navy Headquarters – such as the Navy public affairs office, or Press and Information Centre.

Chief of Navy

  • a man in dark blue uniform

    Vice Admiral Jan Christian Kaack

    Germany’s chief of navy is called “Inspekteur der Marine”, literally Inspector of the Navy. He leads the entire naval force and represents it externally. He is responsible for the personnel and material readiness of the Navy; he advises the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr on all naval and maritime matters. Within the Federal Ministry of Defence and in multinational military committees, he represents the maritime perspective of the Bundeswehr.

Fleet Commander

  • Portrait image of a naval officer looking at the camera.

    Vice Admiral Frank Lenski

    The German vice chief of navy is the so-called Deputy Inspector of the Navy and Commander of the Fleet and Supporting Forces. He stands in for the Inspector of the Navy in all matters. As Fleet Commander – or Commander-in-Chief, German Fleet as NATO calls his position – he acts within in the naval forces.

    He coordinates with the command staffs of other Bundeswehr branches in so-called commanders’ meetings; he decides on the investigation reports of the commissioner for naval accident investigations. He is also chief commissioner for naval reservists’ affairs and of the Navy’s controlling department. Last but not least: he awards commanding officer’s commissions or denies them.

Command Senior Enlisted Leader

  • Ein Mann in Uniform vor einer Deutschlandflagge.

    Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Lars Raabe

    The Navy’s command team of Chief of Navy and Fleet Commander is completed by the Command Senior Enlisted Leader, or CSEL for short. On the one hand, he advises the Chief of Navy on important decisions from the perspective of the non-commissioned officers and enlisted sailors. On the other hand, he conveys intentions and decisions to the ranks through internal communication – as often as possible by personal exchange. He represents the German Navy externally and internationally at the non-commissioned and enlisted level.


Germany’s naval forces are divided into three major military formations within in the fleet. Several other establishments are responsible for their technical and logistical support as well as for the training of personnel.

The fleet

Support forces and others

Naval Schools

Special institutions


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