Professional soldier

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Professional soldiers are soldiers who have voluntarily undertaken to do military service for life . In contrast to temporary soldiers who leave at the end of the commitment period , they retire when they reach an age limit.

armed forces

The legal status of professional soldiers (and temporary soldiers) in the Bundeswehr results from the second section of the Soldiers Act ( § 37 ff. SG ). There are 54,003 professional soldiers in the Bundeswehr (June 2020) , 3,748 of them women.


Formal requirements for a takeover are the needs of the Bundeswehr and German citizenship ( Section 37 Soldiers Act (SG) ). Subjective prerequisites are the advocacy of the free democratic basic order as well as character, mental and physical aptitude.

The following can be appointed to the employment relationship ( Section 39 SG ):

Under certain circumstances, soldiers who have been operationally injured and who do not meet the aforementioned requirements can also be appointed to the service of a professional soldier ( Section 7 (1 ) of the Law on Further Use of Operations ).

Legal status and selection

Professional soldiers (as well as temporary soldiers (SaZ)) have a special legal position (status) through their appointment. Your remuneration is based on the federal pay regulations . Professional soldiers are recruited by means of a selection of the best from proven regular soldiers; the annual selection conference decides according to § 3 SG according to aptitude, ability and performance of the individual applicants.

End of employment

The employment relationship of a professional soldier ends ( § 43 SG ) through

  • Entry or transfer to retirement ( retirement )
  • Discharge
  • Conversion (into the employment relationship of a soldier)
  • Loss of legal status as a professional soldier or
  • Removal from employment by judgment in judicial disciplinary proceedings.

Entry into or retirement

Entry into retirement (retirement) is based on the provisions of Section 44 Soldiers Act. Accordingly, it takes place at the latest when the general age limit is reached at the age of 62 or 65, depending on grade / career path. However, under certain circumstances, retirement can also take place earlier, namely after reaching the special age limit , depending on rank / career / occupation, this is between the age of 41 and 62.


Like civil servants, soldiers cannot resign, but demand their dismissal ( Section 46 of the SG Paragraph 3 ).

If a professional soldier's application for dismissal is granted, he loses his status and all related entitlements ( pension , allowance, etc.) upon dismissal . Earlier entitlements from his employment as a temporary soldier ( career advancement or transitional fees), which were already lost with the change of status to professional soldier, are not revived. The released person is insured according to Section 8, Book Six of the Social Code (SGB VI), Paragraph 2 .

If the released person has received extensive training, according to established case law, he is subject to a fundamental repayment obligation.

A soldier is to be released according to § 46 SG if he loses his German citizenship or takes up residence abroad without a permit; also in certain cases in which his appointment or his retirement was incorrect or illegal, if he refuses to take the oath of service or if he is recognized as a conscientious objector.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: professional soldier  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Federal Ministry of Defense: Bundeswehr personnel figures . July 2020, accessed on July 30, 2020 (as of June 2020).
  2. Exceptions: See § 37 SG Paragraph 2 .
  3. Follow-up insurance in the statutory pension insurance for civil servants, judges, soldiers and other employees of the Bundeswehr who have left without provision (VMBl 1994 p. 162; 1996 p 388).
  4. Reimbursement of training costs. Accessed January 31, 2018 .