The general is a rank of numerous modern and former armed forces, including the Federal Armed Forces , the Federal Armed Forces and the Swiss Army . In Austria's guard body , the general is a term used . In some armed forces, the general is the most senior rank.
In some other (also earlier) armed forces, comparable ranks are also referred to as army general , colonel general or similar. The highest-ranking ranks of an army are sometimes summarized in the rank group generals . The totality of all bearers of these ranks is sometimes referred to as generals .
“General” goes back to the Latin generalis ( German : “general” or “common”). The term became part of a post description via the church Latin generālis abbās . generālis abbās (in the German translation: "general abbot " or in a corresponding context general abbot ) initially referred to the head of a ( Catholic ) religious community . The generalis abbas was the head of the group who was responsible for general issues and was above the specialis ( Latin for "special" or "special"), who headed the smaller groups (specializing in one area of responsibility). By abbreviation, generālis abbās , which was already abbreviated as generalis in Latin , became the Middle High German general .
In the 13th or 14th century, the term “general” was then adopted into the German army under the influence of the French term capitaine général (German roughly: “general captain ” or “general captain ”) . Originally, "General" was based on the French model, the designation for a use as a commander of a larger formation of troops . It was only with the development of a fixed military ranking after the Thirty Years' War that “General” became part of several rank designations . The General (field) Hauptmann was a hierarchy on the (field) governors , the General (field) daydream about the constables colonel general a hierarchy on the Supreme so certain for commanders of larger formations Military Branches established the service job descriptions " General on the Infantry ”,“ General over the cavalry ”,“ General over the artillery ”etc. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the ranks“ General of the Infantry ”and“ General of the Artillery ”etc. were developed in the Prussian armed forces → “Generals with a descriptive addition to the type of weapon” ). The rank "General" (as a separate rank designation) was only able to establish itself, now as the highest rank, in modern German armed forces as a result of the alignment with the rank structure of NATO . Previously, "generals" was mainly a collective term for all of the ranks mentioned above (see below ). The rank of former German armed forces comparable to the general of the Bundeswehr, on the other hand, was mostly the colonel general, who was omitted in the Bundeswehr.
Since the rank insignia of a general in many armed forces, including the army , or the armed forces of the United States frequently show four stars, the General is colloquially often "as a four-star general " means.
The plural of "General", according to Duden "generals" or "generals". In many armed forces, the ranks of the highest officers and sometimes their bearers are formally or informally summarized in the rank group of generals. All soldiers in this rank group form the generals . Depending on the context, " generals " also simply refer to several soldiers with the rank of general.
|NATO rank code||OF-9|
|Rank Army / Air Force||general|
|Abbreviation (in lists)||Gene (-)|
|Grade||B 10 or B 10 mA according to BBesO|
The rank of general is determined by the Federal President with the order of the Federal President on the rank designations and the uniform of the soldiers on the basis of the Soldiers Act .
Authority to command and positions
In the Bundeswehr, the general is an officer rank who, according to the Central Service Regulations (ZDv) A-1420/24 "Ranks and Rank Groups", belongs to the rank group of the generals . Because they belong to the rank group of the generals, soldiers in the rank of general can give orders on the basis of § 4 ("Superiors relationship on the basis of rank") of the superiors ordinance within the limits set there, soldiers of the rank groups of men , non-commissioned officers with and without porters , lieutenants , captains and staff officers To give.
The rank is reserved for very few officers. General is the inspector general of the Bundeswehr . In the NATO also German generals as Commander Allied Joint Force Command and as chief of staff of SHAPE provided. Due to the described and similar positions, soldiers in the rank of general can issue orders to all soldiers under official or technical subordinates in the cases listed in the superiors ordinance. Since the Dresden decree, the General Inspector of the Bundeswehr has been the superior superior of all soldiers and therefore, like a unit leader, the disciplinary superior of all soldiers subordinate to him in accordance with the military disciplinary code .
Appointment, salary and age limit
The legal basis for the appointment as general is set by the Soldier Career Ordinance (SLV) and, in addition, the Central Service Regulations (ZDv) 20/7. In detail, the careers there are only regulated up to the rank of colonel . The appointment as general, on the other hand, is essentially a decision to be made by the employer based on the suitability , qualifications and professional performance of the soldier , which is hardly subject to any further requirements. In practice, only professional officers are usually appointed general. According to the Soldier Career Ordinance , the ranks in the order described by the Federal President should be passed through regularly and a minimum period of service in the previous rank of at least one year should be the rule; in practice, a general had previously been lieutenant general for several years, and most of the generals have completed the general staff / admiralty staff course at the command and control academy of the Bundeswehr .
With the establishment of the Bundeswehr , the rank order was adapted to the NATO framework as a result of the standardization. The traditional rank of Colonel General and the higher ranks of the Wehrmacht were dropped. In place of these hitherto highest ranks, the order of the Federal President on the rank designations and the uniform of soldiers on May 7, 1956, was replaced by the newly created rank of General, which was adapted on the model of the armed forces of the United States and the British Army .
Equivalent, subordinate and superior ranks
Only army and air force uniform bearers hold the rank of general . Navy uniform wearers of the same rank hold the rank of admiral . In the armed forces of NATO, the general is equivalent to all ranks with the NATO rank code OF-9.
In terms of ZDv 14/5 and the order of the Federal President , the general is above the lower-ranking lieutenant general or vice admiral . The medical officer ranks of the same rank as the lieutenant general are the general officer and the admiral officer . (First rank designation for army and air force uniform wearers; last rank designation for naval uniform wearers.) The general, along with the admiral, is the highest rank awarded in the Bundeswehr.
|Lower rank||Higher rank|
Vice Admiral Chief Medical
Officer Admiral Chief Medical Officer
Rank group : Teams-NCOs-NCO-NCOs-Lieutenant-Captains-Staff officers-Generals
Austrian Armed Forces and guards
Suit 75/03 | Skirt collar | Plate cap
|NATO rank code||OF-9|
|Rank Army / Air Force||general|
|Abbreviation (in lists)||gene|
In the first armed forces of the First Republic there was initially the title "General". Later, the generals were differentiated between "... the infantry" and "... the artillery". In the armed forces of the Second Republic , the title “General” was continued after 1955. After all, the generals were given the names of the branches of service: "... the infantry", "... the artillery", "... the armored force" and "... the air force". On July 1, 1980, the following reorganization of the ranks took place. General (without addition) was the official title for the highest rank, i.e. an officer of the IX. Class of service.
Until his retirement on November 30, 2007, General Roland Ertl was the highest-ranking officer as Chief of the General Staff in Austria . From January 31, 2008 until his (unlawful, as it turned out) dismissal on January 24, 2011 and again after his reinstatement on November 7, 2011, General Edmund Entacher held this position. From his retirement in May 2013 to June 30, 2018, Othmar Commenda was Austria's highest-ranking officer. Robert Brieger has been General of the Austrian Armed Forces since July 24, 2018 .
In addition, the usage designation General is used for leading officials (E1) of the executive branch in Austria, including the Federal Police and Justice Guard . Since the guards mentioned are civil bodies that are only organized according to the military model, they are not "police officers", but only use officer ranks as a designation. Incidentally, a direct comparison with the ranks of the armed forces is not possible, since in the Federal Police tasks that are assigned to a lower-ranking officer in the military area are to be performed by high-ranking officers in charge of duty (E 2a), i.e. members of the middle career level.
Classification: recruits - batches - NCOs - officers All ranks at a glance: Army ranks
|Rank group||Commander in Chief of the Army|
|NATO rank code||OF-9|
|Rank Army / Air Force||general|
|Abbreviation (in lists)||gene|
In Switzerland is only a war mobilization , a general as commander of the Army used. This is elected by the Federal Assembly and remains subordinate to the Federal Council even after the election . In peacetime the Chief of the Army (CdA) commands the troops. Sometimes the army commander in chief is referred to as a four-star general. In the Swiss Army, the rank badge shows four stars framed with golden laurel leaves on the armpit loops and a laurel wreath with a narrow stripe on the upper edge and a second smaller laurel wreath on the lower edge on the uniform cap.
Officer rank general
Classification: crews - NCOs - higher NCOs - subaltern officers - captains - staff officers - higher staff officers - commander in chief of the army
All degrees at a glance: degrees of the Swiss Army
Polish armed forces
Army / Air Force | beret
|NATO rank code||OF-9|
|Rank Army / Air Force||general|
|Abbreviation (in lists)||gene|
In the Polish armed forces , the generał, which is phonetically and functionally comparable to the German general, is the highest rank an officer can be promoted to in peacetime.
(Polish Generał broni )
(Polish Generał )
(Polish Marszałek )
United States Armed Forces
In the US Army , US Air Force, and United States Marine Corps , the general is a rank that ranks above the Lieutenant General and below the Generals of the Army . The US pay level is O-10. The NATO rank code is OF-9. The rank of the general is linked to certain positions , for example the chairman and the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff can be generals (alternatively: admirals). Operationally, the general can also lead an army or be in command of a regional operational area .
George Washington was General and Commander-in-chief of the Continental Army for the first time in 1775 . The rank of general was abolished after the American War of Independence (1775–83). From 1866 General Ulysses S. Grant carried four stars as Commander in Chief of the US Army with the newly created rank of General of the Army of the United States ; it was followed in 1869 by William T. Sherman and in 1888 by Philip Sheridan . John J. Pershing became General of the Armies in 1917 and General of the Armies in 1919 . From the First World War, the rank of general was also temporarily awarded to the respective chief of staff (1917/18: Tasker H. Bliss , 1918–1921: Peyton C. March , 1929/30: Charles Pelot Summerall , 1930–1935: Douglas MacArthur , 1935 –1939: Malin Craig ) and 1939–1944: George C. Marshall .
- The Latin abbas and consequently the German word "Abt" goes back to the Hebrew word for " father ". Therefore , generalis abbas literally means “general father”.
- Compare also the etymological relationship of captain and captain in the section “Etymology” in the article “captain” .
- Although something like this formed ranks in the armed forces (in contrast to the army were) not continued, some usually due to be in the Bundeswehr colonel or brigadier generals occupied service positions designated analog. For example, the general of the armored troops , the general of the infantry , the general special forces or the general of the NBC defense force are particularly responsible for the further development and training of "their" troop type .
- See also “One Star General” , “Two Star General” , “Three Star General” .
- Left: Rank badge on the shoulder flap of the jacket of the service suit for army uniform wearers. Right: Rank badge on the shoulder flap of the jacket of the service suit for Air Force uniform wearers.
- ZDv 64/10 does not provide for any abbreviations in lists. The obvious abbreviation in lists as "G" (analogous to the list abbreviation "GL" for the lieutenant general ) must be avoided, because in connection with personnel lists, according to ZDv 64/10, "G" is rather the abbreviation for private .
- or alternatively Admiral
- In principle, temporary soldiers , professional soldiers and reservists can be appointed general, although in practice (especially in times of peace) only professional officers are promoted to general. Examples of the appointment as general d. R. are (in contrast to → Brigadier Generals ) not known in the Bundeswehr. Generals a. D. are also reservists. As a rule, however, they do not perform military exercises. In practice, the promotion of a reservist to general is also excluded because no corresponding posts have been planned and therefore no corresponding (non-formally) required appointment can be made in the sense of the Soldier Career Ordinance in connection with ZDv 20/7 . In the sense of the Soldiers ' Career Ordinance, membership of the officers' career group is also obvious, although this can only be inferred implicitly, because all generals continue to be counted as officers in the sense of the Federal President's order . In the area of application of the Soldiers ' Career Ordinance, officers can only be promoted within a career path of the officers' career group. Even if the career paths of the career group over and above the colonel are not described in more detail in the Soldiers' Career Ordinance, promotion to a rank of the rank group of generals is carried out analogously in continuation of one of the careers of officers. The promotion of officers from one of the career paths of the military technical service , the geographic information service or the military music service is practically excluded . In practice, they cannot be promoted because no relevant posts are shown. The career in the military service ends in practice and in the description of the soldiers' career regulation at the staff captain . For military music officers, due to the limited number of posts, the highest rank of colonel can be achieved. In geospatial information, the top line manager is a brigadier general.
- Minimum service periods since being appointed to a previous rank are therefore not formally required. Theoretically, a colonel, a brigadier general, a major general could be appointed to the rank of general (with "bypassing" the ranks in between) and the promotion could be pronounced shortly after the appointment to colonel, brigadier general, major general or lieutenant general; In theory, it is also possible to be employed with the rank of general. A rare example of one of these "special cases", which would be fully transferable to army and air force uniforms and the rank of general, is Ulrich Weisser , who was first appointed flotilla admiral in 1992 and was appointed vice admiral that same year . Weisser jumped the rank of rear admiral .
- ZDv 20/7 on the basis of Careers Ordinance ( Ordinance on the Careers of Soldiers (Soldiers' Career Ordinance - SLV) . March 19, 2002, Section 44 ( gesetze-im-internet.de [accessed on March 25, 2014] revised) by announcement of August 19, 2011 I 1813. Last amended by Art. 2, Paragraph 5 G of April 8, 2013 I 730). ) the Soldiers '
- The age limits were redefined with the Service Law Reform Act 2009, cf. especially changes regarding Bundesanzeiger Verlag (Hrsg.): BGBl . Part 1, G 5702. Volume 2009 , no. 7 . Bonn February 11, 2009, p. 160–275 ( Federal Law Gazette 2009 I No. 7 [accessed on November 14, 2014]). SG and transitional provisions according to SG. See Act on the Reorganization and Modernization of Federal Service Law (Service Law New Order Act - DNeuG) . In:
- For reasons of space, shortened captions. What is meant are army uniform wearers and air force uniform wearers . The crimson flat braid shown next to the slip-on loop for army uniform wearers is always the indicator for belonging to the rank group of generals for army uniform wearers . In addition to the slip-on loops for the field blouse in the five-color camouflage pattern shown here on the shoulder flaps, there are a number of other types of rank insignia, which are described in more detail in the article → "Rank insignia of the Bundeswehr" .
- Note the remarks in the → chapter on the color of the weapons of the generals in the article "Color of the weapon"
- The hierarchy and rank designations of the Bundeswehr are clearly in the tradition of the Wehrmacht and earlier German armed forces. The designations of the ranks of the generals, however, were reorganized more clearly than in any other rank group in order to be able to be integrated into the NATO ranking system . The armed forces of the United States and the British Army served as models . The top ranks Reichsmarschall , Generalfeldmarschall and Generaloberst were dropped . In their place came the newly created rank of General. However, it did not combine all the competencies that the top ranks of the Wehrmacht had. (Military) political powers were transferred to civilian politicians and officials in the Federal Republic ; From then on, NATO staffs were responsible for important strategic military decisions. Furthermore, the ranks of infantry, artillery, cavalry, etc. , following the colonel- general in the Wehrmacht, which were used in the Wehrmacht as commanding generals of the corps , but their rank designations in the Bundeswehr had great potential for confusion with the rank designation "General" would have offered. In his place in the Bundeswehr, modeled on the NATO allies, was the lieutenant general , who was now employed in the Bundeswehr, for example, as commanding general of a corps, while a lieutenant general in the armed forces was "only" the commander of a division . Accordingly, the major general , who, as in the Wehrmacht, ranks one rank directly below the lieutenant general, moved up one rank in the Bundeswehr. The tasks of the lowest ranked officer of the generals were taken over in the Bundeswehr by the newly created rank of brigadier general , who was to command the brigades provided for in NATO but unknown in the Wehrmacht .
- Dictionary of German military history . 1st edition. Military Publishing House of the GDR (VEB), Berlin 1985, rank badge 29/30, p. 145 (Liz. 5, P189 / 84, LSV: 0547, B-No. 746 635 0).
- General, the. In: Duden . Bibliographisches Institut GmbH, 2013, accessed on November 9, 2014 .
- Hartmut Bagger , Command Staff of the Armed Forces I 3, Federal Ministry of Defense (Ed.): ZDv 37/10. Suit regulations for soldiers in the Bundeswehr . July 1996. Reprint from October 2008. Bonn July 16, 2008, 4 labels, p. 539 ( digitized version [PDF; 3.5 MB ] Reprint October 2008 replaces first edition from July 1996). Digitized version ( memento from September 19, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
- The Federal Minister of Defense (ed.): Law on the legal status of soldiers (Soldiers Act - SG) . Bonn March 19, 1956, § 4 para. 3 (2) - ( gesetze-im-internet.de [PDF; accessed on March 25, 2014] Newly drafted by notice of May 30, 2005 I 1482. Last amended by Art . 1 G of April 8, 2013 I 730).
- Agreed English texts. STANAG 2116 . NATO standardization agreement (STANAG) . NATO codes for grades of military personnel. 5th edition. 1992 (English, NATO Rank Codes - 1992 [accessed March 25, 2014]).
- The Federal President (ed.): Order of the Federal President on the rank designations and the uniform of the soldiers . BPresUnifAnO. July 14, 1978 ( gesetze-im-internet.de [PDF] Order of the Federal President on the rank designations and uniforms of soldiers from July 14, 1978 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1067 ), last amended by Article 1 of the order of 31. May 1996 ( BGBl. I p. 746 ) has been changed).
- Federal Minister of Defense ; Command Staff of the Armed Forces IV 1 (Ed.): Abbreviations for use in the Bundeswehr - German Abbreviations - ZDv 64/10 . Bonn January 19, 1979 ( ucoz.de [PDF] as of September 17, 1999).
- Appendix I (to § 20, paragraph 2, sentence 1) Bundesbesoldungsgesetz orders of A and B . ( gesetze-im-internet.de [accessed on March 25, 2014] Federal Pay Regulations (BBesO) only apply to professional and temporary soldiers and are an annex to the Federal Pay Act (BBesG)).
- The Federal Minister of Defense (ed.): ZDv 14/5. Soldiers Act . DSK AV110100174, amendment status July 17, 2008. Bonn August 21, 1978, The Superiors Ordinance, p. A 12 1 (Not to be confused with the Ordinance on the Regulation of Military Superiors (Superiors Ordinance - VorgV) ).
- Federal Minister of Defense (Ed.): Ordinance on the regulation of the military superior relationship (Superior Ordinance - VorgV) . June 4, 1956, § 4 ( gesetze-im-internet.de [accessed on March 25, 2014] Last amended by Art. 1 No. 2 V of October 7, 1981 I 1129).
- Federal Minister of Defense (Ed.): Ordinance on the regulation of the military superior relationship (Superior Ordinance - VorgV) . June 4, 1956 ( gesetze-im-internet.de [accessed on March 25, 2014] Last amended by Art. 1 No. 2 V of October 7, 1981 I 1129).
- Military disciplinary code (WDO). In: Laws on the Internet . Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection , August 16, 2001, accessed on November 5, 2014 (from August 16, 2001 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 2093 ), last amended by Article 7 of the Act of August 28, 2013 ( Federal Law Gazette I p . 3386 ) has been changed).
- Hans Ehlert : A life for the Bundeswehr. Mine sweeper, super brain, gray eminence. In: faz.net. May 6, 2011, accessed on August 15, 2014 (first edition in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on April 27, 2011. No. 97 / page 8).
- Ordinance on the career paths of soldiers (Soldiers' Career Ordinance - SLV) . March 19, 2002 ( gesetze-im-internet.de [accessed on March 25, 2014] Newly drafted by notice of August 19, 2011 I 1813. Last amended by Art. 2 Paragraph 5 G of April 8, 2013 I 730).
- Note also:
- The Federal Minister of Defense ; Personnel, Social and Central Affairs Department (Ed.): ZDv 20/7. Provisions for the transport and for the recruitment, acceptance and admission of soldiers . Bonn March 27, 2002, Art. 635 ( PDF ( memento of October 26, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) [accessed on March 26, 2014] DSK AP210100187, reprint January 2008). [[Central Service Regulations | ZDv]] 20/7. Provisions for the transport and for the recruitment, acceptance and admission of soldiers ( memento of October 26, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
- Federal Ministry of Justice and for Consumer Protection , juris GmbH (Ed.): Law on the legal status of soldiers (Soldiers Act - SG) . Bonn March 19, 1956, § 45 Paragraph 2 (3) - ( gesetze-im-internet.de [PDF; accessed on November 10, 2014] Newly drafted by notice of May 30, 2005 I 1482. Last amended by Art . 1 G of April 8, 2013 I 730).
- BGBl. I p. 422
- The equivalent, higher and lower ranks are given in accordance with ZDv 14/5 B 185, cf. The Federal Minister of Defense (ed.): ZDv 14/5. Soldiers Act . DSK AV110100174, change status July 17, 2008. Bonn August 21, 1978, rank designations in the Bundeswehr, p. B 185 (Not to be confused with the Law on the Legal Status of Soldiers (Soldiers Act) . The order of the ranks shown in the info box does not necessarily correspond to one of the regular rank sequences provided for in the Soldiers' Career Ordinance , nor does it necessarily correspond to the rank hierarchy described in the Superiors Ordinance a managerial relationship ).
- Swiss Military Law Art. 86