General Staff Officer

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General staff officer , general staff officer , also (officer) in the general staff or in the general staff service are names for officers (no rank) from the rank of captain who have successfully completed a general staff course or the necessary training at a corresponding military educational institution, for example a war academy or general staff academy . In German-speaking armed forces, the persons concerned usually have the addition i in addition to the respective rank designation. G., for example Major i. G .; The external characteristic is the weapon color crimson red of the collar tabs and the base and piping of the shoulder pieces . General staff officers are employed in prominent staff assignments, in the adjutantage or on posts of higher troop commanders.

historical development

Colonel Heinz Trettner i. G. of the German Air Force 1941/1942

For service in general commands, general staffs, war ministries and headquarters, specially qualified officers were required from the start. Thus, under Charles V of Toledo and under Wallenstein at the beginning of the 17th century, suitably qualified officers were trained at war academies.

With the establishment of mass armies and the development of the branches of arms and troops in the 19th century, for example, officers in Prussia, Bavaria, France, Poland and Russia were trained and qualified in two to three-year general staff courses. General staff training was usually preceded by officers' courses of up to nine months at a war school or comparable military educational institution.

The soldiers in question required extensive training across all branches of the armed forces and troops. The selection often went back to the cadet school , junker schools and war school in order to understand the contemporary requirements of the armed forces in their entirety. For this reason, the supposedly best officers of each year were always selected for general staff training.

The training to become a general staff officer was in the future the basic requirement for employment as a general staff officer, employment in top positions or appointments, up to promotion to colonel and subsequent appointment to major general (later brigadier general).

The Reichswehr , which was forbidden from general staff training , called on its general staff officers in the training of assistant leaders . A particularly noticeable feature of the general staff of the Wehrmacht were the four centimeter wide crimson stripes on the uniform trousers, also popularly known as "raspberry stripes".

In the joint Austro-Hungarian army , general staff officers wore a special uniform with a dark green skirt, velvet black collar and cuffs, as well as deep red piping. On the other hand, graduates of the Academy of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces and the General Staff Academy of the USSR were awarded a special graduate badge.

Federal Republic of Germany

General staff officers are called officers in the general staff service ( i. G. ) in the Bundeswehr . They are officers who are employed in a post for staff officers , which is designated as a general staff post , and who have generally completed general staff training.


General staff training for the Austrian Armed Forces takes place in the National Defense Academy in Vienna. In addition to their rank, the General Staff officers have the function designation "of the General Staff Service", such as "Colonel of the General Staff Service" (for short: Colonel dG / abbreviation: dG without period and without spaces).


General staff training for the Swiss Army takes place at the General Staff School in Lucerne. In addition to their rank, the General Staff officers have the function designation "in the General Staff", such as "Colonel in the General Staff" (short: Colonel i Gst / abbreviation: i Gst with spaces, but without period characters).

See also


  • Hansgeorg Model : The German General Staff Officer. His selection and training in the Reichswehr, Wehrmacht and Bundeswehr . Frankfurt am Main 1968.
  • Christian EO Millotat: The Prussian-German General Staff System - Roots, Development, Continuation . vdf, Zurich 2000, ISBN 978-3-7281-2749-5 .
  • Dictionary of German military history . 1st edition. Berlin 1985, p. 411–413 (license no. 5, P 189/84, order no .: 746 6350).


  1. On the spelling of the abbreviation: According to German spelling, in particular DIN 5008, abbreviations consisting of several parts are followed by a space. In practice, “ klempt ” is often used , so that the abbreviation iG (without spaces) is widespread in literature and on the Internet. Within the Bundeswehr, the central service regulation A-425/3 Abbreviation Management stipulates the spelling iG (without spaces).
  2. until 1945 meant i. G. "on the General Staff"
  3. In the Prussian Army, the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht, crimson lampasses were also worn on uniform pants. In the Luftwaffe of the Wehrmacht , these were held in golden yellow weapon color .

Individual evidence

  1. The fourth beginning of general staff training (Bundeswehr)
  2. Demigods from Blankenese - The military employee of the SPIEGEL, Colonel a. D. Carl-Gideon von Claer, about General Staff . In: Der Spiegel . No. 22 , 1966, pp. 35 ( Online - May 23, 1966 ).