Reserve officer

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Reserve officers are reservists who hold an officer rank .

armed forces

Major's shoulder flap d. R. with black-red-gold reservist cord (outside of military service)


Is a reserve officer who the army rank transmits, in accordance with presidential order on rank designation and uniform of soldiers the officers is reserved and one of the raceways of the reserve is associated. According to Central Service Regulation 14/5 , the ranks of the rank groups generals , staff officers , captains and lieutenants are reserved for officers.

Authority to command and positions

Assigned reserve officers are scheduled according to their rank for posts that correspond to those of the other officers. Reserve officers in military service are used like any other equivalent officer. With regard to the authority to give orders on the basis of the Superiors' Ordinance and with regard to the authority to discipline on the basis of the military disciplinary code , reserve officers in a military service relationship are on an equal footing with other officers.


Since 2012, Department VI of the Federal Office for Personnel Management of the Bundeswehr (BAPersBw) has been responsible for covering the personnel requirements of reserve officers ; previously, Department V of the Bundeswehr Personnel Office was entrusted with this. The BAPersBw is pursuing three approaches:

The aptitude test takes place in the central assessment center for executives of the Bundeswehr (ACFüKrBw), the former officer applicant examination center in Cologne; Until 2012, the army and navy tested the centers for recruiting young people (today: career center of the Bundeswehr ). The Bundeswehr established the following profile of requirements for the career of reserve officers:

  • "Distinct willingness to work and take responsibility, the ability to lead people and the ability to work in a team,"
  • "Independence and role model function, especially in difficult situations,"
  • "Planning and organizational skills, business management,"
  • "Pronounced performance-oriented willingness and ability to learn,"
  • "High physical and mental resilience and athletic performance."


The reserve officers are promoted according to need, suitability, performance and qualifications, i. d. R .:

The order of promotion of the reserve officers in the careers of the military technical service , the geographic information service, the medical service and the military music service differs from the rank order mentioned above. For the medical officers (human and veterinary medicine, pharmacists and dentists) separate ranks also apply .

In the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, a few people have been promoted to general in one of the careers of the reserve. To the Brigadier General : Hans-Adolf von Blumröder , Heinz Herre , Friedrich August Freiherr von der Heydte , Horst Kraehe , Horst Niemack , Eberhard von Nostitz , Adolf Wicht , Hans-Heinrich Worgitzky ; to major general : Wolfgang Langkau ; and to Lieutenant General : Reinhard Gehlen .


In 1967, Rudolf Warnke carried out military-sociological studies on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Defense (BMVg) with the assistance of Wilhelm Bierfelder . According to the results, reservists were promoted to reserve officers between the ages of 25 and 26. The young reserve officers were very often used as platoon leaders or deputy company commanders. The majority of the interviewees were students of law , philology and education , followed by economics and social sciences .

Reservists on missions abroad

With the appropriate qualifications, reserve officers can apply for an assignment abroad in the sense of a special assignment abroad. Two reserve officers are among the German soldiers who have died during the Bundeswehr's missions abroad . A lieutenant colonel was killed in suicide attacks in Afghanistan in 2005 and a captain in 2007.

Representation of interests

Many thousands of reserve officers of the Bundeswehr are organized in the reservists' association and the regional reserve officers' working groups there, which in turn work together with allied reserve officers' associations at the international level in the Confédération Interalliée des Officiers de Réserve (CIOR).

Prussian Army

With the introduction of general conscription in the course of the Prussian army reform (1807-1814) by Scharnhorst , Gneisenau , Boyen and Clausewitz , the importance of reservists for the military also increased. The “bourgeois reserve officer” enjoyed a high reputation in the German Empire . The importance of the military at this time can be found in the words of the philologist Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff :

“Back then I was a professor for years like I am now, and I thought and think not little of my teaching post. [...] But how insignificant did everything we can achieve compared to what my captain achieved with his work [...], the educator, the university professor of the people. "

After the promotion, the trained reserve officers practiced in the Landwehr . With the Roon reforms of 1860, they were used in all branches of service. In 1914 the statistics numbered more than 120,000 reserve officers in the ranks from lieutenant to major . The historian Heiger Ostertag judged her achievements in the First World War positively, namely that she

"Were military performers and - taking into account their relatively short training period - fully replaced the active officers."

Most of the reserve officers came from middle-class families. Their fathers were mostly civil servants, landlords, industrialists and members of the liberal professions (lawyers, doctors, etc.). Reserve officers sometimes took on leading functions in business and administration in their civil professional life. In 1946 the historian Friedrich Meinecke formulated the position of the officer in Prussian-German society in the following sentence:

"The Prussian lieutenant went through the world as a young god, the middle-class reserve lieutenant at least as a demigod"

Reserve officers, however, took on their own costs for equipment, clothing, accommodation and food. The total expenses amounted to between 2000 and 3000 marks , depending on the type of service . In this way, members of the lower middle class such as craftsmen and elementary school teachers were de facto kept away from this elitist career. Formally, the employer stipulated that applicants had to attain the upper secondary qualification of a grammar school . According to the guidelines, these so-called one-year volunteers only served one year instead of three years in the army or navy .

The active officer corps of his unit made it possible for the most capable third to become a reserve officer by election. After passing the exam, the candidates were awarded the officer license to lieutenant in the reserve. So they were acceptable .

Entire sections of the population such as Catholics , atheists and members of the Social Democratic Party were systematically discriminated against and less promoted. Above all, citizens of the Jewish faith were almost completely excluded from the officer rank. In 1911, there were only 21 senior Jewish reserve officers in the Kingdom of Prussia who were promoted before 1885. The best-known example of the army's anti-Semitic stance was the case of the liberal politician Walther Rathenau , who despite his upper-class origins was not accepted into the officers' corps . Only in the Kingdom of Bavaria (and to a limited extent in the Kingdom of Saxony ) was there a significant number of Jewish reserve officers in 1912, primarily doctors and veterinarians who had officer rank.

United States Armed Forces


The German Imperium

  • Albert Dilthey : The one-year-old volunteer, the reserve officer-aspirant and the officer of the infantry on leave. Completely reworked according to the latest regulations and war experience in consideration of the war training . 54th edition, ES Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1918.
  • Emil Hartmann: Handbook for one-year volunteers, reserve officer aspirants and officers of the pioneers' leave of absence . 8th edition, ES Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1915.
  • Hartmut John : The Reserve Officer Corps in the German Empire 1890-1914. A socio-historical contribution to the study of social militarization in Wilhelmine Germany . Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt 1981, ISBN 3-593-32952-2 .
  • Max J. Loewenthal: The Jewish creed as an obstacle to promotion to the Prussian reserve officer . On behalf of the Association of German Jews. Hermann, Berlin 1911.
  • Max J. Loewenthal: Jewish reserve officer . On behalf of the Association of German Jews. R. Boll, Berlin 1914.
  • Jens Riede: The predominant image of the officer / reserve officer in the Prussian public . In: Jens Riede: Officer in the Empire - Embodiment of Society? A consideration of the military leaders with special consideration of Prussia 1871-1914 . Institute for General Educational Science of the Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg 2009, p. 99 ff. (= Hamburg theses on General Educational Science No. 2)
  • Jacob Rosenthal: The campaign of the German Jews for the "reserve officer" . In: Jacob Rosenthal: The honor of the Jewish soldier. The census of Jews in World War I and its consequences (= Campus Judaica, vol. 24). Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt 2007, ISBN 978-3-593-38497-9 , p. 17 ff.
  • Paul von Schoenaich : 100 exam questions for reserve officer aspirant and reserve officer exam. f. Onej.-Freiw. u. Reserve officer aspirants d. Cavalry . 2 parts, Ms. Engelmann, Leipzig 1905/06.
  • Friedrich-Karl Surén : The reserve officer and reserve officer-aspirant on the military training area: Practical manual during the command. In addition to an appendix for the management and the teachers . ES Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1909.
  • Wolfram Wette : The civil reserve officer . In: Wolfram Wette: Militarism in Germany. History of a warlike culture (= Fischer, 18149, The time of National Socialism). S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt 2011, ISBN 978-3-596-18149-0 , p. 60 ff.

Third Reich

  • Friedrich Altrichter : The officer of the leave status. Handbook for the officer and officer cadet for the leave status of all weapons . Mittler, Berlin 1936 [ed. 1935]. (15th revised edition 1943: The Reserve Officer )

Federal Republic of Germany

  • Hans-Ulrich Krantz : Handbook for reserve officers . Wehr & Wissen publishing company, Koblenz 1961.
  • Hans Moll, Gottfried Schädlich : Brief textbook for the reserve officer and (Res .-) officer candidate . 2 parts, ES Mittler & Sohn, Frankfurt am Main 1960.
  • Rudolf Warnke (with the assistance of Wilhelm Bierfelder ): The exercising reserve officer 1967. From the series of studies “The officer of the Bundeswehr” . Published by the Federal Minister of Defense, Command Staff of the Armed Forces I / 7, 1970. (= series of publications Innereführung. Series: guides, military sociological studies, booklet 8)


  1. In detail: career of officers of the reserve of the troop service, career of officers of the reserve of the medical service, career of officers of the reserve of the military music service, career of the officers of the reserve of the geoinformation service of the Bundeswehr, career of officers of the reserve of the military technical service, cf. especially annex (to § 3). Allocation of the career paths of the soldiers to the career groups of the men and women, the NCOs and the officers .
  2. ZDv 20/7 on the basis of Section 44 of the Soldiers ' Career Ordinance ( Ordinance on the Careers of Soldiers (Soldiers' Career Ordinance - SLV) . March 19, 2002, Section 44 ( online [accessed on March 25, 2014] Newly drafted by Bek. V. 19 August 2011 I 1813. Last amended by Art. 2 Paragraph 5 G of April 8, 2013 I 730). )

Web links

Commons : Reserve Officer  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. cf. Art. 1, The Federal President (Ed.): Order of the Federal President on the rank designations and the uniform of the soldiers . BPresUnifAnO. July 14, 1978 ( 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 May 31, 1996 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 746 ) has been changed).
  2. ^ Ordinance on the career paths of soldiers (Soldiers' Career Ordinance - SLV) . March 19, 2002 ( online [accessed on March 25, 2014] revised by notice of August 19, 2011 I 1813. Last amended by Art. 2 Par. 5 G of April 8, 2013 I 730).
  3. 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 ( ZDV 20/7 ( Memento of October 26, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) [PDF; accessed on March 26, 2014] DSK AP210100187, reprint January 2008).
  4. 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 Law) ).
  5. 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) ).
  6. Federal Minister of Defense (Ed.): Ordinance on the regulation of the military superior relationship (Superior Ordinance - VorgV) . June 4, 1956 ( online [accessed on March 25, 2014] last amended by Art. 1 No. 2 V of October 7, 1981 I 1129).
  7. ^ 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).
  8. ^ Career: Reserve officers ,, accessed on June 17, 2017.
  9. Magnus Pahl , Gorch Pieken , Matthias Rogg (eds.): Attention spies! Community services in Germany from 1945 to 1956 - catalog (=  Military History Museum of the Federal Armed Forces [Hrsg.]: Series of publications of the Military History Museum . Volume 11 ). 1st edition. Sandstein, Dresden, ISBN 978-3-95498-209-7 , pp. 382 f . (Illustration of the transport order, there March 30, 1962; incorrectly named March 20 in the text).
  10. Cf. Rudolf Warnke: The exercising reserve officer 1967. From the series of studies “The officer of the Bundeswehr” . Published by the Federal Minister of Defense, Command Staff of the Armed Forces I / 7, 1970. (= series of publications Innereführung. Series: guides, military sociological studies, booklet 8)
  11. ^ Peter Müller: Germany's Forgotten Soldiers , Welt Online, December 17, 2006
  12. Speech by the Federal Minister of Defense, Franz Josef Jung, on the occasion of the memorial service for the soldiers of the Bundeswehr killed in Kunduz on May 19, 2007 on May 23, 2007 in Cologne-Wahn, Federal Ministry of Defense , May 23, 2007
  13. Militarism and Science . In: Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff : Speeches from wartime . Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, Berlin 1915, p. 83 f.
  14. ^ Heiger Ostertag : Education, training and education in the Empire 1871–1918. Elite ideal, claim and reality of the officer corps . Lang, Frankfurt 1990, p. 296.
  15. ^ Friedrich Meinecke : The German catastrophe. Reflections and memories . Brockhaus, Wiesbaden 1946, p. 25.
  16. Esther Schwarz: Militarism in the Empire . In: Ursula Blömer, Detlef Garz (ed.): “We had a wonderful life ...” Jewish childhood and youth in the Empire 1871–1918 . BIS-Verlag, Oldenburg 2000, p. 53 ff.