Military Complaint Regulations

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Basic data
Title: Military Complaint Regulations
Abbreviation: WBO
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Military law
References : 52-1
Original version from: December 23, 1956
( BGBl. I p. 1066 )
Entry into force on: December 30, 1956
New announcement from: January 22, 2009
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 81 )
Last change by: Art. 12 G of July 21, 2012
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1583, 1594 )
Effective date of the
last change:
July 26, 2012
(Art. 18 para. 1 G of July 21, 2012)
GESTA : H005
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

In Germany, the Wehrbeschwerdeordnung (WBO) regulates one of the two legal protection options created exclusively for soldiers in addition to the law on the defense commissioner of the German Bundestag . Every soldier can file a formal complaint in accordance with the Military Complaint Regulations if he believes he has been treated incorrectly by superiors or agencies of the Bundeswehr or injured by comrades in breach of duty. If a decision on his complaint is not made within one month or if it is rejected, he can usually submit a further complaint (Section 16 WBO). The next higher disciplinary superior is responsible for further complaints.

The military complaint regulations are generally relevant for troop service and administrative complaints. The Military Disciplinary Code (WDO) applies to disciplinary complaints.

The rules on legal proceedings after unsuccessful complaints are also contained in the military complaints regulations. If the further complaint has not been opened (e.g. against ministerial decisions ) or is unsuccessful, an application for a court decision can be submitted . For judicial applications against complaints or other complaints on which the Federal Defense Minister or the inspectors of the armed forces (army, air force, navy) have decided, the Federal Administrative Court - Military Service Senate is primarily responsible (§§ 21, 22 WBO). For the other applications, one of the two troop service courts is responsible in the first instance (Section 17 WBO).


The first demonstrable beginnings of a military right of appeal in Germany can be found in the middle of the 15th century in state law articles and war articles. They gave the soldier the authority to lodge a complaint with his superiors , especially in the event of non-payment or delayed payment of wages as well as in the case of incorrect severance pay with food and clothing. Given the poorly developed sense of honor and justice of the soldiers in earlier centuries, complaints about unworthy treatment were initially of little importance. Until the 18th century there was e.g. For example, the officer has no other means at his disposal to restore his injured honor than to challenge his superior to a duel .

The introduction of general conscription and the influence of liberal ideas of the French Revolution favored the development of the right to complain into a real means of legal protection for citizens doing military service at the beginning of the 19th century. On December 28, 1824, the Bavarian King Maximilian I issued a service regulation that was exemplary for the time . As a so-called “ King's Order ”, it was a milestone in the history of the military right of appeal.

He granted soldiers of all ranks the right

To step out in response to the signs of the drum immediately following (...) gradually in the prescribed order and (...) to present his complaint as briefly as possible, with due decency and modesty. "

At the same time, however, he warned against “ improper, unfounded or even the laws of subordination violating lectures ”, which “had to be severely handled according to the circumstances ”.

With the regulations on official channels and the handling of complaints from military personnel in the army and navy and civil servants in the military and naval administration of March 3, 1873, Prussia not only replaced the individual regulations on complaints previously scattered in individual decrees and war articles, but created them thus at the same time the basis of a right to complain, which has become an example for all later complaint regulations. Officers could complain about superiors, NCOs and men as well as about comrades, the grounds for complaint being any act or omission that was perceived as wrong. Joint complaints were prohibited. A complaint could never be made before the end of the service and had to be lodged within three days. The decision, which had to be communicated in writing, stating the essential reasons, was made by the next disciplinary superior . The method of disciplinary handling of a complaint that was deemed justified was not disclosed to the complainant. It just had to be given to him to recognize that something had been done. The complainant, but also the disciplinary superior, had the right to lodge a further complaint " without bypassing an instance up to the highest point ".

In the years 1894/95 separate regulations were issued for the army and the navy . Each branch of the armed forces had, in turn, a special complaint system for officers and civil servants and another for non-commissioned officers and men. These complaint regulations were in effect until after the First World War . On November 15, 1921, a complaint regime was issued for members of the Reichswehr , which applied uniformly to all ranks and parts of the armed forces. For the first time, it provided for prior mediation for NCOs and crews.

The last German Complaint Regulations for members of the Wehrmacht from April 8, 1936, with almost the same content as the 1921 Complaint Regulations , was repealed with the other German military laws and ordinances by the Control Council Act No. 34 of August 20, 1946 and with the establishment of the Bundeswehr in Redrafted with regard to the self-image of the modern soldier as a citizen in uniform .

Web links


  • Dau / Frahm: Military Complaints Ordinance . 6th edition. F. Vahlen, Munich 2013, ISBN 3-8006-4510-6 .
  • Schnell / Ebert: Disciplinary law - criminal law - right of appeal of the Bundeswehr . 20th edition. Walhalla Fachverlag, Regensburg, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-8029-6294-X .
  • Frank Less: Soldiers Act Comment . Walhalla-Fachverlag, ISBN 978-3-8029-6469-5 .
  • Dirk W. Oetting: The soldier's right of appeal . 1st edition. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1966, ISBN 3-8029-6296-6 .
  • Barth / Bergsträsser: On the basic rights of the soldier . Isar Verlag, Munich 1957.
  • Hans-Günter Schwenck: Legal system and the Bundeswehr . Walhalla u. Praetoria Verlag, Regensburg 1979, ISBN 3-8029-6424-1 .