Central medical service of the Bundeswehr

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Central Medical Service of the Bundeswehr
- ZSanDstBw -

Logo of the central medical service
Lineup October 1, 2000
Country GermanyGermany Germany
Armed forces emblem armed forces
Type Military organizational area
structure Internal association badge Kdo SanDstBw Bundeswehr Medical Service Command
Strength 19,799 (June 2020) of
which women: 8,042

Assigned reservists :
13,900 (target)

Inspector of the medical service Medical doctor  Ulrich Baumgärtner
Deputy Inspector and Commander Health Facilities Genst doctor Stephan Schoeps

The Central Medical Service of the Bundeswehr ( ZSanDstBw ) is one of the military organizational areas of the Bundeswehr . The Central Medical Service of the Bundeswehr provides most of the medical service for all sub-areas of the Bundeswehr, including the army , air force , navy and base of the armed forces . The Bundeswehr Medical Service Command (KdoSanDstBw) is the higher command authority directly subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Defense . The medical personnel of the Bundeswehr is abbreviated as SanPers .

The under guidance of the part forces medical service union forces such as the on-board medical service and the navigation Medical Institute of Marine , the Center for Aerospace Medicine of the Air Force and the medical service of the army form professionally with the Central Medical Service of the Armed Forces the medical service of the armed forces .


The task of the Central Medical Service is to protect, maintain and restore the health of the soldiers .

This claim applies to the entire spectrum of medical care services. The Central Medical Service also uses its resources and resources to ensure medical care and assessment for soldiers at home and abroad. Foreign missions in particular pose health risks to which soldiers at home are not exposed. The maxim is to provide soldiers with medical care in the event of illness, an accident or injury while on deployment abroad, which ultimately corresponds to the professional standard in Germany.


Exercise setup of a field hospital
  • Medical care for soldiers in peace and in action. In action: ensuring a medical service that corresponds to the German quality of results anywhere and anytime
  • Repatriation of injured or sick soldiers from operations or during exercises ( STRATAIRMEDEVAC )
  • medical education and training for all medical personnel
  • Assistance for civil emergency services, e.g. B. in the event of disasters or special applications
  • Participation in the public rescue service (e.g. by providing emergency doctors , paramedics and / or emergency paramedics for the rescue helicopters of the Bundeswehr or civilian operators)
  • humanitarian foreign aid on behalf of the federal government
  • Manufacture, storage and distribution of medicines and medical supplies
  • Research in the field of military medicine
  • Laboratory tests for the fulfillment of public law tasks
  • Participation in the aptitude test (sampling, special aptitude tests) and care by the company doctor

Leadership and structure

The inspector of the medical service of the Bundeswehr with the rank of General Oberstabsarzt or Admiraloberstabsarzt leads the command of the medical service of the Bundeswehr as the highest command authority of the central medical service of the Bundeswehr and through this command ensures the operational readiness of the organizational area in terms of material and personnel. The inspector of the medical service reports to the inspector general of the Bundeswehr . All other departments in the organizational area are directly or indirectly subordinate to the Medical Service Command. Immediately below are the Bundeswehr hospitals , the command medical support mission support , the command Regional medical support , the Medical Academy of the Bundeswehr and some other medical support facilities.


Every soldier is trained in first aid in accordance with the Central Guideline (ZRL) A2-873 / 0-0-1 First Aid A / B medical training and supplementary medical training. This regulates the training content and organizational requirements for the medical training of first aiders A and B. The commanding officer of the medical academy of the Federal Armed Forces issues the instruction for training first aiders A (EH-A) .

Uniform and ranks

Bundeswehr shirt collar sandienst marine.jpg
Shirt collar with badge (until 2012)

Soldiers of the Central Medical Service of the Bundeswehr (ZSanDstBw) wear army, air force or naval uniform. The rank designations in the Central Medical Service of the Bundeswehr correspond to the ranks in the other areas of the Bundeswehr. Medical officers , who serve particularly frequently in the central medical service, have ranks that differ from the ranks of officers in other careers , depending on their license (human medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and pharmacy) and uniform wearer (air force and army uniform wearer or navy uniform wearer). Their rank designation can be read off from their career and license-specific rank badges , which are slightly different from those of the other officers. Soldiers in the lowest rank often carry the rank designation medical soldier .

Until 2012, the members of the Central Medical Service of the Bundeswehr also wore a round badge with a staff of Aesculapius on an iron cross on their shirt, which was attached to the right side of the shirt collar. For army and air force uniforms it was silver, for navy and generals it was gold. As of October 1, 2012, the medical service inspector decided to discard it.


Development of the medical service

On April 11, 1956, at the 89th session of the Defense Committee of the German Bundestag, the career of medical officers in the Bundeswehr (officer status for doctors) was determined, and a decision was made in favor of a medical system integrated into the armed forces.

In 1956 the Army Medical School was founded in Degerndorf am Inn . On October 1, 1956, the Wehrmedizinalamt was set up in Beuel (today a district of Bonn ) with initially three departments. One department each was located in Beuel, Koblenz and Remagen . At the same time, the 3 medical battalion in Bad Eilsen (to the 3rd Panzer Division and the 5 medical battalion in Degerndorf am Inn to the 5th Panzer Division ). Medical Battalion 3 was renamed Medical Battalion 1 in 1957 and assigned to the 1st Panzer Division .

In 1957 the first " Bundeswehr hospitals " for the medical care of soldiers in the then still young Bundeswehr were built in Detmold , Gießen , Glückstadt , Hamm , Kempten (Allgäu) and Koblenz . The hospitals basically only treated soldiers; civilian patients could only be cared for in emergencies or on the instructions of the Federal Minister of Defense . The hospitals were roughly divided into three categories (200/400/600 bed houses) based on the number of beds. The main medical depot was built in Wittlich . There were also three aviation medical examination centers u. a. in Hanover and Hamburg.

In May 1957 the army medical school moved from Degerndorf am Inn to the Luitpold barracks in Munich and was renamed the "Bundeswehr Medical School". On July 10, 1957 the officer status for pharmacists , food chemists , veterinarians and dentists was established . In 1957, the Institute for Military Medical Statistics and Reporting (WehrMedStatInstBw) was founded from Department II of the Military Medical Office and was subordinate to the Military Medical Office.

In mid-1957, the Sanitary and Health Inspection (InspSan) emerged from Sub-Division IV of the Armed Forces Department at the Federal Ministry of Defense . On August 24, 1957, with effect from September 2, 1957, General Doctor Theodor Joedicke was appointed as the first inspector of the medical and health services (InspSan) of the Bundeswehr. From 1958, the inspector of the specialist service was the highest specialist in the medical field with the right to inspect the directly subordinate central medical services of the Bundeswehr.

In 1958 the Bundeswehr hospital was opened in Amberg and Hamburg-Wandsbek . In 1959 the military hospital was set up in Bad Zwischenahn . Other facilities that were set up from 1959 included: the Aviation Medical Institute of the Air Force (FlMedInstLw) in Fürstenfeldbruck , the Submarine and Diving Physiological Institute of the Navy (UTPIM) in Kronshagen , six chemical examination centers (one of them in Munich), three hygienic-medical Examination centers, a veterinary medical examination center in Munich , seven medical depots, 291 medical areas, 44 dental stations and six x-ray display teams.

Armored infantry fighting vehicle (short) / armored ambulance (KrKwGep)

After the earthquake in Agadir in 1960 , the medical battalion 5 relocated with around 100 soldiers to Agadir , Morocco, and provided help on site together with other German armed forces. It is the Bundeswehr's first foreign deployment.

Another military hospital opened in Kronshagen in 1961 and in Wildbad in the Black Forest in 1962.


In August 1963, a scientific advisory board for the sanitary and health sector was formed at the Federal Ministry of Defense. On October 29, 1963, the Bundeswehr medical school was renamed the Bundeswehr Medical and Health Academy (SanAkBw).

On February 1, 1965, the Wehrmedizinalamt was renamed the Bundeswehr Medical Office (SanABw). As a command authority, it was responsible for basic medical and health matters in the armed forces and was directly subordinate to the inspector of the medical and health system . Department III was transferred to the Institute for Military Medicine and Hygiene. The Institute for Defense Pharmacy and Food Chemistry emerged from the chemical investigation center in the former Defense Division VI.

On April 1, 1965, the chemical investigation centers were reclassified to the Institute for Defense Pharmacy and Food Chemistry with the Pharmacy, Food Chemistry and Toxicology departments. In addition, the Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology of the German Armed Forces (InstPharmToxBw) was founded in Garching near Munich .

The Institute for Military Medical Statistics and Reporting became an independent institute in February 1965.

As of July 1965, the 2nd company of the mixed medical training battalion 865 was entrusted with the supply of the Allied Command Europe Mobile Forces (AMF).

The careers of medical officers and medical officer candidates were expanded in 1965.

In 1966, the microbiology laboratory group was founded at the Bundeswehr Medical School.

In January 1968, the subordination of the armed forces hospitals and the Medical, Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Authorities followed the Medical Office of the Bundeswehr (SanABw).

Association badge of the Central Medical Services of the Bundeswehr

In March 1970, the military organizational area Central Medical Services of the Bundeswehr (ZSanDBw) was created from the cross- armed forces medical facilities of the Bundeswehr: from the Medical Office of the Bundeswehr (SanABw) and the Academy of Medical and Health Services of the Bundeswehr (SanAkBw) as well as the summary of the institutes and medical staff Investigation centers for the Central Institute of the Medical Service of the Bundeswehr (ZInstSanBw).

The Bundeswehr hospitals were renamed Bundeswehr hospitals (BwKrhs) and opened in 1970 to civilian patients and were available without restriction. This served to keep the doctors in-practice as possible in the treatment of diseases and injuries that rarely occur among Bundeswehr soldiers.

On October 1, 1970, the Bundeswehr Central Hospital was renamed the Bundeswehr Central Hospital in Koblenz .

Expansion of the medical service

On February 19, 1975, the Federal Cabinet of the Helmut Schmidt government approved the proposal of the then Defense Minister Georg Leber to employ licensed doctors, dentists, veterinarians and pharmacists as medical officers in the Bundeswehr. After changing the Soldiers Act and the Military Disciplinary Code , the first five female medical officers began their service on October 1, 1975.

In 1975, the troop trial "medical model" began, a joint medical service in the Bundeswehr and for area-wide medical care.

From 1976 the Bundeswehr also used the only nuclear-safe main medical depot in Isteiner Klotz near Efringen-Kirchen .

In December 1976, the 2nd Company of the Medical Training Battalion 865 near Muradiye in Turkey provided help after a severe earthquake near Çaldıran . After two days, the company was attached to a hospital near Ferit Melen Airport to care for the injured .

In October 1977 the first state-recognized nursing school of the Bundeswehr was opened in the Bundeswehr hospital in Giessen .

Reorganization of the medical service

From April 1979, a local structure and establishment of 100 medical centers in the army, 35 medical centers in the air force and navy and 64 specialist groups in 29 Bundeswehr locations took place.

After the earthquake in Irpinia in 1980 , the medical training battalion transferred 865 to the crisis region.

From October 1983, medical officers were also admitted to the general staff course and admiral staff course.

All previous medical supplies were given the status of Bundeswehr pharmacies from December 1983.

In July 1984 the Academy of Sanitary and Health Services of the Bundeswehr was reorganized and three institutes were set up in Munich: Institute for Microbiology of the Bundeswehr (InstMikroBioBw), Institute for Radiobiology of the Bundeswehr (InstRadBioBw) and Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology of the Bundeswehr ( InstPharmToxBw).

From 1985, all professional medical officers were admitted to the basic course of advanced training level C.

In June 1989 the first female medical officer candidates were recruited with the opportunity to study human medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or pharmacy at civil universities and to be paid while studying. The upper limit of around 50 hires a year was lifted in 1992.

After the Manjil-Rudbar quake with a magnitude of 7.7 in the affected Iranian provinces of Gilan and Zanjan , the 2nd Company of the Medical Training Battalion 851 ( AMF ) with 61 soldiers was moved from Munich to Tehran , Iran , on June 24, 1990 . A field hospital is flown to Tehran on June 25, 1990 by the German Air Force with eight C-160 Transall transport aircraft. Landing at Rasht Airport (RAS) was not possible. The further transport to the earthquake area approx. 300 km away took place with Iranian trucks overland. Approximately 3,700 patients were treated in the field hospital within two weeks. The field hospital was handed over to the Iranian health authorities after three weeks and a total of 3960 treatments and ten operations.

After the German reunification

With the reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990, the soldiers of the medical service of the National People's Army (NVA) were taken over into the Bundeswehr, including 394 medical officers. The Military Medical Academy Bad Saarow of the NVA was converted into a Bundeswehr hospital in 1990 and into the civil clinic Bad Saarow in 1991 .

In January 1991 the career groups for teams and NCOs in the medical and military music service were opened for women. The Bundeswehr hospitals in Berlin and Leipzig were subordinated to the Sanitary Office (SanABw) in April 1991. The Bundeswehr Hospital in Berlin was the Berlin-Mitte military hospital of the National People's Army until 1990 .

From November 1991 to March 1992 a group of medical officers and medical NCOs initially took part in the United Nations Advance Mission in Cambodia (UNAMIC) in Cambodia , in order to provide medical care for UN personnel and to prepare medical care for the subsequent UNTAC mission.

On April 8, 1992, following a request from the Secretary General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros-Ghali , the German government decided to participate in the follow-up mission United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC). The construction of a field hospital began on May 22, 1992. For this, more than 350 tons of material had to be transported from Germany to Cambodia, until the operation of the UNTAC Field Hospital (GE) with around 60 beds on June 8, 1992 in Phnom Penh the clinical operation with 130 soldiers could be started under the direction of a medical staff officer. The German Field Hospital had two wards, an isolation ward, an intensive care unit and seven specialist departments. The German contingent also operated a medical center in Phnom Penh to supply the UN personnel deployed in the capital. Caring for the Cambodian population - initially only intended as an exception - became the focus of the humanitarian operation of the Bundeswehr in Cambodia. After a short time the hospital was called "House of Angels" by the local population. On October 31, 1993, the field hospital was closed. In the inpatient area, 3,489 patients and in the outpatient area 95,409 patients were treated in 17 months. On October 14, 1993 shortly before the end of the mission, Sergeant Alexander Arndt was murdered.

In April 1993, the inspector of the medical service Gunter Desch issued a “technical guideline for medical service supply to units of the Federal Armed Forces outside the Federal Republic of Germany”, which provides for the technical standard in Germany to also correspond to foreign deployments.

In May 1993 a medical company with up to 120 soldiers was relocated to Beledweyne for the first contingent of the German Somalia Support Association (DtUstgVbd Somalia) as part of the United Nations Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM II) . In a field hospital, more than 17,000 local patients were treated for humanitarian aid.

In 1993 the Bundeswehr Hospital in Detmold and the one in Osnabrück were closed. In 1994 the Bundeswehr hospitals in Munich and Wildbad were dissolved. This resulted in a reduction to ten Bundeswehr hospitals. At the same time, it was decided to create around 13 specialist medical centers as branch offices of the remaining Bundeswehr hospitals. In December 1995, the cardiac surgery center opened in the Bundeswehr Central Hospital in Koblenz.

Emergency room in the German field hospital of the NATO Implementation Force (IFOR) in Croatia 1996

During the deployment within the framework of the NATO-led Implementation Force (IFOR) and the German contingent GECONIFOR (L) (GErman CONtingent Implementation FORce (Land)), a field hospital was set up in Trogir in Croatia in 1996, initially with 50 and from 1996 with 100 beds and provided around 10,925 outpatient and 2,046 inpatient treatments for patients from 58 nations.

In 1996 a total of 2,849 women were employed in the medical service.

In 1997 the Bundeswehr hospital in Giessen was closed. In the same year the Medical Academy of the Bundeswehr (SanAkBw) i was set up in Munich, which emerged from the Academy of Medical and Health Services of the Bundeswehr. The monitoring institutes were dissolved and four institutes of the Central Institute of the Medical Service of the Bundeswehr (ZInstSanBw) were founded.

Bundeswehr reform and restructuring

Coat of arms of the management staff of the medical service (2002–2012)
Territorial organization of the medical commands

On October 1, 2000, as part of the Bundeswehr reform, the Central Medical Service of the Bundeswehr (ZSanDstBw) was set up with around 3,400 soldiers. It emerged from the central medical services at that time and through extensive centralization of medical services and resources of the armed forces. Excluded were only small areas such as the medical service board of the Navy , the airman medical service, as well as the medical service of the army and the medical service union Institute of Air Force and Navy that are organizationally further part of the respective part of force. The Central Medical Service of the Bundeswehr does not represent its own armed forces but, as a military organizational area (milOrgBer), performs cross-sectional tasks for the army , air force , navy and armed forces base .

In the new management structure, the inspector of the medical service of the Bundeswehr is the highest person in charge and leads the management staff of the medical service (Fü San) in the Federal Ministry of Defense , which was founded on May 6, 2002, and is head of the medical service. This is the responsibility of the Bundeswehr Medical Office (SanABw) and the Sanitary Command (SanFüKdo) established on July 3, 2001 .

As one of the two higher command authorities of the Central Medical Service of the Federal Armed Forces (ZSanDstBw), the medical command command (SanFüKdo) in Koblenz led the four medical commandos as well as the command rapid emergency medical service (Kdo SES) with the locations Leer and Schwanewede. One or two Bundeswehr hospitals , one medical regiment and one hospital regiment and all facilities for outpatient general medical, specialist and dental care were subordinate to each medical command .

The decision of the inspector of the medical service of the Bundeswehr, Admiraloberstabsarzt Karsten Ocker , of January 12th, 2006 to adapt the medical services of the intervention forces to the new operational requirements and thus to the security policy changes of the last years, especially in the areas of NATO (NRF) To meet the requirements of the European Union (EU BG) and the United Nations (UN) has made it necessary to adapt the structures.

Against this background, the Kdo SES (old) and the Medical Regiment 12 were dissolved in 2007. On July 1, 2007, a joint association was reorganized at the Leer and Schwanewede locations based on functional criteria . This also bears the designation chosen in 2003: Command Rapid Rescue Forces Medical Service "Ostfriesland" (Kdo SES). The Schwanewede location will be closed by the end of 2015.

On October 12, 2006 the center for operational training and exercises of the Bundeswehr medical service (ZEinsAusbÜbSanDst) was set up in Feldkirchen - Mitterharthausen and placed under the medical academy in order to be able to meet the increasing deployment of soldiers of the Bundeswehr abroad and the associated duty of care of the Bundeswehr .

Realignment of the Bundeswehr


On September 20, 2011, the then Federal Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière announced that as part of the realignment of the Bundeswehr it was planned to reduce the number of active soldiers in the central medical service to a maximum of 15,120. Of these, 14,120 are said to be professional / temporary soldiers and between 500 and 1,000 voluntary military service (FWD). In the course of the realignment, the structure of the organizational area was changed. Analogous to the structure of the army, air force, navy and armed forces base, the top management of the organizational area was bundled in the newly established Medical Service Command of the Bundeswehr , the command of which was taken over by the Inspector of the Bundeswehr Medical Service . The previously branched management structure consisting of the management staff of the medical service and the subordinate medical management command and medical office of the Bundeswehr was eliminated.

On October 1, 2012, the Bundeswehr Medical Service Command (KdoSanDstBw) was set up in Koblenz . The command is a higher command authority directly subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Defense with troop, specialist and specialist management responsibility for the Central Medical Service. The command is also the staff of the inspector of the Bundeswehr medical service. The command Medical Service has this part of the tasks of the Joint Staff of the Medical Service , of 31 December 2012 resolved Medical Forces Command and be dissolved on 31 December 2013. Medical Office of the Bundeswehr adopted.

On January 1, 2013, the Medical Service Support Command (Kdo SanEinsUstg) was set up in Weißenfels . It is the troop service command command for the units of the medical force (medical regiments and former hospital regiments) and performs the troop-providing tasks for the deployment and equivalent obligations of the central medical service of the Bundeswehr. Subordinate to him is the Emergency Medical Service Command (Kdo SES).

Also on January 1, 2013, the Regional Medical Service Support Command (Kdo RegSanUstg) was set up in Diez . It was temporarily the troop and specialist command command for the medical centers in Augustdorf, Bonn, Erfurt, Fritzlar, Idar-Oberstein, Cologne-Wahn and Leipzig, the medical centers in Aachen, Ahlen, Berlin, Burg, Cochem, Dresden, Frankenberg, Bad Frankenhausen , Germersheim, Havelberg, Höxter, Kerpen, Cologne, Lahnstein, Merzig, Münster, Rennerod, Rheine, Bad Salzungen, Schwielowsee, Schönewalde, Strausberg, Stadtallendorf, Weißenfels and Zweibrücken. Since 2014, 13 medical support centers have been under the command at the locations Augustdorf, Berlin, Cochem, Erfurt, Hammelburg, Kiel, Cologne, Kümmersbruck, Munich, Munster, Neubrandenburg, Stetten akM and Wilhelmshaven with a total of 128 medical care centers and the Sports Medicine Institute of the Bundeswehr (SportMedInstBw) in Warendorf. It ensures outpatient medical and dental care for soldiers in Germany as well as training and exercise support for the armed forces. In addition, it provides forces for emergency medical services (level / role 1). The command took over part of the tasks of the disbanded medical office of the Bundeswehr as well as the disbanded or disbanded medical commands.

The last component in the realignment of the Bundeswehr medical service is the restructuring of the institute landscape. Since 2017 (the plan was in 2016, but this turned out to be impossible) there are only two central institutes of the Bundeswehr medical service, namely in Kiel and Munich. There is still a branch of the Kiel Institute in Berlin and a branch of the Munich Institute in Koblenz. The specialist institutes are the previous institutes for Pharmacy and Toxicology , Microbiology and Radiobiology , plus the newly founded Institute for Preventive Medicine of the Bundeswehr . This arose from the Institute for Military Medical Statistics and Reporting of the German Armed Forces , Laboratory Department IV of the Central Institute of the German Armed Forces Koblenz and the Institute for Medical Work and Environmental Protection of the German Armed Forces .

See also


  • Christian Willy (Hrsg.): Worldwide in action - the medical service of the Bundeswehr 2010. Mission - Spectrum - Opportunities. Beta, Bonn 2009, 335 pages, ISBN 978-3-927603-91-2 . See Reinhard Platzek in: Specialized prose research - border crossing. Volume 8/9, 2012/2013 (2014), pp. 568-571.
  • Fast-reacting - robust - patient and employee-oriented. Interview with the inspector of the medical service of the Bundeswehr, General Oberstabsarzt Dr. Ingo Patschke . In: Military medicine and military pharmacy. 2013, issue 1, pp. 4-8.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Federal Ministry of Defense: Bundeswehr personnel figures . July 2020, accessed on July 30, 2020 (as of June 2020).
  2. Thomas Wiegold : The rough structure is in place. Eyes straight ahead !, September 21, 2011, accessed September 21, 2011 .
  3. augengeradeaus.de: Realization planning: Marine und Sanitätsdienst (PDF; 206 kB) from June 13, 2012 (accessed on January 15, 2013)
  4. ↑ The hour of birth with a solemn roll call. September 13, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2017 .