Rank insignia of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces

This article deals with the rank insignia of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces, as worn by the Austro-Hungarian Army after the reorganisation in 1867 until 1918.

In Austrian armed forces rank insignia are traditionally called Paroli (pl. Parolis) and are worn as gorget patch or collar tap, appliquéd to the gorget fore-part of the uniform coat, uniform jacket and/or battle-dress.

See also

Austro-Hungarian Army

Patrouilleführer der k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18
with celluloid distinction star and Edelweiss badge
K.u.k. Stabsfeuerwerker 1914-18
Stabsfeuerwerker with silk distinction stars (1914–18)
K.u.k. Major
Major with silver galloon

The rank insignia – so-called Paroli – of the Austro-Hungarian Army (1867–1918) were worn on the fore-part of the sleeves for jackets, but never on shoulder straps of shirts, service jackets, and dress uniforms. They were identically for the Common Army as well as to the Imperial-Royal Landwehr. However, the mountain corps wore additionally an edelweiss since 1907 behind the distinction star(s).

The rank or distinction stars of enlisted personnel and non-commissioned officers (NCO) were made from white celluloid, those of the ranks Feldwebel and Stabsfeldwebel have been made from white silk since 1914. The rank stars of the junior officer ranks normally consisted of relief metal.[1] Pertaining self procured uniforms, embroidered (from metallic fibre) rank stars might have been selected. The embroidered version was mandatory for staff officer ranks from major (OF3[2]) onwards.[3]

For all other k.k. badges of the Austrian-Hungarian mountain corps from OR1-rank[4] Jäger (en: hunter/ private) to the OF5-rank[2] Oberst (en: colonel)

Even on the field shirts, officer rank stars showed the button-colour of the uniform jacket.[5]

However, staff officers had additionally to wear a galloon on the uniform sleeve. If the galloon colour was silver, the colour of the buttons and the stars had to be golden and vice versa. On the galloon there was a serrated ornament. Generals wore always silver stars on golden galloon. From that derives, that the colour of the rank stars and galloons had nothing to do with the rank.

On coats rank insignias had never been worn. Officers of the so-called Kaiserschützen as well as of the "Landwehr infantry regiments number 4 and 27" (also Mountain infantry regiments 4 and 27) wore on their dress uniforms shoulder straps with the imperator´s insignias (not to be mixed up with the particular rank). For any rank description there had to be provided as well an equivalent expression in Hungarian language. Military units, who consisted mainly of Czech, Slovakian, and/ or Polish personal, used unofficially the rank term in their mother language. NCOs were counted to the enlisted personnel, and did not made up a separate rank group.


The Cadet (de: Kadett), in its position as aspirant to the professional officer career, ranked as well to the enlisted rank group. The cadet ranks counted to the appropriate nominal rank, however, behind the next higher rank. E.g. the "Cadet-gefreiter" was counted for the Gefreiter, however, behind the Corporal, who himself was lower than the "Cadet-corporal".

The characteristic of the cadet ranks was the so-called distinction-galloon on the sleeve ends. It was similar to the feldwebel-galloon, however, from gold colour instead of emperor-yellow. The particular rank was added as well.

K.u.k. Kadett 1908-14
K.u.k. Kadett 1914-18
Kadett k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1908-14
Kadett k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1914-18


The ranks Stabsfeldwebel, Stabsoberjäger, Stabsfeuerwerker and Stabswachtmeister were introduced to the k.u.k. armed forces in 1913. Before it was equivalent to the Bezirksfeldwebel (en: District-Sergeant) of the Gendarmerie (as part of the Landsturm; in Austria Landwehr). To the Feldwebel–uniform the Stabsfeldwebel/ Bezirksfeldwebel wore a headgear similar to the officers cap, however, without the characteristic golden officers distinction. In 1913 the sleeve distinction consisted of a 1.3 cm broad feldwbel-galloon made from imperator-yellow silk. Additionally three white rank celluloid stars were appliquéd. In June 1913 the rank insignia was changed. The galloon was now silver designed, and the rank stars were made from white silk and embroidered. In 1915 the ranks Stabsfeldwebel/ Stabswachtmeister und Offiziersstellvertreter (en: officer deputy) were summarised to the new rank group higher/ senior NCOs (de: höhere Unteroffiziere).

Designation Performance 1913–1914
K.u.k. Stabsfeldwebel 1913-14 K.u.k. Stabsfeuerwerker 1913-14 K.u.k. Stabsfeuerwerker 1913-14 Stabsoberjäger k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-14
Rank insignia
Rank description Stabsfeldwebel Stabsfeuerwerker
Mountain infantry
(Hungarian) (Törzsőrmester)
Designation Performance 1914–1918
K.u.k. Stabsfeldwebel 1914-18 K.u.k. Stabsfeuerwerker 1914-18 Stabsfeldwebel K.u.k. Eisenbahnregiment Stabsoberjäger k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1914-18
Rank insignia
Rank description Stabsfeldwebel
Railway regiment
Mountain infantry
(Hungarian) (Törzsőrmester)

One-year volunteer

The officer aspirant (de: Offizieranwaerter (OA)/ hu: Tisztjelölt) of the reserve undertook military training as a One-year volunteer (de: Einjaehrig-Freiwilliger (EF)/ hu: Egyévi Önkéntesi). The distinguishing badge was an imperator-yellow silk square-galloon on the upper part of the cuff. In 1915 the galloon was removed after passing the final examination. It was replaced by the so-called bright “EF-button” to be worn on the collar. The EF-button was fixed behind the nominal rank stars, and was removed on promotion to first officer grade.

Designation One-year volunteer with EF-button
Einjährig-Freiwilliger Kadett (k.u.k.) 1908-14 K.u.k. Einjährig-Freiwilliger Korporal 1915-18
Rank insignia
Rank description Cadet
One-year volunteer
One-year volunteer
(German) (Kadett EF) (Korporal EF)


The rank „Cadet officer-deputy“ (de: Kadett-Offiziersstellvertreter) was renamed to Ensign (de: Fähnrich) in 1908. The service insignia was a map case, made from black coloured leather, and to be worn on the waist belt. More characteristics were the black officer´s cap, however with imperator-yellow side ornament (instead from gold). The white celluloid star was replaced by a silver coloured star. Also in this year, the old term (rank) “Kadett-Feldwebel” was replaced by the new one Cadet (de. Kadett / hu: Hadapród).

Designation Cadet officer-deputy until 1908 Ensign 1908–1918
K.u.k. Kadett-Offziersstellvertreter bis 1908 Kadett-Offiziersstellvertreter k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-08 K.u.k. Fähnrich 1908-18 Fähnrich der k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1908-18
Rank insignia
Rank description Kadett-Offizierstellvertreter Fähnrich
(Hungarian) (Hadapród-Tiszthelyettes) (Zászlós)


In addition to the gorget rank insignias, the so-called distinction, the individual rank was indicated by the yellow distinction-galloon on the parade headgear, called shako (de: Tschako, hu: Csákó) a special version of helmet.

  • Gefreiter: Was to be identified with a yellow, black-carved 0.5 Austrian inch (~0.5 cm) thick round cord
  • Corporal: Wore a 1.5 Austrian inch (~4 cm) broad the yellow distinction-galloon (with zigzag trim ornament)
  • Zugsführer, Wachtmeister, and Cadet officer-deputy (Ensign): As to the corporal, however, concentric divided by a 1/24 Austrian inch (~1 mm) small black stripe

The distinction galloons and pipings for enlisted ranks and NCOs were made from yellow sheep's wool, for Ensigns since 1908 from yellow silk, and for officers from gold yarn. Pertaining private procured special editions to enlisted ranks and NCOs, silk trims have been allowed as well.

The Waffenfarbe (en: corps colour) had to be in correlation to the appropriate military unit, branch, or branch of service.

Tschako der k.u.k. Husaren-Regimenter 4, 5, 8 und 14
k.u.k. Hussars
(brick-red corps colour)

Tschako der k.u.k. Husaren-Regimenter 1 und 13
k.u.k. Hussars
(dark-blue corps colour)

Tschako der k.u.k. Husaren-Regimenter 7 und 10
k.u.k. Hussars
(light-blue corps colour)

Tschako der k.u.k. Husaren-Regimenter 6, 11, 15 und 16
k.u.k. Hussars
(ash-grey corps colour)

Tschako der k.u.k. Husaren-Regimenter 2, 3, 9 und 12
k.u.k. Hussars
(white corps colour)

K.u.k. Artillerietschako
k.u.k Artillery
(black corps colour)

Enlisted men, NCOs, officer aspirants, and officer-deputies

(RK means the Rangklasse (Rank classification. As the k.u.k. Army was never a member of NATO, it did not use NATO Rank Codes)

Grade Rank in German / Hungarian, equivalent in English Rank insignia
example description
Gemeine Infanterist / Honvéd | Jäger | Dragoner | Ulan | Husar | Kanonier | Pionier | Trainsoldat | Sanitätssoldat Soldat der k.u.k Infanterie mit Lichtdrap Egalisierung without rank insignia
Infantryman | Rifleman | Dragoon | Uhlan | Hussar | Gunner | Engineer | Trainmen | Medical
Charges Gefreiter / Őrvezető | Vormeister | Patrouilleführer Patrouilleführer k.u.k.Jäger & k.k. Landwehr 1 white star
Private 1st class | Gunner 1st class | Rifleman 1st class
Korporal / Tizedes | Geschütz-Vormeister | Gewehr-Vormeister | Unterjäger | Bataillonstambour | Waffenmeister 3. Klasse | Bataillonshornist Geschütz-Vormeister der k.u.k. Artillerie 2 white stars
Corporal | Gunner-Corporal | Machinegun-Corporal | Rifles-Corporal | Battalion drummer | Weapon master 3rd class | Battalion bugler
Zugsführer / Szakaszvezető | Kurschmied | Rechnungs-Unteroffizier 2. Klasse | Waffenmeister 2. Klasse K.u.k. Zugsführer Krapprote Egalisierung 3 white stars
Sergeant - Sgt) | Stabführer | Fiscal Sergeant 2nd class | Weapon master 2nd class
no RK Feldwebel / Őrmester | Wachtmeister | Feuerwerker | Oberjäger | Rechnungs-Unteroffizier I. Klasse | Waffenmeister I. Klasse | Beschlagmeister I. Klasse | Regimentstambour | Regimentshornist | Einjährig-Freiwilliger-Feldwebel | Kadett-Feldwebel (only until 1908) K.u.k. Feldwebel 3 white stars, 13mm yellow silk galloon
Master-sergeant | Cavaly master-sergeant | Artillery master-sergeant] | Rifles master-sergeant | Fiscal Sergeant 1st class | Weapon master 1st class | Master-Blacksmith 1st class | Regiment drummer | Regiment bugler | Feldwebel - volunteer serving one year | Kadet-Feldwebel
no RK Stabsfeldwebel / Törzsőrmester | Stabswachtmeister | Stabsfeuerwerker | Stabsoberjäger K.u.k. Stabsfeuerwerker 1913-14
  • 3 white stars, 13mm imperial-yellow silk galloon with 2mm broad black middle strap, 3mm above a 6mm braiding
  • since June 1914: silver galloon with silk stars
1st Sergeant | Cavalry 1st sergeant | Artillery 1st sergeant | Rifles 1st sergeant K.u.k. Stabsfeuerwerker 1914-18
no RK Kadett-Offiziersstellvertreter / Hadapród-Tiszthelyettes, cancelled in 1908 K.u.k. Kadett-Offziersstellvertreter bis 1908 Golden galloon as to Feldwebel with 1 silver-plated star
Kadett / Hadapród established in 1908 K.u.k. Kadett 1908-14
  • 3 white stars on 13mm gold galloon
  • since June 1914: 3 stars from white silk on 13mm gold galloon
Cadet K.u.k. Kadett 1914-18
no RK Offiziersstellvertreter / Tiszthelyettes since 1915 K.u.k. Offiziersstellvertreter 1915-1918 one 13mm silver galloon, above one 6mm galloon with one brass star
Officer deputy
no RK Fähnrich / Zászlós K.u.k. Fähnrich 1908-18 1 silver star on 13mm on 13mm gold galloon

Officers and officials

Grade Rank in German - Hungarian, equivalent in English Rank insignia
RK XII Praktikant (N.N.) 1 rosette with 13mm gold galloon
RK XI Untertierarzt / Akzessist / Assistent / Lehrer 2. Klasse / Fechtmeister 2. Klasse / Wirtschaftsadjunkt 1 gold/silver embroidered star rosette
Veterinarian junior grade/ Accessist / Assistant (civilian army branch)/ Teacher 2nd class (civilian army branch)/ Fencing-master 2nd class / Economy adjunct (civilian army branch)
RK XI Leutnant - Hadnagy / Assistenz-Arzt / Leutnant-Rechnungsführer 1 gold/silver embroidered star
Lieutenant / Assistant medical doctor / Fiscal lieutenant
RK XI Tierärztlicher Assistent / Tierarzt / Apotheker / Offizial / Lehrer 1. Klasse / Fechtmeister 1. Klasse / Wirtschaftsunterverwalter / Kriegswirtschaftskommissär 2 gold/silver embroidered star rosettes
Veterinarian assistant / Veterinarian / Pharmacist / Official (civilian army branch)/ Teacher 1st class (civilian army branch)/ Fencing instructor 1st class / Economy manager junior grade (civilian army branch)/ War economy commissioner (civilian army branch)
RK X Artillerieingenieur-Assistent / Militär-Bauingenieur-Assistent 2 gold/silver embroidered stars
Artillery assistant engineer / Military construction engineer assistant
RK X Oberleutnant - Főhadnagy / Oberarzt / Oberleutnant-Auditor / Oberleutnant-Rechnungsführer
First Lieutenant / Assistant medical director / Auditor first lieutenant / Fiscal first lieutenant
RK IX Tierärztliche Adjunkt / Obertierarzt / Oberapotheker / Oberoffizial / Oberlehrer / Oberfechtmeister / Wirtschaftsverwalter / Kriegswirtschafts-Oberkommissär / Forstverwalter 3 gold/silver embroidered star rosettes
Veterinarian adjunct / Veterinarian senior grade/ Pharmacist senior grade/ Official senior grade (civilian army branch) / Teacher senior grade/ Fencing-instructor senior grade / Economy manager (civilian army branch)/ War economy first commissioner (civilian army branch)/ Forest-administrator (civilian army branch)
RK IX Sekretär der Militärkanzlei Sr. Majestät / Unterintendant / Artillerie-Ingenieur / Militär-Bauingenieur 3 gold/silver embroidered stars
Secretary of the military office of His Majesty / Director junior grade/ Artillery engineer / Military construction engineer
RK IX Hauptmann - Százados / Rittmeister / Regimentsarzt / Hauptmann-Auditor / Hauptmann-Rechnungsführer
Captain / Captain cavalery / Regimental medical doctor / Captain auditor / Fiscal Captain
RK VIII Stabsarzt / Stabstierarzt / Stabsapotheker / Technischer Rat / Rechnungsrat / Zahlmeister / Registrator / Artilleriezeugsverwalter / Verpflegsverwalter / Oberlehrer / Wirtschaftsoberverwalter / Kriegswirtschafts-Rat 1 gold/silver embroidered star rosette on 33mm gold/silver galloon
Veterinarian senior grade/ Pharmacist senior grade / Technical consultant (civilian army branch)/ Financing consultant (civilian army branch)/ Paymaster / Registry official / Artillery supply administrator / Food administrator / Senior teacher / Senior economy administrator / War economy consultant
RK VIII Sekretär der Militärkanzlei Sr. Majestät / Intendant / Artillerie-Oberingenieur 3. Klasse / Militär-Bauoberingenieur 3. Klasse 1 gold/silver embroidered star on 33mm gold/silver galloon
Secretary of the military office of His Majesty / Intendant / Senior artillery engineer 3rd class / Military construction engineer 3rd class
RK VIII Major - Őrnagy / Stabsarzt / Major-Auditor
Major / Surgeon / Major auditor
RK VII Außerordentlicher Professor / Oberstabstierarzt / Oberstabsapotheker 2. Klasse / Technischer Oberrat / Artillerie-Oberzeugsverwalter 2. Klasse / Oberrechnungsrat 2. Klasse / Kassendirektor 2. Klasse / Oberverpflegsverwalter / Registratur-Unterdirektor / Wirtschaftsdirektor / Kriegwirtschafts-Oberrat 2. Klasse 2 gold/silver embroidered star rosettes on 33mm gold/silver galloon
Extraordinary professor (civilian army branch)/ Major veterinarian / Major pharmacist 2nd class / Senior technical adviser / Senior artillery supply administrator 2nd class (civilian army branch)/ Senior financing consultant 2nd class (civilian army branch)/ Cashier`s office director 2nd class / Senior food administrator / Registry official director junior grade/ Economy director / Senior war economy consultant 2nd class
RK VII Hofsekretär der Militärkanzlei Sr. Majestät / Sekretär der Militärkanzlei Sr. Majestät / Oberintendant 2. Klasse / Artillerie-Oberingenieur 2. Klasse / Militär-Bauoberingenieur 2. Klasse 2 gold/silver embroidered stars on 33mm gold/silver galloon
Court-secretary of the military office of His Majesty / Secretary of the military office of His Majesty / Senior director 2nd class / Senior artillery director 2nd class / Senior military construction engineer 2nd class
RK VII Oberstleutnant - Alezredes
Lieutenant colonel
RK VI Ordentlicher Professor / Oberstabsapotheker 1. Klasse / Technischer Rat 1. Klasse / Technischer Oberrat 1. Klasse / Artillerie-Oberzeugsverwalter 1. Klasse / Oberrechnungsrat 1. Klasse / Registratur-Direktor / Kassendirektor 1. Klasse / Baurechnungsrat 1. Klasse / Kriegswirtschafts-Oberrat 1. Klasse 3 gold/silver embroidered stars rosettes on 33mm gold/silver galloon
Ordinary professor(civilian army branch) / Major pharmacist 1st class / Technical adviser 1st class / Senior technical adviser 1st class /Senior artillery supply administrator 1st class (civilian army branch)/ Senior financing consultant 1st class (civilian army branch)/ Registry director (civilian army branch)/ Cashier`s office director 1st class / Senior war economy consultant 1st class (civilian army branch)
RK VI Sektionsrat der Militärkanzlei Sr. Majestät / Regierungsrat der Militärkanzlei Sr. Majestät / Oberintendant 1. Klasse / Artillerie-Oberingenieur 1. Klasse / Militär-Bauoberingenieur 1. Klasse' 3 gold/silver embroidered stars on 33mm gold/silver galloon
Section-consultant of the military office of His Majesty / Senior administrative officer of the military office of His Majesty / Senior director 1st class / Senior artillery engineer 1st class / Senior military construction engineer 1st class
RK VI Oberst - Ezredes / Oberstabsarzt 1. Klasse / Oberst-Auditor
RK V Hofrat der Militärkanzlei Sr. Majestät / Generalintendant / Artillerie-Generalingenieur / General-Bauingenieur / Hofrat der Mil. Tierärztlichen Hochschule / Ministerialrat / Kriegwirtschafts-Generalrat 1 silver embroidered star on 33mm gold galloon
Court-consultant of the military chancellery office of His Majesty / General-indendant / Artillery general-engineer / Construction general-engineer / Court-consultant of the veterinarian high school / Superior counsellor in a ministerial department / War economy director-general
RK V Generalmajor - Vezérőrnagy / Generalstabsarzt / General-Auditor 1 silver embroidered star on 33mm gold galloon
RK IV Sektionschef 2 silver embroidered stars on 33mm gold galloon
Section chief
RK IV 2 silver embroidered stars on 33mm gold galloon
  • Major-general / General-Chief Surgeon
  • General-Chiefauditeur
  • General der Infanterie - Gyalogsági Tábornok
  • General der Kavallerie - Lovassági Tábornok
  • Feldzeugmeister - Táborszernagy
3 silver embroidered stars on 33mm gold galloon
RK II Generaloberst - Vezérezredes since 1915 3 silver embroidered stars, underlaid by a 40mm silver embroidery wreath on 33mm gold galloon
RK I Feldmarschall - Tábornagy 33mm gold embroidery with oak leaves directed below

Members of the military personal status

Enlisted men

Designation Enlisted/Private ranks
None Jäger der k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18 None None K.u.k Husar mit dunkelblauer Attila None None None None
Rank insignia
Rank description Infanterist Jäger Dragoner Ulan Husar Kanonier Pionier Trainsoldat Sanitätssoldat
Branch Infantry Mountain infantry Cavalry Artillery Military
Supply Medical
(English) (Infantry man) (Jäger) (Dragoon) (Lancer) (Hussar) (Gunner) (Engineer) (Private) (Medical)
Designation Enlisted/Lance-corporal ranks
Patrouilleführer der k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18 Patrouilleführer k.u.k.Jäger & k.k. Landwehr Patrouilleführer der k.u.k. Husaren mit lichtblauer Attila Gefreiter der k.u.k. Maschinengewehrtruppe Gefreiter der k.u.k. Infanterie Gefreiter der k.u.k.Truppenpioniere Vormeister der k.u.k. Artillerie
Rank insignia
Rank description Patrouilleführer Gefreiter Vormeister
k.k. Mountain
branch Rifles Cavalry Infantry Military
(equivalent) (Rifle 1st class) (Private 1st class) (Gunner 1st class)
Designation Enlisted / Corporal ranks
Korporal k.u.k. Radfahrtruppe Korporal der k.u.k. Militärmusik kpl Unterjäger der k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18 None Geschütz-Vormeister der k.u.k. Artillerie None K.u.k. Korporal in einem Trägertrupp None
Rank insignia
Rank description Korporal k.u.k.
Korporal k.u.k.
Unterjäger Geschütz-Vormeister Korporal Korporal Korporal
Branch Infantry Mountain infantry Cavalry Artillery Military
Supply Medical
(English) (Cpl k.u.k. cyclistes) (Regimental musician corporal) (Mountain infantry corporal) (Corporal) (Gunner-corporal) (Corporal) (Corporal porter unit) (Corporal)

NCO ranks

Designation Enlisted / Sergeant ranks
Rank insignia K.u.k. Zugsführer Krapprote Egalisierung Zugsführer k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18 None None None Zugsführer der k.u.k. Kraftfahrtruppe None
Rank description Zugsführer Rechnungs-
2. Klasse
Zugsführer Zugsführer Kurschmied Waffenmeister
2. Klasse
Zugsführer Zugsführer


Branch Infantry Mountain infantry Cavalry Artillery Military
Supply Medical
(English) (Zugsführer) (Viscal NCO
2nd class)
(Zgf) (Zgf cavalry) (Blacksmith) (Ordnance Sergeant
2nd class)
(Zgf mil. engineering) (Zgf vehicle troops) (Zgf medical corps)
Designation Feldwebel / Master Sergeant ranks
Rank insignia K.u.k. Feldwebel Oberjäger k.k. Gebrigstruppe 1907-18 K.u.k. Wachtmeister K.u.k. Feuerwerker Stabführer k.u.k. Regimentsmusik
Rank description Feldwebel Kadett-Feldwebel Oberjäger Kadett-Oberjäger Wachtmeister Kadett-Wachtmeister Feuerwerker Kadett-Feuerwerker Stabführer (Musikkorps)
Branch Infantry Mountain infantry Cavalry Artillery Military band
(English) (Master-sergeantl) (Cadet master-sergeant) (Rifles master-sergeant) (Cadet master-sergeant ) (Cavalry
(Cadet master-sergeant) (Artillery master-sergeant) (Cadet master-sergeant) (Tambour-Major)
Designation Stabsfeldwebel / First Sergeant ranks
1913–1914 1914–1918 1913–1914 1914–1918 1913–1914 1914–1918 1913–1914 1914–1918 1906–1918
Rank insignia K.u.k. Stabsfeldwebel 1913-14 K.u.k. Stabsfeldwebel 1914-18 Stabsoberjäger k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-14 K.u.k. Stabsfeuerwerker 1913-14 K.u.k. Stabsfeldwebel 1914-18 K.u.k. Stabsfeuerwerker 1913-14 K.u.k. Stabsfeuerwerker 1914-18 K.u.k. Militär-Kapellmeister (Gelbe Knöpfe) Militär-Kapellmeister der k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18
Rank description Stabsfeldwebel Stabsoberjäger Stabswachtmeister Stabsfeuerwerker Militärkapellmeister
Branch Infantry Mountain infantry Cavalry Artillery Military band
(English) (1st sergeant) (Rifles 1st sergeant) (Cavalry 1st sergeant) (Artillery 1st sergeant) (Military bandmaster)

Higher Staff NCO-ranks and officer aspirant (OA) ranks

Designation cancelled 1908 established 1908 1908–1918 1915–1918
Rank insignia K.u.k. Kadett-Offziersstellvertreter bis 1908 K.u.k. Kadett 1908-14 K.u.k. Kadett 1914-18 Einjährig-Freiwilliger Kadett (k.u.k.) 1908-14 K.u.k. Offiziersstellvertreter 1915-1918 K.u.k. Fähnrich 1908-18
Rank description Kadett-Offiziersstellvertreter Kadett Kadett
Offiziersstellvertreter Fähnrich
English Cadet officer-deputy Cadet Cadet
volunteer serving one year
Warrant officer Ensign


The different colors of the rank patches and buttons on the tunic are the marks for identifying the infantry regiments (except Generals)
Description Rank
German Hungarian English Army Mountain infantry
Low grade officer ranks
Leutnant also:
  • Assistenz-Arzt
  • Leutnant-Rechnungsführer
Hadnagy Second lieutenant RK XI
Kuk Leutnant
Leutnant k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18
Oberleutnant also:
  • Oberarzt
  • Oberleutnant-Auditor
  • Oberleutnant-Rechnungsführer
Főhadnagy First lieutenant RK X
Kuk Oberleutnant
Oberleutnant k.k. Gebirgstruppe1907-18
Captain ranks
Hauptmann also:
  • Rittmeister
  • Regimentsarzt
  • Hauptmann-Auditor
  • Hauptmann-Rechnungsführer
Százados Captain RK IX
Kuk Hauptmann
Hauptmann k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18
Staff officer ranks
Major also:
  • Stabsarzt
  • Major-Auditor
Őrnagy Major RK IIX
Kuk Major
Major k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18
Oberstleutnant also:
  • Oberstabsarzt 2. Klasse
  • Oberstleutnant-Auditor
Alezredes Lieutenant colonel RK VII
Kuk Oberstleutnant
Oberstleutnant k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-1918
Oberst also:
  • Oberstabsarzt 1. Klasse
  • Oberst-Auditor
Ezredes Colonel RK VI
Kuk Oberst
Oberst k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18

The embroideries of the collars of the ranks major to colonel were always in the same color as the tunic buttons (silver/gold). The rank stars were converse (silver embroidery - golden star(s))
The ranks lieutenant to captain had stars in the same color as the tunic buttons.


Designation Commander in chief and generals
Kuk FieldMarsh 1918 Kuk ColGen 1918 Kuk GenBranch 1918 Kuk Feldmarschall-Lt 1918 Kuk GenMaj 1918
Rank insignia
Rank description
General der Waffengattung   Feldmarschall-Leutnant
  • General-Oberstabsarzt
  • General-Chefauditor

  (equiv. Generalleutnant)

Colonel general
General of the branch
  • General of the infantry
  • General of the cavalry
  • General of the artillery
  Lieutenant field-marshal: also
  • General-Chief Staff Surgeon
  • General-Chiefauditeur

  (equiv. Lieutenant general)

Major general
Gorget patches on the tunic of a k.k. Landwehr rifle
Gefreiter der k.u.k. Maschinengewehrtruppe
Gorget patch, Gefreiter machine-gun unit

In the course of uniform reorganisation pertaining the Imperial-Royal Landwehr (de: k.k. Landwehr), the service coat (de: Waffenrock or Uniformrock) of all enlisted personnel was substituted by a tunic (de: Bluse) in general. The rotary-coloured gorget patch was replaced by a standard gorget patch (de: Paroli) in grass-green with rank insignias. According to the special function, e.g. as member to a "machine gun unit", the Edelweiss on the gorget patch was additional.

Enlisted personnel insignia of Guards formations

In the Austrian-Hungarian armed forces there existed five guard units. In two of them served exclusively officer grades. The remaining three of them were called “Enlisted men guards” (de: Mannschaftsgarden).

Rank Description of the rank insignia
German English
Gardeinfanterist / Gardereiter Guardsman / Guard trooper 15mm broad imperial yellow silk galloon; three white stars from silk; scarlet corps colour
Gardekorporal (Guard infantry) Guard corporal 18mm broad imperial yellow silk galloon (divided by a 1mm broad black stripe); three white stars from silk; scarlet corps colour
Gardezugsführer (Guard infantry) Guard sergeant 20mm broad imperial yellow silk galloon (divided by a 1mm broad black stripe); three white stars from silk; scarlet corps colour
2. Gardewachtmeister (Guard cavalry) Guard master sergeant 2nd class 20mm broad imperial yellow silk galloon (divided by a 1mm broad black stripe); three white stars from silk; scarlet corps colour
Gardefeldwebel (Guard infantry) Guard master sergeant 22mm broad imperial yellow silk galloon (divided by a 1mm broad black stripe); three white stars from silk; scarlet corps colour
1. Gardewachtmeister (Guard cavalry) Guard master sergeant 1st class 22mm broad imperial yellow silk galloon (divided by a 1mm broad black stripe); three white stars from silk; scarlet corps colour
Trabanten-Leibgarde Companion life-guards 18mm broad imperial yellow silk galloon (divided by a 1mm broad black stripe); three white stars from silk; ponceau-red corps colour
Vizeskondewachtmeister der Trabanten-Leibgarde 2nd vice master sergeant of the companion life-guards 20mm broad imperial yellow silk galloon (divided by a 1mm broad black stripe); three white stars from silk; ponceau-red corps colour
(Guard trooper)
K.u.k. Gardekorporal
(Guard corporal)
(Guard sergeant)
2. Gardewachtmeister
(Guard cavalry master sergeant 2nd class)
(Guard feldwebel)
1. Gardewachtmeister
(Guard cavalry master sergeant 1st class)
Trabanten Garde
(Guard - Companion life-guards)
(2nd vice master sergeant of the companion life-guards)

There was no difference between the rank insignias of the officers in comparison to regular troops.

Estate riflemen troops

k.k. Estate riflemen units and companies were established in the 15th/16th century and did belong to the so-called Landwehr (en: home guard). However, k.k. Estate riflemen troops did not wear regular uniforms. After k.k. Estate riflemen troops had to be involved in 1915 to regular military engagement, the Austrian-Hungarian administration was forced to procure these units with regular uniforms. To emphasise the character and status of the Estate riflemen, they did wear slightly different rank insignias. Officer collar patches showed a gold embroidered rosette. Pertaining enlisted personnel and NCOs the rosette was silver embroidered. Because silver and gold embroidery was deficit, the rosettes were finally replaced by celluloid stars, as this was the case to regular troops. The rank insignias were fixed on the collar patches (de: Parolis) showing at the background the corps colour of the Riflemen infantry (also: Hunter-troops or Riflemen-troops; de: Jägertruppe) "Grass-green". Tyrolese collar patches showed the silver metallic "Tyrol eagle" behind the rosette/star. For the Vorarlberg estate riflemen the eagle was replaced by a white metallic shield with the "Vorarlberg coat of arms".

Major was the highest rank of the Estate riflemen troops.

Unterjäger der Standschützen von Vorarlberg
Unterjäger (Vorarlberg)
(Corporal - Vorarlberg)
Zugsführer der Standschützen von Vorarlberg
Zugsführer (Vorarlberg)
(Master corporal - Vorarlberg)
Leutnant der Standschützen von Tirol
Leutnant (Tirol)
(2nd Lieutenant - Tyrol)
Oberleutnant der Standschützen von Tirol
Oberleutnant (Tirol)
(1st Lieutenant - Tyrol)
Hauptmann der Standschützen von Vorarlberg
Hauptmann (Vorarlberg)
(Captain - Vorarlberg)
Major der Standschützen von Tirol
Major (Tirol)
(Major - Tyrol)

Military officials

As regards to military officials, there were in force exactly the same rules who applied to military officer ranks. However, military officials wore only four-leaved star rosettes instead of the rank stars (the only exception: officials with explicit star ranks!).

Fiscal officials (de: Rechnungsführer) in line service have been provided always with silver color buttons.

Further exemptions from the principal rule are described as follows
  • Military officials with port epée: Staff ranks wore a galloon with applied "cross-band ornament" (de: Kreuzbandmuster)
    • Military commissariat official: in the Common Army – golden color buttons; in the home guard (de: Landwehr) silver color buttons
    • Military construction engineers: in the Common Army – silver color buttons; in the home guard golden color buttons),
  • Military officials without port epée: Staff ranks wore a galloon with "waved cross-band ornament" (de: gewelltes Kreuzbandmuster)
    • Auditors: in the Common Army gold color buttons; in the Home guard silver buttons
    • Military surgeon officer corps: in the Common Army gold color buttons; in the Home guard silver buttons (with the appropriate variations of collar)
Aspirant im k.u.k. Eisenbahn- und Telegrafenregiment
Rank class XII - here: Aspirant in the Railway regiment or Telegraph regiment
K.u.k. Untertierarzt
Rank class XI - here: Untertierarzt
(Sub veterinarian)
K.u.k. Kassenoffizial
Rank class X – here: Kassenoffizial
(Cashier´s official)
K.u.k. Artilleriezeugsoberoffizial
Rank class IX – here: Artilleriezeugs-oberoffizial
(Artillery ordnance senior official)
K.u.k. Stabsapotheker
Rank class VIII – here: Stabsapotheker
(Staff pharmacist)
K.u.k. Oberintendant 2. Klasse
Rank class VII - here: Oberintendant 2. Klasse
(Senior commissioner 2nd class)
K.u.k. Oberverpflegsverwalter 1. Klasse
Rank class VI - here: Oberverpflegs-verwalter 1. Klasse
(Senior food supply administrator 1st class)


The gallery below shows examples of different kinds of Adjustierung (en: uniforms).

Patrouilleführer der k.u.k. Jägertruppe
k.u.k. Patroilleführer, Feldjäger
(k.u.k. Rifleman 1st class, light infantry)
Hellblaue Attila der k.u.k. Husarenl
Korporal der Husaren
(Corporal of the Hussars)
Einjährig Freiw. Korporal der k.u.k. Bosnisch-Hercegowinischen Infanterie
Einjährig-Freiwilliger, Korporal
(Volunteer serving one year, Corporal)
Zugsführer im k.u.k. InfRgt 34
Zugsführer (Ungarische Uniform)
(Sergeant Hungarian uniform)
Stabswachtmeister der k.u.k. Traintruppe
Stabswachtmeister (der Traintruppe) vor 1913
(Cavalry 1st sergeant, train troops before 1913)
Stabsfeldwebel im k.u.k. InfRgt 68
Stabsfeldwebel (ungarische Uniform) nach 1913
(1st Sergeant, Hungarian Uniform)
Fähnrich k.u.k. InfRgt 90
Fähnrich (Deutsche Uniform)
(Ensign, German uniform)
Oberleutnant der Landeschützen
(1st Lieutenant Mountain Infantry)
Hauptmann im k.u.k. Generalstab
Hauptmann im Generalstab
(Captain in the general staff)
Hauptmann im k.u.k. InfRgt 97
Hauptmann (Deutsche Uniform)
(Captain, German uniform)
Kuk-Feldmarschall Gala 1918
Feldmarschall Gala
(Field marshal Gala tunic)
K.u.k. Verpflegsakzessist
(Food supply accessionist/ Official)

Austro-Hungarian Navy

For the rank insignias and ranks in the Austro-Hungarian Navy see:
⇒ see main article Ranks in the Austro-Hungarian Navy


  • Schriften des Heeresgeschichtlifhen Museums in Wien Das k.u.k. Heer im Jahre 1895 Edition Leopold Stocker Graz

1997 ISBN 3-7020-0783-0

  • Rest,Ortner,Illming Des Kaisers Rock im 1. Weltkrieg Edition Militaria Vienna 2002 ISBN 3-9501642-0-0


  1. ^ Rank stars who consisted of relief metal were officially procured by the military administration
  2. ^ a b The abbreviation "OF" stands for "officer / officier"
  3. ^ Austro-Hungarian Army staff officer ranks from major (OF3) onwards had to were embroidered rank stars
  4. ^ The abbreviation "OR" stands for "Other Ranks / fr: sous-officiers et militaires du rang / ru:другие ранги, кроме офицероф"
  5. ^ Officer rank stars basically showed the button-colour of the uniform jacket i.g. gold coloured or silver coloured respectively brass coloured or white alloy.

Adjustierung (literal: adjustation | AT: [Dienstkleidung], en: service dress) is derived from the German (Austrian) verb adjustieren (AT: [ausrüsten], en: equip) is in Austrian armed forces the generic term to a defined type uniform, as well as the paraphrase to a specific dress and equipment to be worn by military personnel. However, another historical designation to military uniform, e.g. in the Austro-Hungarian Army (1867–1918), was Montur, and in the Prussian Army Montierung.

Today the Austrian Bundesheer discriminates the different kinds of Adjustierung (mil. dress and equipment | adjustation) as follows:

Paradeadjustierung (en: parade adjustation)

Marschadjustierung / Feldadjustierung (en: march adjustation / field adjustation)

Gebirgsadjustierung (en: mountain adjustation)In the German Bundeswehr is Anzugsordnung (en: dress order) the equivalent to the Austrian Adjustierung. Until 1945 the designation Waffenrock was commonly used.

Austro-Hungarian Army

The Austro-Hungarian Army (German: Landstreitkräfte Österreich-Ungarns; Hungarian: Császári és Királyi Hadsereg) was the ground force of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy from 1867 to 1918. It was composed of three parts: the joint army (Gemeinsame Armee, "Common Army", recruited from all parts of the country), the Imperial Austrian Landwehr (recruited from Cisleithania), and the Royal Hungarian Honvéd (recruited from Transleithania).

In the wake of fighting between the Austrian Empire and the Hungarian Kingdom and the two decades of uneasy co-existence following, Hungarian soldiers served either in mixed units or were stationed away from Hungarian areas. With the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 the new tripartite army was brought into being. It existed until the disestablishment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following World War I in 1918.

The joint "Imperial and Royal Army" (kaiserlich und königliche Armee or k.u.k.) units were generally poorly trained and had very limited access to new equipment because the governments of the Austrian and Hungarian parts of the empire often preferred to generously fund their own units instead of outfitting all three army branches equally. All of the Honvédség and the Landwehr regiments were composed of three battalions, while the joint army k.u.k. regiments had four.

The long-standing white infantry uniforms were replaced in the later half of the 19th century with dark blue tunics, which in turn were replaced by a pike grey uniform used in the initial stages of World War I. In September 1915, field gray was adopted as the new official uniform colour.The last known surviving member of the Austro-Hungarian Army was World War I veteran Franz Künstler, who died in May 2008 at the age of 107.


Gemeiner (pl. Gemeine, en: private or soldier) was until 1918 the common designation to soldier(s) in the Austro-Hungarian Army (k.u.k. Army) and German Army. In line to the particular branch of service it contained the rank file as follows:

Dragoner (en: dragoon),


Husar (hussar),

Infanterist (infantryman)

Jäger (rifleman),

Füsilier (fusilier | Am. also fusileer),

Kanonier (gunner, cannoneer),

Musketier (musketeer), etc.

Pionier (engineer)

Sanitätssoldat (medicalman)

Trainsoldat (trainman)

Ulan (uhlan)Gallery, "k.u.k. Inf.Rgt. Hoch- und Deutschmeister Nr. 4" (l.t.r)

See also

⇒ Rank insignia of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces

Gorget patches

Gorget patches (collar tabs, collar patches) are an insignia, paired patches of cloth or metal on the collar (gorget) of the uniform, that is used in the military and civil service in some countries. Collar tabs sign the military rank (group of ranks), the rank of civil service, the military unit, the office (department) or the branch of the armed forces and the arm of service.


Infanterist (en: infantryman) – was the designation to the lowest private rank of infantry, the biggest armed forces branch of the common Austro-Hungarian Army (k.u.k. Army) from 1867 to 1918.

However, until 1918 Infanterist was also the common or generic designation to soldiers, rank independent, of the Infantry branch in the Austro-Hungarian Army as well as in the Army of the German Empire.

In line to the appropriate branch of service it did belong to the so-called Gemeine rank group, comparable to private, soldier or G.I. in Anglophone armed forces. Other Gemeine ranks were as follows:

Dragoner (en: dragoon),

Füsilier (fusilier | Am. also fusileer),


Husar (hussar),

Infanterist (infantryman)

Kanonier (gunner, cannoneer),

Musketier (musketeer), etc.

Pionier (engineer)

Sanitätssoldat (medicalman)

Trainsoldat (trainman)

Ulan (uhlan)Waffenrock k.u.k Infantrists until 1918

List of comparative military ranks

This article is a list of various states' armed forces ranking designations. Comparisons are made between the different systems used by nations to categorize the hierarchy of an armed force compared to another. Several of these lists mention NATO reference codes. These are the NATO rank reference codes, used for easy comparison among NATO countries. Links to comparison charts can be found below.

Air Force
Military ranks and insignia by country
Post-Soviet states
Commonwealth of Nations


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