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    Luftwaffe Administrative Officials

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    Luftwaffe Administration Officials

    Previously known as the Air Administration Branch of the Reich Air Ministry, the Luftwaffe Administrative Officials came into existance when the Luftwaffe officially came to be on 28Feb1935.

    Officials did not have the same status as soldiers yet were considered as "Members of the Luftwaffe". Officials were actually governed by two sets of regulations. They were subject to military laws and regulations as well as the Reich Civil Service laws according to their status as Reichsbeamten.

    The Officials held ranking as determined by their level and of education, experience, and sometimes age. Unlike the regular military, rank was not used for command purposes. Rank does not define superiority in a military sense, even when certain groups of officials were authorized to give professional directions to soldiers in the line of duty. However, it is estimated that starting in 1938 some leadership roles were gradually conferred upon certain officials in select positions within units and Headquarters.

    After several attempts of the High Command to transform the status of Officials to that of Soldiers, the Special Troop Service was established and open for volunteers in Nov1944. For more information on the TSD, please click on the link below:


    Often times, Officials were selected from Enlisted and NCO rankings from within the Luftwaffe. These Officials held a duel role as an active Official, yet retained their Luftwaffe ranking as a member of the Reserves. There were four career levels based upon education and experience.

    Lower Career Level- Feldwebel/Oberfeldwebel- Grade school education without further education/qualification was required.

    Medium Career Level- Oberfeldwebel/Oberleutnant- High School Diploma and an apprenticeship of a trade was required.

    Elevated Career Level- Leutnant/Oberstleutant- Educational level between High School and College, with an addition two-three years of practical training required.

    Highest Grade Career- Leutnant/Generalleutnant- University degree is required.

    The highest two career levels held officer rankings. In the medium career, it was possible to rise from an Enlisted to Officer ranking. As a side note, NCOs with 12 years of military service and have completed from two years of speciality training could be appointed as officials in the medium and elevated careers. The career levels could be identified by the color or the lack of the piping around the collar tabs.

    Specialities were distinguished by the secondary color(nebenfarbe) on the administrative shoulder board. I will get more into that shortly.

    The basic branch(waffenfarbe) color for the Administrative branch is dark green.

    Other basic Luftwaffe Administrative branch colors are:

    Reich Air Traffic Controller- Light Green- Covered here: http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=17336

    Supreme Reich Court Martial- Bordeaux- Covered here: http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=17433

    Judicial Officials- Wine Red- Covered here: http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=17433

    Officials of the Construction Service- Black

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    The uniform:

    One of the componets that make this field of collecting and study so confusing are the many and frequent uniform regulation changes. In order to best cover these as painlessly as possible, I will do them in chronological order.

    Officials were required to wear the uniform when on duty. While off duty, the officals were allowed to wear civilian clothing without special authorization. There were several orders that were issued between 06Sep1934 and 10May1938, which cannot be located. Some specific officials covered by these orders are the:

    1. Luftwaffe Musik Superintendant

    2. All Officials of the Supreme Courts Martial

    09August1938, required the wear of the uniform while on duty for:

    1. Officials serving with the Luftwaffe Group and Air District Commands

    2. Air Fleet and Luftwaffe Commands and personnel attached in the following branches:

    a. Non Technical Administrative Service

    b. Judicial Service

    c. Construction Technical Service

    d. Motor Maintanence Service

    e. Photo Service

    f. Signals Service

    g. Ordnance Service

    h. Technical Machine Service

    i. Weapons and Ammunition Service

    j. Cartographic Service

    k. Lithographic Service

    3. Reich Weather Service(High Grade Career of Group Commands and Air Offices and those attached to weather recon squadrons).

    4. Officials of the Administration School, Air Traffic Control School, and recruiting service.

    17February1939, in addition:

    1. Officals of the Weather Service School and those on service with the weather advisory centers and radio ballon detachments.

    2. Officals on service with the Clothing Depots and Psychology service.

    Officials with the authorization to wear the uniform(yet not mandated as per the above) had the option to wear either the uniform or civilian clothes on or off duty. However, the uniform must be worn when on temporary duty with units, on deployment, or ordered to do so. Some groups of officials had to buy their uniform but only if they had completed military basic training as required by an order dated from 22March1937.


    All Officials who have completed basic military training were ordered to wear their uniforms for the duration of the war.

    Luftwaffe Adminastrative officials used the same uniform and regulations as the standard Luftwaffe.

    On 06September1934, it was ordered that all officials within the Air Administration be given a military ranking. When the Luftwaffe came to be on 01March1935 the following uniform regulations were publicized.

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    Shoulder boards


    Shoulderboards are the same as those used by the regular luftwaffe except there would be two layers under the Russian braid, instead of one. The

    lower layer would be the basic branch color(waffenfarbe) of dark green and the center layer(nebenfarbe). The upper layer is the silver color russian braid. This sequence continued through the General Officer rankings. The nebenfarbe is what designated the specific speciality of the wearer. Please see the color key below.


    Starting on 01March1935,

    The standard style tressed NCO shoulder straps with the dark green waffenfarbe was used. There was no nebenfarbe on these straps.

    On 02November1940,

    1. Lower Career- The shoulder boards are identical to those used by the other officials with the Oberfeldwebel ranking. The base color was that of the branch color

    (dark Green) and the center color was that of the nebenfarbe. The upper layer consisted of a blue/grey cord, twisted to loop at the buttonhole.

    Pips were used to differentiate between Feldbwebel and Oberfeldwebel.

    2. Medium Career- The braiding was made of double blue grey flat cords iwth a center strip of aluminum and surrounded by double blue grey cords. This is

    is a three layer board with branch color and nebenfarbe. There were no pips, as the only ranking possible was Oberfeldwebel.

    On 01February1941,

    For the medium career, the regulations changed requiring the use of two aluminum colored pips per shoulder board.

    In many cases, exact dates have not been found for most of the branches and nebenfarben. These colors were displayed in the center layer of the shoulder board. I will list these out by estimated order date as well as detail the specialities. Again, the basic branch color(waffenfarbe) was dark green. This was the base layer of the boards.


    Bright Red- All Administrative Branches


    Black- All officials of the RLM. (On 10Sep1939, it was ordered that the black nebenfarbe be replaced ty the color of the secondary color as indicated by the


    Bright Red- Administrative (non technical) officials

    Light Brown- Officials of the Technical Branches

    Dark Blue- Construction Service(changed to Red at a later date)

    Golden Yellow- Meteorological Service

    Wine Red- Judicial Officials

    Apple Green- Pharmacists


    White- Officials of General Officer Ranking, with the exeption of the Supreme Reichs Court Martial (Carmine) and other Judicial Officials(Wine red)

    Bright Red- General Administrative Services, Construction Administrative Service, Agricultural Service, Surveying Service, Technical Machine Service,

    Technical Electrical Service

    Carmine- Surpreme Reich Courts Martial Service

    Wine Red- Judicial Service

    Rose Pink- Photo Service, Motor Transport Service, Ordnance Service, Weapons and Ammunition Service, Technical Aircraft Service, Cartographic Service

    Lithographic Service

    Golden Brown- Signals Service

    Orange- School Special Service, Librarian Service, Pharmacist(post 1940), Psychologist Service, Veterinary Service, Luftwaffe War Science Section.

    Blueish grey- Reich Weather Service

    Dark Brown- Reich Flight Safety Service

    Light Green- Reich Air Traffic Controller Service


    Bright Red- Craftman's Service at cothing depots added

    Rose Pink- Other craftman's service added

    Black- Officials from the Contruction- Technical Administrative Service. These men were transferred to the dept of the Chief of Luftwaffe Construction Service

    in Jun of 1944

    There were some specialities where the documentation for the various nebenfarbe have not been found:

    Military Geological Service

    Replacement Service

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    As stated earlier, the collar tabs had the same basic configuration as the standard LW collar tabs. Collar patches for all Administrative patches would dark green, except for the Reich Air Traffic Control Service(Would be dark green, middle level in Nov1940), the Surpreme Reich Court Martial and Legal Service, and Officials of the Construction Service(Jun44). The tabs would be of the same type and shape as the regular Luftwaffe tabs, except three pointed pips would be used instead of gulls to denote ranking.


    Prior to Dec1939, both the Elevated and High Grade career levels used the silver collar tab piping. Of the ranks of Oberst and below, this tended to cause some confusion. To distinquish the two levels, gold colored twist cord was allowed for members of the High Grade career level.



    1. Green tabs with three pointed pips. The outer and lower edges had the 5cm tress applied, for use on overcoats. The tunics used the same tabs, without the tress

    applied to the tab.

    2. The tress was the tunic tress, applied to the outer edge of the collar, as seen with the regular Luftwaffe.

    3. The pips were metallic and were punched through the tab(lower career).

    a. 3 pips- Feldwebel

    b. 4 pips- Oberfeldwebel


    1. The use of NCO tresse was abolished.

    2. Use of metallic pips abolished. Pips are to be embroidered with grey silk thread directly to the tab, in the same manner as the metallic ones(lower career).

    3. Oakleaf wreath and four matte grey embroidered pips were mandated(Medium career)

    The list of branch colors are:

    Dark Green- Administrative Services

    Light Green- Reichs Air Traffic Control Service

    Wine Red- Judicial Officials

    Bordeaux- Reichs Courts Martial

    Black- Officials of the Construction Service

    Lower Career Level- No piping

    Medium Career Level- Green/Silver Piping(was blue silver until Nov1940)

    Elevated Career Level- Silver piping

    Highest Grade Career- Gold piping(started gold piping designation Nov1940)

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    Here are some images from my collection. Here is that Air Traffic Controller tunic. Notice the middle career tab piping.

    Also notice the three layer shoulder board. The branch color is dark green(as are the tabs) and the nebenfarbe is light green.

    I loosely added the EK2 mit spange for the photo.

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    And Finally, and Administrative NCO trade badge. I am not sure of the exact qualifications to earn this, yet the badge was only for NCOs. As with all trade badges, this one was worn on the lower left sleeve.

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    Great additions Steve!! I love both tunics. The Green tabbed Judicial tunic is a first for me, yet according to Bender, they existed. :cheers: Do the Judicial boards have the dark green branch color as well?

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    Thank you for posting that beautiful EM visor here! It is the only truly legitimate one I have seen!

    Remember everyone... Any data or militaria related to Luftwaffe Administrative Officials will be greatly appreciated. This could include: period photos, insignia, uniforms, documents.

    Basically, anything pertinent to the topic!

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