Sturmscharführer was a Nazi
rank of the Waffen-SS
that existed between 1934
. The rank was the
most senior enlisted rank in the Waffen-SS, the equivalent
of a Sergeant Major in other military organizations.
Sturmscharführer was unique to the Waffen-SS and
was not used in the regular SS (the Allgemeine-SS),
where the highest enlisted rank was Hauptscharführer.
The rank of Sturmscharführer was
first created in June 1934, after the Night
of the Long Knives. Due to a reorganization of the
SS, Sturmscharführer was created as the most senior
enlisted rank of the SS-Verfügungstruppe, replacing
the older Sturmabteilung title of Haupttruppführer.
By 1941, the Waffen-SS had become the
successor organization to the SS-Verfügungstruppe
and Sturmscharführer was established as the most
senior enlisted rank. A Sturmscharführer was typically
assigned as the head sergeant of an entire regiment
or, in some cases, an infantry division.
Sturmscharführer was not the same
as Stabsscharführer, which was a positional title
given to the head SS-NCO of a company. The rank of Sturmscharführer
was also not a prerequisite for promotion to Untersturmführer
and was generally considered as a rank for “career”
enlisted SS soldiers, rather than a rank on the path
to becoming an officer.
The insignia for Sturmscharführer
was two silver pips and two silver stripes worn on a
collar patch along with the shoulder boards of a Wehrmacht
Stabsfeldwebel. As was the case with Waffen-SS enlisted
insignia, the collar patch of a Sturmscharführer
was worn with silver piping.