Rottenführer was a Nazi
that was first created in
the year 1932
. The rank of Rottenführer was used
by several Nazi paramiltiary groups, among them the
Sturmabteilung (SA), the Schutzstaffel
(SS) and was senior to the paramilitary rank of Sturmmann.
Rottenführer was first established
in 1932 as an SA rank due to an expansion of the organization
requiring a greater number of enlisted positions. Since
early SS ranks were identical to the ranks of the SA,
Rottenführer became an SS rank at the same time.
Translated as “Team
Leader,” a Rottenführer was the first SS and
SA position to have command over other
paramilitary troops, usually no more than
five to seven persons. A Rottenführer,
in turn, answered to a squad leader known
as a Scharführer.
After 1934, a restructure of SS ranks
made Rottenführer junior to the new rank of SS-Unterscharführer,
although in the SA the rank continued to rate immediately
below that of Scharführer.
Within the Waffen-SS, Rottenführer
was considered equivalent to an Obergefreiter in the
German Wehrmacht. While having command over some troops,
a Rottenführer in the Waffen-SS was not considered
a non-commissioned officer rank. Those aspiring for
promotion above Rottenführer were required to pass
a promotion evaluation and combat skills assessment,
during which time the Rottenführer was known by
the title Unterführer-Anwärter (Junior
Leader Candidate). Waffen-SS Rottenführers
also had the option to pursue an officer's
commission through appointment as SS-Junker.
The insignia for Rottenführer
consisted of two silver stripes on a bare collar patch.
On field grey SS uniforms, the sleeve chevrons of an
Obergefreiter (Senior Corporal) were also worn. Rottenführer
was also a rank of the Hitler
Youth where the position was considered a junior
squad leader title.
A rank of Oberrottenführer also
existed, but was only used in the Hitler
Picture courtesy of: U.S.