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"Green Tails" in 1917 - Willkommen

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Jasta 5 Orden




Left - Jasta 5 patrol with vonHippel(closest), Könnecke and Mai (farthest).  

Courtesy Mark Miller  


Right - Three NCO pilots of Jagdstaffel 5.  Left to right:  Vizefeldwebel Rumey, Könnecke and Mai.  By the end of May 1918, when this photograph was taken, their combined effort amounted to 50 aerial victories.  this figure had increased to 110 by the end of the war:  (Rumey 45, Könnecke 35 and Mai 30) - Alex Imrie


Why Ranks?

One of the most enjoyable aspects of belonging to a Jasta (short for Jagdstaffel which translates to "hunting squadron"), besides the camaraderie and community you will find, is the opportunity to fly in organized tournaments and wars, which provide a completely different experience than flying in the wild and somewhat chaotic open servers.  In order to function effectively within the context of these organized tournaments and events, rank and command positions in the Jasta are necessary.  Rank and command is simply an external representative of a pilots experience and expertise, in addition to an indication of their increased responsibilities and service to the Jasta as well as the larger online community, of which we are all a part.  

In addition to rank, pilots earn medals, decorations and awards which serve to distinguish each pilot for their actions.  They often refer to participation in various battles.  They may also be in recognition of contributions made by a pilot during their service to the Jasta.

While every Jasta pilot should seek to represent Jasta 5 well by acting honorably and with respect for others, in order to fly effectively as a group, each pilot needs to be willing to follow the example set by their superior officers as well as honor requests made by superior officers.  In exchange, officers are responsible for each pilot directly under their command and are duty bound to assist them in many different ways.  Examples might be referring a newer pilot to game resources or answering questions regarding downloading patches or clarifying game rules.  Also important is making each new pilot feel welcome and comfortable within the Jasta. 

Pilots who are qualified based upon their abilities, aptitude and attitude who show an interest in more responsibility within the Jasta may be promoted into the officer ranks.  This is done when it is seen by Hq as benefiting the whole Jagdstaffel.

Following is an organizational chart showing the various positions and ranks possible.  Following the chart is a functional description of various ranks and positions within Jasta 5.  





Epaulette Criteria



HQ is comprised of the commanding officer, the assistant commander, and senior advising officers who command.

Senior Officers may or may not be staff officers, and are involved in the most important decisions made by command.

Staffelführer (Fhr) - Commander Appointed
Title: Adjutant (Adj) - Assistant Commander Appointed
Title: Senior Officers Appointed



Officers are leaders who have accepted the obligation to serve the Jasta in a variety of unique and important ways including assuring that sufficient financial resources are available to keep the unit operational at a level that assures success in carrying out its mission.   

Officers usually start as enlisted men, who at some point during their first year of service with the Jasta, are identified by senior officers as a good potential officer candidate.  

Once an officer, further promotions usually occur after another 18 and 24 months more or less, depending upon an individual's service record, personal interest in additional responsibilities, and organizational need. 

Officers contribute to the formulation and discussion involving important decisions involving the Jasta.


Major (M) (pronounced /maˈjoːr/) is a rank of the German military which dates back to the Middle Ages.  The rank of Major originated in English as a suffix to certain other military positions, usually to denote a more senior status than others of the same position.  By the 19th century, the rank of Major was being used by nearly every military in the western and colonial world. It quickly developed into a senior staff position and was seen as the first of the "command" or "field" ranks, in contrast to the rank of captain and below which were viewed as "company ranks".


Hauptmann (H) 

Translated as "main man", this rank is generally considered to be equivalent to a captain when it is used as an officer's rank.  These are the senior officers of the unit. Generally bestowed upon only the most capable leaders of the unit. 

StabsHauptmann (SH)

Specialist or "staff" officers. Instead of being promoted to the rank of major, specialist officers are usually promoted to the rank of Stabshauptmann and given the salary of a major. The badge of rank is four silver stars.  Generally, officers having served as Stab or in Hq earn this rank.

Oberleutnant (OL)  

A rank of the German military which dates from the early 19th century. Translated as "Senior Lieutenant", the rank is typically bestowed upon commissioned officers after at least two years of service to the unit.


OL Appointed
Leutnant (Ltn)

The lowest commissioned rank in many armed forces. Generally earned following at least one year of service to the Jasta.


Senior Pilots and Officer Candidates

Oberfähnrich are the senior pilots of the unit.  They are the best and most capable pilots in the air.  However the rank is not bound to a command position, 

A Fähnrich is a pilot who served in the regular ranks, first as a junior NCO then in subsequent grades.  The rank is not bound to a command position, but pilots in this rank may be considered for officer candidacy.

Officer candidates are expected to begin to serve the unit in a variety of important ways, including  monthly contributions to the operational expenses of the unit, in the unlikely event that they are not already doing so.

Promotion into the officer ranks generally occurs after 12-18 months or adequate demonstrated service to the unit and completion of an officer training program.  Refer to officers description in section above.


Oberfähnrich (OFR).  These are the senior pilots of the unit.  They are the best and most capable pilots in the air.  Appointed

(senior pilots often function in various Stab or Instructor Pilot roles)
Fähnrich (FR)

(officer candidate) is a German and Austrian military rank in armed forces which has no direct comparison in the English speaking world (though the French Army has a similar position called an Aspirant).


for Officer Training and/or Instructor Roles

Stab ("staff")

Staff have positions and not ranks. A pilot filling a staff position may or may not have the rank of an officer, and so these positions are listed here beneath the higher ranked  sections. Staff are involved in day to day operational functioning of the Jasta and so serve a vital role to our success.  Staff are to be respected and appreciated by all pilots. 

Title:  Communications   Volunteer/


Title:  Lobprotokollführer  (Lpkf) - Awards   Volunteer/


Title: Oberstabsingenieur (OPO) - Operations Volunteer/


Title:  Stabsingenieur
(SO) - Server Operator


Title: Anwerbungsoffizier (RO) - Recruiting   Volunteer/


Title: Ausbilder    
(TO) - Training


Title: Staffelmaeler - Graphics/Paints   Volunteer/





Hauptfeldwebel begin to take responsibilities on similar to those that officers have - to lead through service to the Jasta.

Feldwebel play an important role in the unit  as they are relied upon as instructor pilots. 

Unteroffiziere are  eligible to contribute to the unit success by flying in campaign missions.

Upon reaching the NCO ranks, each pilot should begin to consider their personal responsibility to financially support the monthly operational needs of the unit, which they are benefiting from, in the event that they have not already begun to do so.


Hauptfeldwebel (HFw)

In the German military, the appointment of Hauptfeldwebel was the German equivalent of a Commonwealth Company Sergeant Major or American Company First Sergeant. Duties are largely administrative. He was the senior NCO of his subunit, and had many nicknames including 'der Spiess' ("the Spear") and 'die Mutter der Kompanie' ("company mother").

Earned after having previously earned both Observers and Pilot badges.
Feldwebel (Fw) 
gained its widest usage under the German military beginning from the early 19th century. The highest ranking NCO, the Feldwebel acted as Company Sergeant Major or Regimental Sergeant Major.

Fighter or Bomber Training Completed

 (Advanced Certification)

Prussian Observers Badge (POB) Earned


Prussian Pilots Badge (PPB) Earned

Feldwebel often function as Flight Leads

Unteroffizier (Uffz)

Translated literally as “Under Officer”, this is perhaps misleading as an Unteroffizier is in actuality a junior enlisted rank. The rank of Unteroffizier was first created to "bridge the gap" between career professional soldiers and enlisted conscripts. 

When a pilot finishes their Pilot School (intermediate certification), they earn priority in being assigned missions during campaign missions. 

Refer to the Unteroffizer training forum for metrics used to guide in the  determination of eligibility for promotion to Feldwebel,


Pilot Training Completed (Intermediate Certification)

Enlisted Personnel

Enlisted personnel are largely made up of conscripts serving their nine months of mandatory service. 

The most important distinction between NCOs and enlisted men is that the latter cannot give orders to lower-ranked soldiers unless under very specific circumstances (e.g. while on guard duty).

Gefreiter (Gfr) -

Gefreiter is the German equivalent for Private in the armed services. Gefreiter was the lowest rank to which an ordinary soldier could be promoted. Soldiers holding the rank of Gefreiter or Obergefreiter were equal in status only to private soldiers; they had no powers of command or authority, and the rank represented little more than a pay raise. They were not non-commissioned officers (in German, Unteroffiziere mit Portepee (Senior NCO) or Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee (Junior NCO).

Gefreiter are called upon to begin contributing to missions in campaigns, often initially in the capacity of flight support or as reserve pilots or during times of urgent need, as an active pilot on the flight line.

Flight School Completed (Basic Certification)


Flieger (Flg.) - 

are primarily in a learning capacity, adapting to the requirements of the military profession, acquiring knowledge of Jasta 5 customs, courtesies, and standards, as well as striving to attain technical proficiency. Flieger operate at the tactical level. 

Flieger have the privilege, and are expected to fly "in uniform", by using the designation J5 in front of their names while flying in servers.  e.g. J5_Voss.

Induction and Ground School Completed

(first official training flight)


Civilian Inductee - Recruit Recruits - 

are hopeful pilots to be who have recently applied to fly at the Western Front with  Jasta 5.  

Recruits go through their "Induction" - getting their game installed, getting communications set up and making sure that they have all the basic tools necessary to begin their training and otherwise be an  active member of the Jagdstaffel.

Recruits do not bear any uniform rank insignia, which would normally be worn on the sleeves, which accounts for the nickname of "slick sleeve".

No Uniform Applied to join Jasta 5


 Officer grades are by appointment only.  Transfers from another German unit will normally, but not always, be reduced by two grades of rank.  Most information regarding ranks, including graphics, are sourced from material found at



Chain of Command in Practice


The Staffelführer is the head of the Jagdstaffel. He is responsible for all administrative work of the squadron.  The Rittm. typically maintains the website, gives out weekly mission assignments, plans the future of the Jasta, corresponds and coordinates with other Jasta Commands and organizes online wars with other Jastas teams.  He will organize all things you may not even notice, unless they aren't done.  Because of these "macro management" responsibilities, the Staffelführer  will basically try to avoid involvement with any day-to-day affairs.  Instead, subordinate officers are tasked with "micro management" details of day to day affairs.  Working alongside the Staffelführer  is the Jastakommandanten.


These are the more senior officers of the Jagdstaffel.  Typically members of the Jastakommandanten, they are the leaders of the Jasta and advisors to the Staffelführer . They keep most of the work away from the Staffelführer  that has to do with promotions, discipline, transfers, and so on. They are also important for the long-term future of the Jasta, as the Staffelführer  usually calls a meeting of the Jastakommandanten before any important decision.  


These officers assist their superior Hauptmann as directed and may have several Leutnants to help them accomplish this work.  While serving in this position, an officer proves whether or not they are suitable for service in the Jastakommandanten, who function as advisors to the unit Commander and participate in most decision making.


Pilots reaching the rank of Leutnant, have a command position with high responsibility.  In addition to assisting higher ranking officers as requested, they are more directly tasked with keeping pilots content and trained. Decisions regarding promotions, discipline and transfers are mainly made here, and sent up to the Oberstleutnant for approval. Although already a position with some organizational duties, the Leutnant should not lose contact with members of his Staffel.  Rather their job is to stay in direct contact with them, with the assistance of their Fähnrich.


The pilot rank of "Fähnrich" is not bound to a command position. It is the highest rank you can achieve if you are not able to take the future responsibility of  an officers command position, or do not have enough time to do so... or if insufficient officer positions are available.  You can only earn your rank of Leutnant after several months of high activity and involvement while this rank. 


While serving in this position you can be sure that officers are evaluating your skills and abilities to possibly serve as a  "Flight Leader" or "Gruppe Leader".


Recruits who are beginning their careers as a pilot in the German Air Service (GAS) begin here. If you have succeed in completing your induction and basic training certification you will earn your Prussian Observers Badge and be transferred to the active duty roster with the Flieger designation.

While progressing through these early ranks, you are still in training, under command of your Ausbilder and all other Officers.  You will become acquainted with protocols within Jasta 5 and the online simulation communities along with reporting procedures, not to mention mastering basic flying maneuvers and tactical awareness and skill.

As you see, ranks and command positions are earned by showing interest and activity.  Medals and decorations have more objective regulations set up. Every commendation, badge, medal and order which is earned while in Jasta 5 will be entered into your dossier and displayed on the Jasta 5 website for all other Jasta pilots and visiting guests to see.  Even if you are otherwise not very active in the Jasta, your results in flying will influence your achievement of medals and recognition.

There are several special positions normally held by pilots within the Jagdstaffel.


  • "Adjutant" - Executive Officer (XO) - This officer is responsible for directly assisting the Staffelführer  in all administrative duties.  The Adjutant acts on behalf of the Staffelführer  when the Staffelführer  is absent or otherwise unavailable, and is therefore second in command.




  • "Oberstabsingenieur" (OPO)  This position is responsible for implementing initiatives and coordinating the efforts of the stabsingenieurs consistent with those initiatives along the line of efficiency, effectiveness assisting unit command with the areas of operations including strategy and tactical planning during organized events. 


  • "Stabsingenieur"  These positions are responsible for the maintenance of the Jasta 5 servers used for training and works closely with the Anwerbungsoffizier (RO) and Ausbilder.


  • "Anwerbungsoffizier" (RO) also known as the Recruiting Officer. This person is responsible for executing the recruiting and retention initiatives of the organization. Works closely with Ausbilders.


  • "Ausbilder" train new pilots for at least one month before they recommend the new pilots for active duty in the Jasta. The importance of the Ausbilder can not be stressed too far, as they ensure the future of the Jasta as an effective fighting force.



Jasta 5 and this site is not-for profit and non-commercial. Please see "Our Mission" and "Our Code" webpages linked above to learn more about us.  Historical accuracy has been a goal, so if you see that something is missing, needs to be corrected or changed, please let me know.  Proper credit to sources are attempted whereever possible.  If you see something that may infringe on your rights, please just let me know.  I will be happy to correct it to your satisfaction. This website is dedicated to the enhancement and enjoyment of World War I flight simulations, not the promotion of any political or philosophical views.    Red Baron 3D is a registered trademark of Mad Otter Games.  Rise of Flight is a registered trademark of 777 Studios.  IL2 and Flying Circus are published by 1C-777 Limited.

Paul Baumer 2004 - 2019.   All rights reserved.