Oberleutnant zur See

Oberleutnant zur See (OLt zS or OLZS[1] in the German Navy, Oblt.z.S. in the Kriegsmarine) is traditionally the highest rank of Lieutenant in the German Navy. It is grouped as OF-1a in NATO, equivalent to a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the United States Navy, and a Sub-Lieutenant in the British Royal Navy

Oberleutnant zur See
shoulder board / cuff title / mounting loop
Rank insigniaGerman officer rank
Rank groupCommissioned officers
NavyOberleutnant zur See
Army / Air ForceOberleutnant
ArmyFirst lieutenant
Navy*Lieutenant Junior Grade *Sub-Lieutenant

The rank was introduced in the Imperial German Navy by renaming the former rank of Premier Lieutenant in 1890. Within the navy officers of this rank were simply addressed as Herr Oberleutnant. To distinguish naval officers from those of the army, the suffix zur See (at sea) was added in official communications, sometimes shortened to z.S. (Oblt.z.S.). The rank has since been used by the Reichsmarine, Kriegsmarine, and Bundesmarine. In the Volksmarine the rank was originally used in the same way until the suffix zur See was dropped. In the Kriegsmarine engineers (Ingenieur - Ing.) of the same rank were distinguished as Oberleutnant (Ing.).

junior rank
Leutnant zur See

(German officer rank)
Oberleutnant zur See

senior rank

See also:

Equivalent in other countries

  • K.u.k. NavyFregattenleutnant
  • - Vaandrig-ter-zee/Enseigne de vaisseau
  • - Sub-Lieutenant
  • - Poručnik fregate
  • - Premierløjtnant
  • - Enseigne de vaisseau de 1re classe
  • - Ανθυποπλοίαρχος
  • - 2. Stýrimaður
  • - sottotenente di vascello
  • - Luitenant ter zee der 2de klasse
  • - Løytnant
  • - Porucznik marynarki
  • - Segundo-tenente
  • - Locotenent
  • - Поручник фрегат
  • - Poročnik fregate
  • - Alférez de Navío
  • - Üsteğmen
  • - Sub Lieutenant (here: OF-1a and OF-1b)
  • - Lieutenant (junior grade)


  1. "Bundeswehr Dienstgrade in der Marine". www.bundeswehr-dienstgrade.de. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
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