In the 19th century's German Army (de: Heer) the OR2-rank Gefreiter (plural: Gefreite), always belonged to the rank group of enlisted men (below noncommissioned (NCO) level). However, during training and fatigue duty "Gefreite" were competent, authorized, and tasked to act on behalf of NCOs. So "Gefreite" became the first superior of buck privates. Nevertheless, until 1853 there were no special rank insignia to "Gefreiter." Certainly the Vice-Unteroffizier (= Deputy-Unteroffizier; en: deputy srgeant) wore from 1811–1853 the NCO portepee (en: sword-knot).
In 1846 the rank Obergefreiter (OR3; en: 1st/Senior gefreiter) was newly introduced. This rank was characterised by the so-called sergeant´s botom on collar and the NCO portepee on the sword. From 1953–1919[Clarification needed] promotion to "Obergefreiter" was suspended with the exception of the "Fussartillerie" (en: foot-artillery).
In the early German Reichswehr the ranks "Gefreiter" as well as "Obergefreiter" were characterised by one identical horizontal 9mm "Tressenstreifen" (en: galloon strip) on both upper arms of the uniform jacket.
Regarding regular 12 years duty time onward 1921 the newly introduced enlisted men ranks Oberschütze (en: 1st/Senior rifle man (OR1a)) and "Stabsgefreiter" (OR3; Staff gefreiter) were characterised by cuff chefrons (angular) on the left upper arm. The sequence of enlisted men ranks was now as follows: