CIVIL DEFENSE: ZIVILVERTEIDIGUNG
Mission: to support the military in times of war with rear area services
and other activities as required, and in peacetime to protect the security
and Communist identity of the DDR.
Organization: 3,000 NVA officers and NCOs made up the core of this
organization, overseeing the training of several hundred thousand members.
Beginning in 1981, Civil Defense training was mandatory for all males ages
16 to 65, and females 16 to 60. Training took place sporatically during the
year; in war, Civil Defense units were subject to mobilization.
Uniforms: Permanent cadre of officers and NCOs wore standard
white-piped NVA stone-grey tunics. All other troops, including volunteers,
wore two-piece, olive drab colored, fatigue-style uniforms with Civil Defense
unit patch on the left sleeve, and cloth rank patch on right sleeve. Color
of rank insignia: violet.
COMBAT GROUPS OF THE WORKING CLASS (also known as
WORKERS' FACTORY MILITIA): KAMPFGRUPPEN
Mission: to serve as the military arm of the East German Communist
Party as well as the symbol of working class control of the country ("dictatorship
of the proletariat").
Organization (founded 1953): Nationwide network of factory and neighborhood
militia units, with membership (1987) in excess of 500,000, serving as an
additional means for the Party to control activities in the workplace and
to safeguard the loyalty of the regular armed forces. Weekly and monthly training
exercises: compulsory 136 hours training annually.
Uniforms: All troops wore two-piece,
olive drab colored, fatigue-style uniforms, with Kampfgruppen unit patch
on left sleeve, and rank patch on right sleeve. Color of rank insignia:
FDJ: FREE GERMAN YOUTH/FREIE DEUTSCHE JUGEND
Mission (founded 1946): to physically and psychologically prepare male
and female youth ages 15 to 25 for induction into the armed forces as a prelude
to spending the rest of their lives as politically reliable East German citizens.
Organization: Massive network of youth-related athletic, educational
and social activities, including the Ernst Thälmann Pioneer program (ages
6 to 14). FDJ activities revolved around a core component stressing military
fitness and training. Uniforms: All troops wore two-piece, olive
drab colored, fatigue-style uniforms, with FDJ unit patch on left sleeve.
GST: SOCIETY FOR SPORT AND TECHNOLOGY/
GESELLSCHAFT FÜR SPORT UND TECHNIK Mission (founded 1952):
Similar to the FDJ.
Organization: Similar to the FDJ, with more emphasis on military training
of youth ages 14 to 25. The FDJ was under the direct administrative control
of the Ministry of National Defense. Membership (1983): approximately 480,000
members, with almost 100,000 instructors, many of whom were NVA active personnel
Uniforms:Permanent core of officers and higher GST officials
wore dark blue-grey NVA-style four-pocket tunics. All other troops wore two-piece,
olive drab colored, fatigue-style uniforms, with GST unit patch on left