Becoming a member of the Waffen-SS

If a young Hitler Youth member wanted to become a member of the Protection Squadron (the Schutzstaffel), he became the candidate of the SS (Bewerber) at the age of 18 after his suitability and eligibility were determined. The same year he was accepted as an SS aspirant (Anwärter), on the party day he was given an SS certificate and on November 9 he gave his vow to the Führer.

As an SS-Anwärter he received his first defence sports badge (Wehrsportabzeichen) during his first year of service in the echalon, he also received a bronze state sports badge (Reichssportabzeichen). When he turned 19 or 19 and a half, depending on when the annual volume was entered into service, he moved on to the Reich Labour Service (Arbeitsdienst).

This was followed by a service in the Defence Force (Wehrmacht). After two compulsory years of service, he returned from the Defence Force, unless he had decided to serve longer.

When he returned to the SS, his status was still SS-Anwärter.

They were taught ideology, the principles of the SS, order to marry and the SS law of honour.

After he had successfully passed the theoretical training, the SS-Anwärter was accepted as an SS-man and with this title he was finally a member of the Protective Echalon. This usually happened on November 9 in the same year when he returned from the Defence Forces.

On that same day, November 9, he received a right to wear the SS-dagger and he swore that he and his family will stay loyal to the SS principles until the end of time. He also received the right and obligation, as the law of the echalon stated, to protect his honour according to the law of honour of the Black Corps.

He remained active in the Main-SS until the age of 35. After this he was transferred to the SS-Reserve if he wished and when he reached 45 he was transferred to the SS-Stammabteilung.