Like the Communist parties of other socialist states, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, or SED, assured complete control by appointing loyal party members to top positions and organizing intensive political education for all ranks. The proportion of SED members in the officer corps rose steadily after the early 1960s, eventually reaching almost 95 percent of the total officer corps.
|The official emblem of the East German National Volksarmee reading "For the Protection of the Workers and Farmer's Power"|
While West Germany saw itself as the legal successor to the Third Reich, shouldering the burdens of legal responsibility for its crimes; East Germany renounced ties to the Nazi past, styling itself as the "anti-fascist rampart" and proclaiming itself the first socialist state on German soil.
The tunic would be worn with a white shirt. During periods of warm weather, there was the option of omitting the tunic, and furthermore omitting the tie.
The visor cap is of the gabardine material of all East German uniforms. Unlike West German uniforms denoting branch as the central insignia and then flanked by the national roundel, East German visor caps used the East German national insignia as the centerpiece with the national insignia of a hammer and compass surrounded by wreaths of wheat and German flags. Surrounding the roundel on this example are laurel wreaths and applied with a felt background against the face of the hat. This is unique to all General officer hats as other officers junior in rank wore silver metal insignias. Rather than wear wreaths on the visor like the West German's, East German officer's wore braided cords around the cap reminiscent of styles of previous German armies.