Reich Labour Service

Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD - RADwJ)



The Reichsarbeitsdienst (translated to Reich Labour Service, abbreviated RAD) was a major organisation established by Nazi Germany as an agency to help mitigate the effects of mass unemployment on German economy, militarise the workforce and indoctrinate it with Nazi ideology.

From June 1935 onwards, men aged between 18 and 24 had to serve six months before their military service. During World War II compulsory service also included young women and the RAD developed to an auxiliary formation which provided support for the Wehrmacht armed forces.

During the early war Norwegian and Western campaigns, hundreds of RAD units were engaged in supplying frontline troops with food and ammunition, repairing damaged roads and constructing and repairing airstrips. Throughout the course of the war, the RAD were involved in many projects. The RAD units constructed coastal fortifications (many RAD men worked on the Atlantic Wall), laid minefields, manned fortifications, and even helped guard vital locations and prisoners.

The role of the RAD was not limited to combat support functions. Hundreds of RAD units received training as anti-aircraft units and were deployed as RAD Flak Batteries. Several RAD units were also sent into combat on the eastern front as infantry.



RAD cap Badge

Cap Badge of the Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD - RADwJ)




Service Awards


RAD service medals


Reichsarbeitsdienst (R A D) long service medals - males

Left to right: 4th class-4 years service, 3rd class-12 years service, 2nd class-18 years service, 1st class-25 years service



Reverse - RAD long service medal

The reverse of all RAD long service medals are identical, bearing the inscription "Für treue Dienste im Reichsarbeitsdienst (For loyal service in the National Labour Service)



RAD 4th class - 1st class - female

RAD 4th class-4 years service (left), 1st class-25 years service (right) - female





RAD parade bar

Parade bar: Iron Cross 2nd Class -1st October 1938 - Sudetenland Commemorative Medal - 4 year RAD service medal




Rank Brooches




Deutscher Frauenarbeitsdienst



1st pattern brooch - Arbeitsmaid  Deutscher Frauenarbeitsdienst

1st pattern rank brooch in bronze - Arbeitsmaid, Deutscher Frauenarbeitsdienst




1st pattern rank brooch - maidenfuhrin, Deutscher Frauenarbeitsdienst

1st pattern rank brooch in silver - Maidenführin, Deutscher Frauenarbeitsdienst

(The brooch for the rank of Lagerführin was in gold)




2nd pattern rank brooch - Maidenf├╝hrin, Deutscher Frauenarbeitsdienst

2nd pattern rank brooch - Maidenführin, Deutscher Frauenarbeitsdienst




2nd pattern rank brooch - Maidenführin in wear







RAD rank brooches

Smooth Border Rank Brooch

Left to right: "Old"Silver - Arbeitsmaid (1939-1942), Iron - Arbeitsmaid (1942-1945), Bronze - Jungführerin

(The brooch for the rank of Stabsführerin was in gold)




Arbeitsmaid rank brooch in wear





Ribbed border rank brooch

Ribbed Border Rank Brooch

Ranks: Iron - Kameradschaftsälteste, Bronze - Maidenunterführerin, Silver - Maidenoberführerin, Gold - Stabsoberführerin



RAD - ornamented surround rank brooch

Intertwined rope patterned Border Rank Brooch

Ranks: Bronze - Maidenführerin, Silver - Maidenhauptführerin, Gold - Stabshauptführerin




War Helper's Badge - RADwJ

War Helper's Brooch

For having completed the six months obligatory RADwJ service, and a further six months service in in support of the war effort




Commemorative brooch - RADwJ

Commemorative brooch in silver for retired members- RADwJ

(The Commemorative brooch was in bronze, silver or gold, reflecting the the rank of the wearer)





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