Our contribution studies the image of the ideal soldier and the relationship between society and the armed forces in Germany from the division of the country to the present. First, we look at the institutional and current political settings that shape the German Federal Armed Forces, the Bundeswehr, stressing that it is a Parlamentsheer, i.e. an army controlled by the German Parliament and not only commanded by the Federal Government. Second, we will describe how this vision of a democratic army is put into practice. Third, we will present findings of our qualitative empirical study among 24 commissioned and non-commissioned officers.