Constitution of the German Empire (Reich-1871)
Every German is subject to military duty, and in the discharge of this duty no substitute can be accepted.
Every German capable of bearing arms shall serve for seven years in the standing army, ordinarily from the end of his twentieth to the beginning of his twenty-eight years; the first three in the field army, the last four years in the reserve; during the next five years he shall belong to the militia (Landwehr). In those States of the Confederation in which heretofore a longer term of service than twelve years was required time of service shall take place in such a manner as it compatible with the interests and the war-footing of the army of the Empire.
As regards the emigration of men belonging to the reserve, only those provisions shall be in force which apply to the emigration of members if the militia.
The strength of the German army in time of peace shall be, until the 31st December, 1871, 1 percent of the population of 1867, and shall be furnished by the several Federal States in proportion to their population. In future the strength of army in time of peace shall be fixed by legislation.
All German troops are bound implicitly to obey the orders of the Emperor. This obligation shall be included in the oath of allegiance. The Commander-in-chief of a contingent, as well as all officers commanding troops more than one contingent, and all commanders of fortress, shall be appointed by Emperor. The officers appointed by the Emperor shall take the oath of fealty to him.
The appointment of generals, or officers performing the duties of generals, in contingent force, shall be in each subject to the approval of the Emperor. The Emperor has the right with regard to the transfer of officers, with or without promotion, to positions which are to be filled in the service of the Empire, be it in the Prussian army or in other contingents, to select from the officers of all the contingents of the army of the Empire.