According to Wermacht General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord

“I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent — their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy — they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent — he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.”


Given that, providing that you think that it’s valid, where do you put your political leaders?

Bernie Sanders – Unemployed until middle age, thrown out of a kibbutz because he was lazy, finally found employment in politics where no imagination is required. Turned to communism because it’s a better way to spend other people’s money. Stupid man who learned diligence as a comrade.

Barack Obama – Was a “foreign” student because he could live on free money, and was completely lazy, but seemed to pull through because he was clever. Not a fan of the USA. Became a two term president.

Joe (Slow Joe) Biden – An unimaginative dolt who accepted bribes and wasn’t hoisted on his petard for being creepy because he was a Democrat. Now, a senile old man in his dotage, he aspires to be leader of the Free World. Stupid and lazy. He was suited well for a life in the bureaucracy, not in any sort of leadership.

Donald Trump – Turned millions into billions, was the toast of New York until he became president. Nationalistic, proud American. Sleeps four hours a night, workaholic, hated for not being anointed by the elites the way that Hillary had been. Stylistically bombastic (NY Real Estate Developer), blatantly heterosexual. Clever and diligent.


  1. CAPT Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt is clever and diligent. Acting SECNAV Modly is stupid and lazy. The fact that the E-Ring is populated with Modlys while the Croziers get relieved of command tells you everything you need to know to understand why our Navy ships keep running into Container ships in the South China Seas.

  2. I’m not a true believer in this description of competence, in my experience as an NCO, I would divide the officer corp into two groups: team players and selfish SOB’s.

    Perhaps 75% or more of the U.S. Army cadre of officers are selfish SOB’s. They only care about their own progress and have ambitions that use their subordinates as stepping stones, to be used and casually tossed aside once their goals are achieved. They are slaves to their OER’s (officer evaluation report), they must maximize these scores at all costs, to include the esprit de corp of the unit they command. These types are on occasion ‘fragged’ when the opportunity arises in combat: they are either purposefully dispatched by friendly fire, or are not protected from/warned about imminent enemy fire.

    The other 25% of the officer corps are patriots, team players, and put the needs of their men under their charge in line with the conditions of the times. They do not ask their subordinates to undertake any task they themselves would be unwilling to do. These are the leaders that are respected, honored.

    • The Navy had FITREP’s (reports on the fitness of officers). Same thing there. They can make you or break you.

  3. I’m so many years removed from military service I can’t offer any informed opinion about today’s military. Back in my enlisted swine days, I characterized, in my mind, officers into groups, competent and incompetent. The question I asked, silently, is this asshole going to get me killed, if the balloon goes up, because he is a fuckup? There were several I planned to make our first casualties.

    • I worked around some exceptional officers and senior enlisted. My views may be heavily skewed.

    • He’s a good man. Not a perfect man by any means, but he loves his country. That counts for a lot. 44 did not and does not.

  4. I first read that description of officers at the War College. I found it pretty accurate over about 40 years of observing up close. It started getting bent to Hell when the Navy decided that what it had was a “leadership triad” and found some utterly worthless E9s to get involved in the work of the E5s who know what they’re doing and screw up what clever and diligent people did to make things work better for everybody concerned. Glad I missed out on that.

    • I’ve been away from the Navy for quite a while and things have become even more – strange.

Comments are closed.