Classification of Officers
The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Montgomery, 1958
Up to this point in my career [January 1920] I had received no training in the theory of my profession; I had behind me the practical experience of four years of active service in the field, but no theoretical study as a background to that experience. I had read somewhere the remarks of Frederick the Great when speaking about officers who relied only on their practical experience and who neglected to study; he is supposed to have said that he had in his Army two mules who had been through forty campaigns, but they were still mules.
I had also heard of a German general who delivered himself of the following all-embracing classification about officers, presumably those of the German Army. I understand that he said this:
"I divide my officers into four classes: the clever, the stupid, the industrious and the lazy. Every officer possesses at least two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for high staff appointments; use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy is fitted for the highest command; he has the temperament and the requisite nerve to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious is a danger and must be removed immediately."