The article, titled “Who’s Got the Smarts?” examines groups of soldiers from different ranks, military occupation specialties, and career branches, and then orders them by intelligence.
“We factored in several things,” said Times managing editor Richard Brown, “such as test scores, writing samples, and difficulty of day-to-day tasks. Then we took the data and assigned each group a composite intelligence score.”
According to the Times, the top three smartest groups in the Army are brain surgeons, CBRN officers, and JAG Corps attorneys.
The bottom three? First lieutenants, followed closely by second lieutenants, and then military working dogs.
Pentagon sources have confirmed that in light of the article’s findings, Army brass has approved a policy to award Military Working Dogs the rank of Captain upon completion of basic dog training.
A 2009 study found that the average dog has the cognitive ability of a two-year-old child, which Brown says is perfectly in line with his publication’s rankings.
“A dog can perform basic arithmetic and can count to four or five,” Brown said. “They read body language, have an innate sense of basic fairness, and find their way through the woods. I challenge you to show me a first or second lieutenant who can do any of that.”
“To be fair,” Brown countered, “the lieutenants did display the ability to shit in a toilet and hold their bowel movements until an appropriate time, giving them a slightly higher ranking in that category than the military working dogs that haven’t been housebroken yet.”
Not everyone agrees with the findings.
“I have no doubt that every single K-9 in my unit is smarter than a PFC,” said Army Sgt. Tyrell Wiggins, a dog handler from the 503d Military Police Battalion at Ft. Bragg. “I mean, Sparky here can sniff out bombs and can follow basic commands. I’d like to see a PFC do either of those things. And sure, he sometimes eats other dogs’ shit, but you wouldn’t ever catch him buying a 2003 Mustang for $24,000 and 14 percent financing.”
Brown said it’s unfair, however, to look at one factor alone when determining intelligence. PFCs may indeed act like knuckleheads, but unlike junior officers, they aren’t innately dumb. They can eventually grow and mature, while junior officers must remain forever clueless.
“The data we have suggests that lieutenants are a special kind of stupid,” Brown said.