[[caption-width-right:320:"A PPPLEDGE PPPIN!!!"]]

->''"Get up, you faggots! Get up and charge!"''
-->-- '''[[TropeNamers Doug Neidermeyer]]''', ''Film/AnimalHouse''
%% Only one quote on the main page, please! Additional ones can go on the quotes page.

The military equivalent of the SadistTeacher.

A commanding officer with zero respect for his troops, and probably plenty for himself. Because of his demonstrated [[GeneralFailure incompetence]], [[MilesGloriosus cowardice]], [[ArmchairMilitary inexperience]], [[WeHaveReserves willingness to sacrifice his men]] for [[GloryHound his own glory]] while keeping himself safely out of harm's way, a obsessive desire [[KickedUpstairs to get promoted]], or just being a [[{{Jerkass}} psychotic level hard-ass]], his authority is resented by the men in the trenches, and his orders are only obeyed because chain-of-command says so.

In more upbeat war shows, he's usually forced to learn AnAesop about his awful command style and adjust his behavior in a way that either changes him into [[AFatherToHisMen a likable officer]] or results in his resignation, demotion, or [[ReassignedToAntarctica transfer to a more suitable post]].

In more [[WarIsHell cynical]] war movies there will be no escape from the petty and obnoxious brute, and the men simply grouse and wait for the day someone on the opposing side will get lucky and catch him in the crosshairs. The troops might even conspire to [[UnfriendlyFire frag him themselves]] if they get tired of waiting for the enemy to do the job.

If he is [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking too tough to frag]], though, the (un)lucky survivor of his tirades will become either a YesMan with no more backbone than he started off with, with a sense of "loyalty" to him, or TheDragon who seeks to become his successor when he dies/moves on. In a best case scenario, the successor may show much competence and merely view the man as a CynicalMentor or DrillSergeantNasty, but not always. In this case, the other troops will remain as spiteful as ever, but find that the converted will easily take care of any sort of mutiny they try to pull off.

A DrillSergeantNasty [[CynicalMentor just acts like one]], with [[TrainingFromHell the purpose of turning recruits into soldiers]]. A SergeantRock may act like one, but is nonetheless held in high regard because he wouldn't put his men through anything he wouldn't go through himself. The Neidermeyer may believe he is either or both.

See also MilesGloriosus for a broader application of this trope.

This trope goes often goes hand in hand with ThePeterPrinciple: the leader has simply advanced to a level too much for his capabilities.

The polar opposite of this trope is "AFatherToHisMen" (into which the Neidermeyer may well evolve). In many cases, a GeneralFailure is basically a Neidermeyer with greater rank and thus even more scope for causing damage. If the Neidermeyer is a temporary replacement for the usual ReasonableAuthorityFigure, it may also be a TyrantTakesTheHelm story. The SisterTrope - a low-ranking leader, such as non-commissioned officer, lacking in authority or hated by his men is GungHolierThanThou.

Named after the infamous blowhard ROTC commander Doug Neidermeyer from the movie ''Film/AnimalHouse''.

Fun fact: "Neider" in German means "Envier", making Neidermeyer's name a MeaningfulName.

Completely unrelated to the founding editor of [=CurbsideClassic.com=].


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Miwa Sakimori from ''Anime/{{Daimos}}'' is this, and a GeneralRipper. He mostly hides behind his soldiers, or Daimos itself from danger. And when opportunity presents, he'll show his extreme racist tendencies by shooting actually harmless Brahmins. And all that's in his mind is... well, you guessed it, promotions.
* Brigadier General Fessler from ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' might have set a record in shortest time between showing up and being offed by his own troops: a few pages, or a few minutes in-story time. In his few pages of life, his only plan of attack in a guerrilla war is to charge, he only thinks of glory for himself, and when the enemy attempts to surrender he refuses, at which point a [[AFatherToHisMen a very different commander archetype]] {{Colonel|Badass}} [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Basque Grand]] has had enough and [[UnfriendlyFire shoots him at point blank range]] [[KlingonPromotion so that he can take command]]. Maes Hughes' immediate reaction is to deem the shot a stray bullet, and everyone agrees (no planning was involved).
* Archer in [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]] fits the trope pretty well too. Incidentally, the anime version of Grand isn't exactly the most lovable commander himself.
* Isen Ryer in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamThe08thMSTeam'' is one of these - he spends his entire time suspecting Shiro Amada of betraying the Federation and sends a GM Sniper on him when he finally deserts,; has a WeHaveReserves mentality towards his troops, going so far as use his own men to detonate their own Mobile Suits to destroy a Zeon base and thinks nothing but the idea of being promoted.
* Ax Hand Morgan from ''OnePiece''. Gives Luffy an extra reason to kick some ass. You even find out later the only reason he was promoted to a position of authority was because of Kuro's BatmanGambit which involved ''hypnotizing Morgan and everyone else into thinking he captured the notorious Captain Kuro''. Also, Spandam can be considered one.
* General Colbert from ''Anime/TekkamanBlade'' is also a real piece of work. Much like Miwa, he too is a racist (so much so he works with [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED Murata Azrael]] in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsJudgment''), treats TheHero like a traitorous piece of filth even though he's the most effective means of defeating the [[BugWar Radam]]. Add in the fact he's also a pretty shameless GeneralRipper as well, and you've got a total asshole of a Neidermeyer as a result.
* [[Manga/SgtFrog Sergeant Keroro]] is a [[DirtyCoward cowardly,]] [[TheSlacker lazy,]] [[SmallNameBigEgo egotistical]] ManChild who'd rather play with toys all day than actually do his job and conquer the planet. [[SubvertedTrope But nobody]] [[OnlySaneMan except Giroro]] hates him for this.
* Itsuki Marude from ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'' is established as a loud-mouthed {{Jerkass}} primarily interested in making himself look good. Everything points towards him being this, [[SubvertedTrope until]] he's actually out in the field as Commander -- when his troops are pinned down by a sniper, he berates several for not doing anything. Then he snatches a rifle from one and [[BoomHeadShot takes the sniper out]] with a single shot. For the rest of the operation, he proves to be a skilled commander concerned about the well-being of his men. He's still an over-bearing, self-important asshole, though.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the GoldenAge ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'' feature "Sheik of Araby!", Sergeant Guillotine disciplines his troops with ComedicSociopathy and forces them to keep fighting when they get wounded:
-->'''Soldat''': Serjeant! I 'ave a bullet hole between mine eyes! May I seek le first aid?\\
'''Sergeant Guillotine''': Slackair! [[OnlyAFleshWound Eet ees a superficial wound!]] Back to ze fight!
* Perhaps not surprisingly, an issue of Garth Ennis's ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}'' features two examples of these. One is an incompetent lieutenant who gets a [=VietCong=] bullet when he's dumb enough to wear his officer's [[strike:stripes]] bars while on patrol, and the other is a {{jerkass}} sergeant who Jesse's father and Spaceman kill after he gets one of their friends killed.
* Major Magnam from the ''ComicBook/RogueTrooper'' story of the same name; his domineering, arrogant personality and contempt for regular soldiers leads to a Souther squad being slaughtered when they try to take a very well-fortified Nort installation. Rogue ends up sticking his biochip into a special containment device and keeping the gun on which it had been stored.
* In the {{Elseworlds}} mini-series ''ComicBook/SupermanAndBatmanGenerations'' by Creator/JohnByrne, {{Superman}}'s powerless son Joel Kent becomes this sort of officer and is shot by his own men in Vietnam.
* In the original ''Creature Commandos'' stories, Lt. Matthew Shrieve is a lot like this, though he's very much a competent soldier. He's often cruel towards the "monsters" under his authority, whom he finds disgusting; the feeling is all too mutual.

* The TropeNamer is the blowhard ROTC commander Douglas C. Neidermeyer from ''Film/AnimalHouse''. The WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue reveals that he ended up being [[UnfriendlyFire shot by his own troops]] in Vietnam. In the John Landis-directed segment of ''Film/TwilightZoneTheMovie'', we even meet the soldiers who shot him.
* Lt. Gorman in ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' certainly qualifies for this, due to his relative inexperience, GeneralFailure at managing the alien attack, [[ArmchairMilitary rear echelon tactics]] and the resulting lack of respect from his troops. However this is subverted later in the story in that he tries to apologise for being a bad officer, has no trouble submitting command to a more experienced and competent subordinate and shows great personal bravery, even attempting to save the marine who despised him the most.
* Corporal Himmelstoss from ''Literature/AllQuietOnTheWesternFront''. He bullies Paul Baümer's squad during basic training; in retaliation, they ambush him, put a sack over his head, and beat him bloody. Himmelstoss later is transferred to the front himself, after, depending on the adaptation, "nearly killing a squad of rookies on the muddy field" or maltreating a recruit whose father turned out to have too much influence. He at first performs badly and chickens out of a charge, much to Paul Bäumer's disgust, but when an ''officer'' orders him to advance, Himmelstoss charges wildly. His eventual fate varies by adaptation. In the novel, he makes up with his former victims and while acting as substitute company cook sees to it they get good food. In the 1930 film, he is killed when following orders to advance. In the 1979 TV film, he receives an Iron Cross from Kaiser Wilhelm II for his perceived heroics on the battlefield.
* Captain Ramsey in ''Film/CrimsonTide'' is an enormous jerk to his entire crew aboard the [[UsefulNotes/SuperiorFirePowerMissileSubmarines SSBN]] under his command. When informed by his XO, Lt. Commander Hunter that crew morale is low and that they might need some words of encouragement from their beloved captain, Ramsey takes the opportunity to chew them all out over the intercom for being lazy and feckless. Later, Ramsey goes into full blown GeneralRipper mode when he is convinced that his orders to fire the missiles has not been countermanded, despite a cutoff in communications right when the counter-order is sent. He is even ready to start shooting officers when most of the crew mutinies to avert a nuclear apocalypse.
* C.J. is introduced in such a way in 2004's ''Film/DawnOfTheDead2004''.
* ''Film/DownPeriscope'':
** Lt Marty Pascal, the executive officer of the submarine ''Stingray'', gets his comeuppance when he tries to mutiny against Dodge and ''no one'' will stand with him. Dodge and the crew dress as pirates, blindfold him, and force him to WalkThePlank - right into the net of a fishing ship that takes him back to base. He ''thought'' they were actually going to kill him, though.
** Rear Admiral Graham counts too. He is only concerned with his career and his idea for what the US Navy should be like. He specifically gives Dodge a RagtagBunchOfMisfits crew he personally selected, all of them rejects from his "perfect Navy" (although one of them is put on the ''Stingray'' because he's ''too'' good at his job). He pulls rank on the commander of the ''Orlando'' and then orders Knox's men around like a bunch of recruits, smugly claiming that "the Admiral has the con". He's also a StrawHypocrite, as he himself cheats his way through war games in order to improve his standing but feels completely justified in that (even though the whole point of this particular exercise is to explore the potential vulnerability of the Navy to an unorthodox terrorist with an old diesel sub).
* Lieutenant Colonel Owen Thursday in ''Film/FortApache'' (modeled on the real-life George Armstrong Custer) is an arrogant martinet to his own men; out of class snobbishness, obstructs the path of True Love between his daughter and a young lieutenant because the latter is the son of an Irish noncom; sees war as a path to personal glory; provokes a conflict with the Apaches that better diplomacy could have avoided; and, worst of all, gets most of his regiment slaughtered through tactical incompetence and stubborn refusal to listen to Captain Yorke, who knows the Apaches much better. For all of that, Yorke credits him with improving the quality of the regiment through his strict discipline.
* In ''Film/HeartbreakRidge'', Major Powers is a good supply clerk with delusions of grandeur.
* Lt. Ito from ''Film/LettersFromIwoJima'', though if anything he's a mild example of what the real Imperial Japanese Military was like.
* In ''Film/PathsOfGlory'', General Mireau sends a division on a suicide mission to attack a heavily fortified German position just for the possibility of getting himself a promotion. After the attack fails, he blames the soldiers and orders random soldiers from the division to be executed for cowardice.
* Lieutenant Pavlov Dill in ''Film/StarshipTroopers2HeroOfTheFederation'' was one of these, though he's more incompetent than mean.
* Captain Stillman from ''Film/{{Stripes}}''.
* In ''Film/TheDirtyDozen'', Wladislaw is in prison awaiting execution for shooting his commanding officer, who, according to Wladislaw, was absconding over the hill with all of his unit's medical supplies.
* Lt. Col. Tall (Nick Nolte) in ''Film/TheThinRedLine''. He has [[GloryHound veins in his teeth]]. Partly subverted in that he [[InferioritySuperiorityComplex secretly has a low opinion of himself...]] [[BunnyEarsLawyer and his tactics work]].
-->'''Staros:''' We had a man, gut shot out, on the slope, sir. It created quite an upset.
-->'''Tall:''' Fine! Fine! Now what about those reinforcements!
-->'''Staros:''' My company alone cannot take that position, sir.
-->'''Tall:''' You're not going to take your men into the jungle to avoid a god damned fight. Now do you hear me, Staros! [[AttackAttackAttack I want you to attack. I want you to attack right now with every man at your disposal. Now attack, Staros!]]

-->'''Tall:''' It's never necessary to tell me that you think I'm right. We'll just... assume it.

-->'''Staros:''' We need some water... the men are passing out.
-->'''Tall:''' The only time you should start worrying about a soldier is when they stop bitchin'.
* Captain Harris in the ''Film/PoliceAcademy'' series. Like many other examples on this page, his heart only beats for the thought of a promotion and a chance to fire, or failing that, humiliate the meddlin' upshoots as well as he can. This being a humorous series, [[ButtMonkey he always ends up humiliated himself]].
* Lieutenant Wolfe in ''Film/{{Platoon}}'', the leader of the titular platoon. An incompetent coward who is unable to control his own soldiers, he lets Elias and Barnes do as they like (and the only order he gives is to burn down the village). US Army leadership classes have used Wolfe an example of how a junior officer should ''not'' behave.
* Colonel Pitts in ''Film/TheEagleHasLanded''. Piqued at being ordered back to the US (he is considered too inexperienced to participate in D-Day) he launches an attack on the church where the German Fallschirmjager (paratroops) are holed up without doing a proper recon, completely missing the germans hidden at various points in the village and wiping out his entire platoon; to top it all he gets killed by Joanna Grey while trying to kill her with a grenade; since they were played by Larry Hagman and Jean Marsh respectively this spawned a thousand t-shirts saying "Rose (from ''Upstairs Downstairs'') Shot J.R! (from ''Dallas'')"
* Captain Jae-oh in the 2011 UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar film, ''Film/TheFrontLine''. He doesn't fare better than the officer he replaced by not listening to valuable advice of the more experienced non-coms, threatening subordinates at gunpoint for not listening to orders and making terrible tactical decisions as a result. He finally crosses the line when he chooses to hold the line as ordered to by the higher ups, essentially ordering his men to their deaths. [[spoiler:It's no wonder he ends up with the exact same [[UnfriendlyFire fate]] as the previous captain]].
* Major Erich Kaempffer in ''Film/TheKeep''. He's a ruthless, narrowminded bully, even by the standards of the insanely brutal SS Einsatzkommando. When German soldiers begin dying under mysterious circumstances, Kaempffer is sent to handle what the SS believes to be the work of LaResistance. His first act on arriving is to have three people shot for unclear reasons, take over from the more experienced Captain Woermann and generally ignore everything he says. Bizarrely, after being led to believe Glaeken can be useful to him in discovering the identity of the keep's owner(s), when Glaeken resists arrest, kills an SS soldier and is then shot and seemingly killed himself, Kaempffer not only doesn't care about his dead man but also doesn't seem to realize that the ''one'' (as far as he knew) probable link to finding out what he so desperately wanted to know just got shot off of a cliff.
* Lt. Monroe, the quartermaster at Navrin Field in ''[[Film/{{Fortress2012}} Fortress]]'', is an asshole in every possible way. Luckily he's only in charge of the supply depot.
* Two in ''Film/HornetsNest'':
** Colonel Jannings, who smugly says that the Della Norte Dam that the Americans want to destroy is impregnable, over the objections of Wehrmacht officer Captain von Hecht. He insists further their "obvious" target is the Grimaldi Tunnel. Surprise, surprise, the dam is in von Hecht's district, while the tunnel is in Jannings'. Although never said outright, Jannings appears to be attempting to discredit the outspoken, anti-Nazi (or at least anti-SS) von Hecht and wrest control from a defanged Wehrmacht by insisting resources and men be sent to ''him'', not von Hecht. We never do get to see what his reaction is when he's told the dam got blown up, sadly.
** Major Taussig, one of Jannings' subordinates. Like his superior, practically everything goes in one ear and out the other, and even when actual evidence comes up, he ignores it if clashes with what he previously believed. [[spoiler:Von Hecht ends up growing tired of his stubbornness and lack of foresight, and just plain frags him, 'Nam style.]]
* The MP sergeant in ''Film/TheIngloriousBastards''. All he has to do is transport the Bastards to a prison, but he has to be an arrogant and abusive jerk about it. When some of the prisoners attempt to escape during a German air raid, the sergeant shoots them in the back. [[spoiler:Tellingly, when the prisoners turn the tables on their captors, the sergeant is one of the only ones they kill]].
* Film/MyWay: Pretty much every single commanding officer Jun-shik follows.
** Colonel Tatsuo forms suicide squads from his garrison and in a face of a hopeless battle against Soviet tanks, refuses to call retreat for the remnant of the Japanese forces.
** A Russian Commissar sends a group of POW conscripts into a kill zone of the German forces, also shooting anyone who tries to retreat.
** At D-Day, a German officer locks Jun-Shik and Tatsuo in a room with two machine guns, forcing them to fight off the American landing.
* Oberleutnant von Nogay from ''Film/CKDezerterzy''. Loudmouthed, abusive and cruel. When his commanding officer, Major Wagner, [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech chews him out for brutalizing the soldiers]], von Nogay goes as far as to threaten him.
* Played with in ''What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?'' Captain Lionel Cash has a stick up his butt from the moment he appears onscreen, demanding instant respect and threatening subordinates with demotion at the drop of a hat. [[spoiler:He eventually gets better after learning how to unwind, but overnight things pretty much devolve into anarchy without him enforcing the rules, creating huge problems involving an arriving American intelligence officer, so sometimes it seems TheNeidermeyer [[JerkassHasAPoint has a point]].]]

* In the U.S. Army, this figure is known as a "Courtney Massengale", from the character in the novel ''Once an Eagle'' by Anton Myrer, who fits the trope to a T. For this reason, ''Eagle'' is recommended reading for young officers.
* Captains von Pader and Meier from the novels by Creator/SvenHassel, and quite a few other Nazi officers.
* Seen a couple of times in the Night's Watch in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. Ser Alliser Thorne insults and berates all the boys he's supposed to train, without actually giving them anything in the way of instruction. Meanwhile, the few pages' worth we see of Ser Waymar Royce has him mocking the lower ranking but more experienced rangers under his command every time they display caution or prudence.
* Two characters that are likened to each other in ''Literature/AllQuietOnTheWesternFront'': the psychotic, sadistic drill sergeant that the main characters train under, and the high school teacher that coerced all of his students into joining the military.
* Everybody in a position of authority in ''Literature/CatchTwentyTwo'' falls under this.
** Except perhaps Major -- De Coverley, he's more of a MemeticBadass with an awe-inspiring reputation and fearsome appearance, but no real authority beyond renting apartments. [[spoiler:Like anyone who's not a complete bastard, he dies or disappears.]]
** And Major Major, who really just wants to be left alone.
* Captain Hisashi Kurokawa of the HIMS ''Amagi'' in TaylorAnderson's ''Literature/{{Destroyermen}}'' series. A more extreme example of a typical UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan naval officer (see RealLife below), he is openly disdainful of his men (both officers and noncoms) and reasons that any success by the enemy must be due to traitors in his ranks. He freely allows the [[LizardFolk Grik]] to kill and eat a percentage of his crew to placate them and has no problems sending pilots on suicide missions (even telling them not bothering coming back if they fail).
* General Lord Ronald Rust from the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels doesn't actually get shot by his own men in ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'', but his overbearing superiority and tactical incompetence make it very tempting. As a captain in ''Discworld/NightWatch'', he is knocked unconscious by his own men when he orders them to fire on civilians.
** Corporal Strappi from ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment''.
** While not in a military organization, Sergeant Fred Colon quickly becomes this after being promoted to Acting Captain in ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant''. By the time Carrot returns to resume authority, Colon has fired or driven off all members of the Watch, with only a handful hanging around informally enforcing the law.
*** Fred differs from most Niedermeyers in that he is not a bad man, merely a ''very'' bad officer. He didn't want the promotion, and the stress drove him completely bonkers, convinced that if he can find out who is stealing sugar cubes (he's doing it subconsciously, and he's really bad at counting) all the other problems will go away. He's incredibly relieved when Captain Carrot returns and he can be a sergeant again.
*** Vimes hasn't promoted Fred from Sergeant (or Nobby from Corporal) because despite the fact they're senior to almost ''everybody'' in the Watch (Colon even has seniority on His Grace himself), they're perfectly happy in the ranks they hold and '''really''' aren't suited for anything higher anyway.
** Actually, nearly every general in the armies of the Sto Plains (the area in which Ankh-Morpork lies) counts as this, since their general battle strategy is to hurl their men at the enemy and receive "glorious casualties", since apparently the number of fallen men equals how great the battle was for them. If they actually win anything, that's a nice albeit unimportant bonus. They see the famous general Tacticus as a dishonorable military leader because he had the distinct tendency to win battles and wars and bring most of his soldiers back alive. The official metric goes something like this: First, both sides throw their men at each other. Then, you subtract ''your'' casualties from ''their'' casualties, and "if the answer is a positive sum, it was a glorious victory".
* In ''Literature/{{Doom}}'':
** Lieutenant Weems from ''Knee-Deep in the Dead''. He was so incompetent and cowardly that he ordered his men to fire on a bunch of harmless monks protesting their war efforts, mistaking them for suicide bombers even after one of his scout Arlene told him they were harmless. Fly decked him for that, and that's why he is stuck on suspension in the cafeteria on Phobos when everything goes to Hell. Throughout the novel Fly has unflattering thoughts about Weems, believing that he's the kind of guy who would side with the alien invaders if it meant saving his own skin. [[spoiler:Fly finds the bodies of Weems and another soldier who had entered a suicide pact after the aliens trapped them in a FateWorseThanDeath by ''fusing their heads together'', after that he feels too much pity to hate the man anymore]].
** Hidalgo in ''Infernal Sky'' invokes this. He doesn't want to get close to the squad and he's the "new guy" among TrueCompanions. Hidalgo introduces himelf by stating he's not going to fraternize with them, demands proper uniform maintenance, and tells Fly that almost saving the world nearly makes up for punching his last CO. Fly's natural dislike of officers, their experience with Lt. Weems, and the high stakes of the mission lead Arlene to suggest killing Hidalgo if he's a liability. In time the whole squad warms to each other, only to suddenly [[DroppedABridgeOnHim Drop a Bridge on Him]] when a teleporter malfunction causes Fly to TeleFrag Hidalgo.
* ''Literature/GenerationKill'' has several: Captain America, Encino Man ("Echo Mike"), Sgt. Maj. "Fucking" Sixta, though he was only [[GenghisGambit acting that way]] to give the troops an outlet for their frustration, and though he's an NCO, "Casey Kasem". (After the events of ''Generation Kill'' however, Kasem proved to be more akin to SergeantRock as a platoon sergeant when it came to combat.)
* A couple generals in Urtho's army in ''[[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar The Black Gryphon]]''. Troops of all species dread being placed under their command because they're known for using tactics which would be gloriously victorious if they ever worked, but since they never work, are instead suicidally stupid. [[spoiler:It eventually turns out they're traitors, and they plan on losing every time.]]
* The ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series is overflowing with these, including:
** Pavel Young, and every one of his friends and/or relatives.
** Any senior officer appointed by the High Ridge government, with the one exception of Khumalo.
** Turned on its head by High Ridge's distant cousin Michael Oversteegen, who turns out to be an exceptional officer and thoroughly despises his incompetent, selfish relatives, and by Augustus Khumalo, an aristocratic officer who was barely middle-of-the-road until the Talbott Quadrant blew up in his face and he shocked ''everyone'' -- up to and including himself -- by proving himself to be a thoroughly competent, honourable leader who backed Aivars Terekhov to the hilt despite the possible repercussions and had the good sense to get out of the way of his subordinates with far better tactical ability than himself.
** Most of the "People's Commissioners" in the People's Republic of Haven's navy, with the notable and plot-important exceptions of [[spoiler:Eloise Pritchart, Everard Honeker, Denis [=LePic=], and Denis Jourdain]].
** A huge proportion of the Solarian League's senior officers are incompetent morons who arrogantly keep sending fleets (also tending to be commanded by morons) of a space navy that hasn't seen a real war in centuries against a technologically superior enemy that has managed to get most of their incompetents weeded out and the good ones given a great deal of experience thanks to the war they just ended.
* In the ''Literature/LordDarcy'' short story "The Spell of War", Darcy, a young officer at the time, [[SelectiveObliviousness chooses not to notice]] that the commander of his unit--who'd been a tyrant and endangered the men--had a bullet entry wound on his back from a pistol...received when he'd been ''facing'' an enemy sniper who was using a rifle.
** The man responsible for this UnfriendlyFire then goes on to do a RedemptionEqualsDeath when he learns that the Captain's orders weren't really suicidally stupid (Though this was due to chance, not any hidden genius on the late Captain's part).
* With the exception of the Paran siblings ([[TheHero Ganoes]] and Tavore), every single noble-born military officer in the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' series. [[{{Anvilicious}} Every one]].
* Captain Morton in ''Film/MisterRoberts'' by James Heggen. Played in the 1955 movie by James Cagney, he is a tyrant, but the whole situation is mostly played for laughs.
* The ''Literature/{{Sharpe}}'' books were full of these. Some of them learned their lesson (kind of), some of them just ceased to be Sharpe's problem, and some were mercilessly bayoneted by their own troops.
** Sharpe himself was The Neidermeyer for a while, after he first became an officer. And yes, [[UnfriendlyFire his men did attempt to kill him]]. Luckily for him, that's easier said than done.
* In the Creator/DaleBrown novel ''Sky Masters'', an inexperienced Captain second-guesses his air defence expert and, when one anti-air missile misfires, shuts down the point defence net in his {{Lawful Stupid}}ity, allowing an antiship missile to get through and hit the carrier they were supposed to be protecting. Said misfired missile had actually exploded and was tumbling back towards the launcher - keeping the other launch cells closed was a prudent thing to do; keeping on firing might have risked BOTH ships.
* Captain Styles of the [[Franchise/StarTrek USS Excelsior]] is this in the {{Novelization}} of ''Star Trek III''. We don't see very much of him in the movie, but the characterization is plausible from what we do see.
** Given the rate of promotion in the Franchise/StarTrek universe, could this be Lieutenant Styles from the Original Series episode "Balance of Terror"? If so, [[FantasticRacism he wasn't a very nice person back then, either]]. The lieutenant's name was spelt "Stiles", sadly.
* He also appeared in the Star Trek novel "Prime Directive" as the Enterprise's acting captain while Kirk was in disgrace; he didn't take it very well when Kirk returned and took the ship back; he held a grudge against Kirk forever after.
* Captain Fisher, a.k.a. "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Liar Billy Liar]]", in Creator/KimNewman's AlternateHistory novella ''Literature/TeddyBearsPicnic''. His own troops frag him with a white phosphorus grenade, a practice known as "white saucing". For the record, white phosphorous burns at [[http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m15.htm 5000 degrees]] and sticks to the skin.
* Captain Queeg of Herman Wouk's ''Literature/TheCaineMutiny'', and the movie and play (''The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial'') based on it, could almost be the TropeNamer. It is often used in media as an alternate name for this trope.
* Lieutenant Bennett from ''Literature/TheCruelSea''. A lazy bully. Instead of being shot by his own men, he fakes illness to get out of the war.
* General George Armstrong Custer in Harry Turtledove's UsefulNotes/WorldWarI AlternateHistory trilogy ''The Great War'' is like this. Although he lacks the "You're all worthless and weak!!" part, he is still more then willing to send the unfortunate men under his command into needlessly costly and bloody offensives that end up gaining little. He constantly tries to seek glory wherever he can and also is more then willing to hog it all and push all the blame on others when something fails. However, by the end of the trilogy, he later proves to be a competent officer when he [[spoiler:disobeys the US general Staff's orders on not using tanks in a concentrated formation. This leads to the US occupying Kentucky and later forces the Confederate States to surrender once other officers begin copying it.]]
** That wasn't being a competent officer. That was being the same idiot he'd always been and happening to get lucky this time. As his aide-de-camp later (frequently) reminisces.
** Boris Lavochkin is the "psychotic hard-ass" version during the Second Great War - a brutal and vindictive officer who didn't have any qualms about massacring civilians or treating his own men with thinly-disguised contempt. He vociferously protested being ordered not to invade Charleston, South Carolina ''even after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city'' because he wanted the glory of capturing the city that sparked the Confederacy.
* Many Orc officers in all versions of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''.
** Averted by Shagrat, who cares about his men and is actually shown to be fairly noble. He even gets a good death. Also Uglúk of Saruman's Uruk-Hai.
* ''Literature/TheUnknownSoldier'': Staff Sergeant Sinkkonen is both a cocky martinet ''and'' a completely incompetent barracks warrior. Lieutnant Lammio is an tentative aversion. While he is an immensely skilled tactician and brave to the point of insanity, he is just as cocky as Sinkkonen, has NoSocialSkills and no humanising weaknesses whatsoever. His men hate him. Corporal Lehto is another aversion: he is shown to possess psychopathic and antisocial tendencies, and he bullies Pvt. Riitaoja relentlessly, but he is not incompetent nor a coward. His men fear him.
* Averted in ''Literature/TheWarAgainstTheChtorr'' ("A Matter for Men"). The hero Jim [=McCarthy=], having just been made an officer after killing a rampaging Chtorran; tries to bully [[HotScientist Dr Fletcher]] out of some Chtorran specimans. First she takes him down a peg by showing [=McCarthy=] that the Chtorran he 'killed' is still very much alive. Then she points out that everyone wants to look up to their superiors, so an officer's job is to ''inspire'' people, not boss them about. She finishes by congratulating [=McCarthy=] on his shooting, and asks him to bring flowers next time. [=McCarthy=] is highly embarrassed, but learns from the experience. In "A Season for Slaughter" however, when pushed too far by incompetent Major Bellus, [=McCarthy=] doesn't educate this Neidermeyer, he demolishes him. On worldwide live television.
* Imperial captain Joak Drysso, in command of the Super Star Destroyer "Lusankya" in the ''Literature/XWingSeries''. Near the end, with his ship damaged and obviously beyond hope of winning the battle, he refuses an offer for surrender and orders the engines to full power, with the intention of ramming the planet and dying with his ship and crew in a blaze of glory. He is promptly shot by a subordinate, who then acts as captain and [[KnowWhenToFoldEm accepts the offer to surrender]].
* In the ''Literature/McAuslan'' books, the sole Neidermeyer in a mess full of SergeantRock types is the hapless Sergeant Baxter. it isn't entirely Baxter's fault: he's just been [[PeterPrinciple overpromoted]] and even as a Corporal lacked experience and ability. his inexperience and incapacity for the rank (bestowed after the more able Sergeant Telfer is demobilised) cause problems. it even reverses the usual relationship with his lieutenant: Dand [=McNeill=] is forced to reprimand him at least twice.
* Chief Inspector Snape in the ''Literature/DiamondBrothers'' series towards [[TheDitz Tim Diamond]], who used to work for him in the police force. When Tim gets arrested for acting suspicious around a dead body in ''Literature/TheFalconsMalteser'', Snape is thrilled to have him locked up.
* The International Fleet is full of them in the second ''Literature/FormicWars'' trilogy (prequels to ''Literature/EndersGame''). Colonel Vaganov is an especially dangerous example because he's very smart and good at playing the career game. He quickly singles Mazer out as a competent marine and does what he can to use Mazer for his own advancement. When Mazer disobeys his self-serving order for the good of humanity, Vaganov has him arrested and treated inhumanely, thinking that Mazer is playing his own career game and is trying to undermine Vaganov, before sending him to be court-martialed by an admiral, who's a good friend of his. WordOfGod is that the authors had to add this element to he prequels in order to stay true to the one-off line about Mazer from the original novel involving him being court-martialed twice and being largely unknown. The only way for someone like him to be court-martialed would be for the IF to be full of corrupt careerists, who resent competent officers and sabotage them. The ''Mazer in Prison'' comic (taking place between the prequels and the original novel) has Mazer holding himself hostage in order to force the IF to replace the careerists with competent officers. It works.
** Notably, there are times when [[JerkassHasAPoint Vaganov isn't entirely wrong]], such as when he sends Mazer and Bingwen into a dangerous situation rather than take the safer option in order to obtain more intel on the Formics. The revised mission ends up discovering that [[spoiler:the Hive Queen is breeding daughters in asteroids in order to serve as local commanders, allowing her to focus on better controlling a smaller number of soldiers. Bingwen manages to kill one of the daughters with a crossbow bolt through the eye and then igniting the hydrogen in the asteroid. This leaves an intact Formic warship with no crew to study]].

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** In the movie "In the Beginning," General Lefcourt approached then-commander John Sheridan to be the first officer to Captain Michael Jankowski. Sheridan refused, stating that Jankowski was a loose cannon and referenced how so many of his peers thought Jankowski an incompetent risk taker. In a twist, it is revealed that Hague knew this all along and wanted Sheridan to take the job since he needs someone competent to keep Jankowski in line. Soon after, Jankowski is present at first contact with the Minbari, when they decide to exterminate humanity. Surprisingly, this is not his fault.
* Series/BandOfBrothers had two real-life examples:
** Captain Herbert M. Sobel is portrayed as a petty tyrant whose harsh training earns him resentment from the men under his command. Though his tactics do make his soldiers tougher, they're mostly intended to make him look good as their commanding officer. However, his total incompetence in the field causes a number of his [=NCOs=] to flat-out refuse to serve under his command.
** Lt. Norman Dike, who is given command of Easy Company during the war. It is implied that he got his position due to his pedigree and family connections, but is himself an "empty uniform" who can only feign competence. The only thing that holds the unit together is Sergeant Lipton's tireless efforts to maintain morale. After breaking down during an assault, Dike is immediately replaced with the vastly more competent Ronald Speirs.
*** Wiki/TheOtherWiki implies he fought bravely and well in Normandy and got wounded twice. It is assumable he became a ShellShockedVeteran.
* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': Crashdown attempts to lead a squad on a hostile planet surface. Things go wrong. [[spoiler:He gets two of the squad killed then is shot ''by Gaius Baltar'' when attempting to force a needless suicide mission]].
** Though his fatal flaw is more due to inexperience than anything else. It's not that he doesn't care about those under his command, but rather his incompetence and focus on "accomplishing the tactical mission" no matter how ill-advised that mission might be. When doing his job as an ECO he's not bad at all. He just wasn't cut out for ground combat.
* ''Series/{{Blackadder}} Goes Forth'':
** General Melchett. Melchett is distraught by the death of his pigeon "Speckled Jim", yet blissfully uncaring about the fifty thousand men a week dying in the trenches. His bizarre tactics that help expedite the latter include "doing precisely what we've done eighteen times before" and "climbing out of [the] trenches and walking very slowly towards the enemy". Sadly, both are widely ''thought to be'' TruthInTelevision...
** When walking very slowly towards the enemy, Commonwealth soldiers were commonly marching behind a firewall of artillery that typically exterminated everyone trying to pop up and hurt them. When they lost the protection of that barrage (muddy ground and other unexpected holdups) is when things frequently went bad. ''Blackadder'' is wonderful satire, but has done terrible things for the understanding of Great War history.
** That said, in 1916 the Commonwealth artillery forces really were sub-par and (in certain sectors) basically useless[[note]] many hastily-manufactured Commonwealth artillery pieces still didn't have aiming-circles or mechanical computing machines to be used by each 'battery' or firing-group of four or five guns (meaning you just had to try to copy the positioning of the pieces and batteries that did have them and pray, [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption though being a single degree off could mean missing by a hundred yards or more]]), many of the gunners and their officers didn't have the training necessary to pull off a feat as complicated as a 'Creeping Barrage' anyway, and a full third of their shells were duds due to the poor quality-control that characterised all (pre-war) British manufactured goods [[/note]] - though [[StrategyVersusTactics an operational/strategic breakthrough]] was still out of the question due to the non-consideration of logistics[[note]] Offensives in 1917 like Third Ypres proved that fixing the artillery's problems wasn't enough for them to make operational/strategic breakthroughs; they still [[EasyLogistics didn't appreciate the ''gargantuan'' effort it took]] to re-build the roads and railways of the just-captured battlefield they'd just completely demolished with artillery ''in addition to'' the routine tasks of keeping alive and moving up tens of thousands of artillery pieces, hundreds of thousands of men (including tens of thousands of wounded), thousands of trucks, and hundreds of thousands of horses... in a ''shorter'' space of time than it took for the Germans to dig a new set of trenches and artillery-positions. 1917 proved that this could be done for a handful of assaults, but after this the horses were too exhausated and sick (or dead) to go on and the operational/strategic breakthroughs were never made [[/note]]. In the end the Entente never actually managed to make an operational/strategic breakthrough against the Germans, though the Russians and Italians managed a couple against the Austro-Hungarians. It wasn't until [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo the next war]], when they had more (faster and drastically more resistant to fatigue than horses) trucks than they knew what to do with them, that Commonwealth forces actually managed to make their first operational/strategic breakthrough at El Alamein.
** Captain Blackadder himself is an example, albeit a mild one. His subordinates adore him, while he treats them with cold contempt and considers them usless idiots... which, in his defense, they mostly are.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' brings us...Buffy Summers, who turned into this with [[DrillSergeantNasty the way she treated the Potentials]] and refusal to come up with a plan [[WeHaveReserves that did not result in more deaths.]] When [[TheRival Faith]] returns and shows she's a pretty decent SergeantRock Buffy flips completely (Faith is described as her most hated enemy) forcing things to come to a head.
* ''Series/{{Enlisted}}'': 2LT Schneeberger. He goes out of his way to be as obnoxious as possible to everyone lower ranking than him, including a Command Sergeant Major (who may be lower rank but is meant to be viewed as a mentor by junior officers). Also has a tendency to steal the credit for anything that goes well, regardless of how much influence he had over it.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'':
** Captain Crais. Initially, it's indicated that this is the result of RevengeBeforeReason in his pursuit of Crichton for accidentally killing his brother. Flashbacks in "The Way We Weren't," however, reveal that he was always a whackjob and a jackass hated by all around him. When [[BigBad Scorpius]] steps up to take his command away from him at the end of Season 1, none of his officers so much as object, let alone side with him.
** Commandant Mele-on Grayza, as well. She's outright ''incompetent'' in executing her attempt to recapture Moya, totally inept managing diplomacy with the Scarrans, and is harsh and unforgiving of her subordinates, and berates [[AFatherToHisMen Braca]] for actually ''listening'' to what his people are telling him (case in point: Braca accepts the explanation of a Peacekeeper weapons tech who tries to advise him that a Leviathan-killing missile is not ready for active deployment, but Grayza overrules him and forces him to order its use anyway. Sure enough, Moya's crew figures out a way to fool its tracking system. Grayza summarily sends the weapons tech to the Aurora Chair). It culminates at the end of season 4 with Grayza [[HonorBeforeReason ordering her ship to battle]] when her attempts to negotiate with the Scarrans break down (thanks in no small part to [[SpannerInTheWorks Crichton and his crew undermining the whole process to make sure the Scarrans can't get wormhole knowledge from a captive Scorpius]]) rather than go home in disgrace. It's ''really'' telling that when Braca relieves her of command and she orders him to be shot, ''no one'' is even inclined to follow her orders.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': Though he isn't shown on-screen, in the episode "The Message," Mal and Zoe recount an instance where one of their superior officers acted exactly like this. However, in this case, the man was drunk off his rocker, and passed out, at which point one of the troops cut off the man's mustache and glued it to his own face.
* ''Series/GenerationKill'':
** Captain America, a completely incompetent office who is constantly prone to panicking and giving illogical orders during combat situations. The reporter following the unit confronts Captain America's commanding officer, asking how such an obviously incompetent man could be in his position, but Godfather insists that he's only got the grumblings of lower officers to go on, which isn't enough to remove someone from their position.
** Encino Man loses the tiny amount of sympathy he ''may'' have had in the book, with the actor playing him nailing the concept of the nickname perfectly; a man who's problem isn't lack of experience so much as lack of basic common sense.
** Sgt. Major John "Fucking" Sixta who has more power than either of them -- and uses it to continually insist on personal grooming standards while allowing the company to abandon their ammo supply truck in enemy territory. In the final episode, Sixta [[spoiler:reveals that his psychotic obsession with the men's grooming standards was a Genghis Gambit to give them an outlet for their stress.]]
* ''Series/HellsKitchen'': Creator/GordonRamsay follows this trope in this show, and any of his American-produced shows. ''However'', Ramsay's behavior on the UK original of "Kitchen Nightmares" puts him much more in the ''SergeantRock'' personality trope. He may be harsh on the incompetent or misguided cooks, but he's doing it so the diners get the best experience and the cooks realize their own potential.
* ''Series/HogansHeroes'':
** Colonel Crittendon. The Heroes' plans to murder him weren't entirely sarcastic.
** Colonel Klink himself is this on the German side. During one of the many times Klink was sentenced to death by firing squad, the entire garrison of [[CardboardPrison Stalag 13]] (including Schultz) volunteered for said firing squad. In fact, three guards that had previously deserted returned to volunteer as well. Notably, Klink gets this from ''all'' directions: not only do his men (and the Allied prisoners) detest him for his incompetence, cowardice, and ego, but everyone above him in the German chain of command knows that he's massively incompetent. The only reason he hasn't been sent off to the Russian Front is because Stalag 13 hasn't had a single successful escape (thanks to the Heroes working behind the scenes) since he took command.
* ''Series/LastOfTheSummerWine'':
** Had Foggy Dewhurst, a former corporal in the Army. Subverted in that he's now a civilian now, and even when he was in the Army, he was only a sign writer, and thus probably never saw any action. This doesn't stop him from constantly finding reasons to boss Compo and Clegg around, often pretending he's genuinely interested in helping other people. He's so determined to inflict his will on them that on one occasion, he started strangling Compo, completely unprovoked, because he simply ''thought'' he was going to embarrass him. Too bad the vicar's wife saw him...
** Subverted with his predecessor, Cyril Blamire, who was also a corporal in the Army and similar to Foggy - right down to the mustache - but unlike him, Blamire was content with his retirement and, despite bickering constantly, was good friends with Compo and Clegg.
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'':
** Major Frank Burns - especially notably because he's an officer and not enlisted.
** ''[=M*A*S*H=]'' also had several Foe of the Week commanders who either [[KarmicTrickster learned a lesson or were otherwise removed from command]] by the doctors.
** When Major Burns left the series (due to having a psychological breakdown caused by the marriage of Major Houlihan - which led to him causing havoc in Tokyo while on [=RnR=]), the Army, in its infinite wisdom, [[KickedUpstairs promoted him to Lieutenant Colonel and gave him a cushy job in a stateside Veteran's Hospital]]... which is extra disconcerting given that Major Burns was always made out to be an incompetent doctor, has no friends in high places, and the Army historically had a medieval attitude towards officers who go wacko.
** Margaret Houlihan is this herself in the beginning. Insecure in herself because her father is a career officer who really wanted a son to follow in his footsteps, and aware opportunities for a female officer are limited, she is harsh on her nurses and feels alienated and alone. After the departure of Burns, she mellows out and passes on from her own Neidermeyer stage, becoming a competent and compassionate officer, learning from Potter, Hawkeye and BJ.
** Hawkeye and Winchester both had their opportunity to be Neidermeyers when given the chance to command. Anyone other than Blake or Potter in charge of the 4077th ends up as this trope. The difference between them and Burns is that these episodes set up an AnAesop about the difficulty of true leadership when the rest of the main cast calls them out on it, and they see the error of their ways.
** Not so much in the earlier seasons. In the Season 3 episode "Officer of the Day", Hawkeye's command of the 4077th was treated as little more than a day at the office; he essentially spent the whole period doing what he always did, albeit while having to deal with a visit from [[GeneralRipper Colonel Flagg]]. FridgeBrilliance is that, since his command lasted only a day, and an uneventful one (save for Flagg's visit) at that, Hawkeye didn't have to deal with the rigors of command that Blake went through on a day to day basis.
** Subverted in one episode where a group of British soldiers are brought in. Their wounds aren't life threatening, but they're in a bad shape and need several weeks to recuperate. Their commanding officer shows up twice demanding that they be discharged and sent to the front as soon as possible, accusing them of laziness and calling Hawkeye a "mollycoddler". The third time he shows up, Hawkeye rushes to intervene, only to find him chatting amicably with the wounded, listening to their letters from home and generally acting like AFatherToHisMen. When Hawkeye asks him what brought on this change, the officer replies that he would never speak the way he had to someone who was dying or seriously injured, and his men know him well enough to realise that, so when he comes in demanding they return to action immediately, it reassures them that they're going to be okay and they don't lose hope, which he describes as "being cruel to be kind".
* ''Series/NorthAndSouthUS'': Elkanah Bent treats Orry and George like scum. He gets Orry crippled by Mexican artillery. Orry cripples him, he murders Orry then George hangs him.
* ''Series/{{The Office|US}}'':
** Dwight Schrute becomes the civilian equivalent whenever he is given even the slightest amount of authority.
** His equivalent (and character model) in the original British series was a Territorial Army soldier (think National Guard) who insisted on his status as Deputy Team Leader after David Brent and who stood on a largely non-existent authority.
* ''Series/OverThere'': Both of TheSquad's lieutenants. The first is nicknamed "Mad Cow" because "it's a disease that rots men's brains." The later one is shot in the back under ambiguous circumstances, with the finale leaving it open whether he was killed by the SergeantRock.
* ''Series/{{Raumpatrouille}}'': Lieutenant Spring-Brauner has ambitions in this direction - if he could, he would like to replace the ''Orion'''s crew with robots - but luckily he is only General Wamsler's aide-de-camp with no authority of his own.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'':
** Arnold Rimmer is a SubvertedTrope, as though having all the requisite personality traits, he lacks real authority, and the people he does outrank refuse to listen to him. Plus, he's dead already, so fragging's out of the question.
** He does once get command of a small army, and actually manages to force a draw against a numerically superior enemy... though he did it by sacrificing all but two of his troops in a charge across an open minefield in broad daylight to serve as a distraction.
** To be accurate, he got ''all'' of his Wax Droid troops slaughtered. Most in the aforementioned mid-day minefield charge, several ''melted'' as a result of the training he put them through, and the sole survivor was dispatched as an assassin with the full understanding/intention that she would die in her mission of killing the Evil Wax Droid leaders. The only reason he was remotely able to claim this as a victory was because, while the enemy forces were distracted, Kryten was able to get to the planetary temperature controls and adjust the planet's heat so that all of the Wax Droids melted. Lister was not impressed:
-->'''Lister''': So you wiped out the entire population of this planet?
-->'''Rimmer''': You make it sound so negative Lister. Don't you see? The deranged menace that once threatened this world is vanquished!
-->'''Lister''': No it isn't pal, you're still here!
** Further subverted in 'Balance of Power' in that Lister tried to outrank Rimmer by taking the chef's exam--the lowest rank on the ship that would still outrank Rimmer, and the one requiring the least effort to attain:
-->'''Rimmer''': Chef? You want to become a chef?
-->'''Lister''': Not really. I just want to become your superior.
-->'''Rimmer''': But a chef? A white hatted ponce? That's not a real officer!
-->'''Lister''': It outranks '''you''', smeg-for-brains!
** ''Series/RedDwarf'' also had the ship's backup computer Queeg 500, who was installed for an episode when the crew got sick of Holly's incompetence. Queeg turned out to be so strict that even Rimmer got sick of him. And then it turns out that Queeg was Holly all along.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': Captain Jeremy Baker in [[Recap/RevolutionS1E3NoQuarter episode 3]]. He sends his men into the field for the sole purpose of forcing the enemy to waste bullets cutting them down, and fails to anticipate an ambush...not once, but twice.
* ''Series/TheRifleman'':
** Had one episode where an Army Major was this to his troops '''and''' the civilians of North Fork. Fortunately, everyone in North Fork realized how insane his military command was, and his superiors got a message from Lucas [=McCain=] about his incompetence, recalling the Major back to headquarters. However, the Major spun the story, claiming that his superiors needed his command elsewhere, even leaving his Lieutenant with this message: "Lieutenant, remember, the key to command is a firm hand, discipline!" Even more during the episode:
** He refused his men water (in the deserts of New Mexico) before the events of the episode, and one of his men was shot when he did steal some water , and the man's wound was not tended to, even in the jail. He was also set to be executed the next day. (He got better.)
** He mentioned how his men cracked under pressure from the enemy, costing him a promotion, when in fact he sent them in deliberately and they were shot to pieces.
** He called out one of his men for "resting" after a four-hour duty shift tending the jail his deserter was imprisoned in, and ordered his Lieutenant to add another hour to his duty shift. (The man had collapsed from heat exhaustion.) Even the Major's YesMan Lieutenant started to question his command at this time, as he actually gave the man some water behind the Major's back.
** He attempted to place Lucas [=McCain=], a civilian, under arrest for going behind his back to his superiors about his insane incompetence. (Civilian arrests by military officials are prohibited, if you didn't know.)
** He attempted to place the town of North Fork under martial law. (To circumvent the civilian arrest rule.)
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'': Though a non-military example, Dr. Kelso is this to the entirety of Sacred Heart Hospital. This trope comes to the fore as a plot device in one episode when he becomes particularly inspired by ''this trope'' when a veteran lands in his hospital's care. The vet tells Kelso of his former sergeant's leadership, though ultimately the sergeant united the the troops underneath him through their hate towards him. Against the backdrop of this, the hospital's productivity was falling as the staff were becoming to enveloped by an ongoing, literal coffeehouse debate around the [[TheWarOnTerror war in Iraq]]. Kelso resolves the issue by suddenly announcing that he was canceling the staff discount for coffee, except for his own. When asked to explain why, his response was "Why the hell not?" and to walk away. However, [[CharacterDevelopment ultimately subverts the trope]] in that he takes it upon himself to be the one they can all hate in order to unite them on a common front. After he retires, he becomes a [[CoolOldGuy pretty nice guy.]]
* ''Series/StargateUniverse'': Colonel Telford is the Neidermeyer in his early appearances. He utterly ignores not only the very immediate and life-threatening problems facing the crew in favor of the rules, but also completely ignores the fact that his [[GrandTheftMe host body]] is in terrible shape the first time around. In the episode "Earth", he usurps Young's command (albeit on orders from higher up) and nearly gets the entire ship destroyed. To add insult to injury, he abandons ''Destiny'' while this happens ([[spoiler:which [[MagnificentBastard Dr. Rush]] had actually expected him to do and thus arranged the whole show just to make him look like an ass]]). Thankfully, this last one does not go unpunished; Young, having learned his lesson, never gives Telford the opportunity to try again, and burns him pretty good back on Earth for his actions.
* General George Hammond from ''Series/StargateSG1'' was originally intended to be such a character, as this was how most commanding officers/superiors were treated in other television shows at the time[[note]]except for Creator/DonaldPBellisario's ''Series/{{JAG}}''[[/note]]. After talking with a U.S. Air Force consultant -- who pointed out that a man who rose to Hammond's position wouldn't have got there if he had no respect for his inferiors, and vice versa -- he was rewritten to be the show's ReasonableAuthorityFigure. Multiple times he's shown bending the rules or outright breaking them to get the job done.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': Captain Edward Jellico seems like this at the start, but subverts it by the end. Placed in temporary command of the ''Enterprise'', he systematically alienates most of the crew thanks to his hard and uncompromising command style, even having Data replace Riker as NumberOne after Riker keeps resisting his changes. After the first episode, the audience will assuredly hate him, and everything is set up to watch him fail in his mission while the primary Picard-is-captured plot yields the answer, showing him up. The second episode instead has him learn to loosen up just enough to recognize his flaws, and its his tactics that not only win the day, but save Picard in the process.
* ''Series/TheWire'': Lieutenant Charles Marimow is referred to as "The Unit Killer" and a man who "does not toss away talent lightly. He heaves it with great force." At a higher level, both Burrell and Rawls are like this to the commanders beneath them, often using the COMSTAT meetings to berate and humiliate them for failing to win the drug war each month.

* Sarge of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' is this type of leader, a bloodthirsty madman whose plans are fueled by his irrational hatred for the lazy and insubordinate Grif and his enemies the Blue team, being the only one to make SeriousBusiness of the otherwise cold war between the two. Nonetheless, he is usually followed by the other soldiers, particularly the kiss-ass YesMan Simmons. Or he would be if he wasn't so funny. The best order he's ever given was "Scream like a woman!"
** Sarge is an awful leader, but a brilliant MadScientist. To date: three robots, one with a 10 megaton nuclear warhead hidden inside of it, one cyborg, one weather control machine, and one successful transfer of cyborg's organs into near-dead human.
** He does show merit as a leader during several moments in season 8, most notably when [[spoiler:he trusts Grif to help him take down Agent Washington, and later to help him rescue The Alpha device and take down The Meta.]]
** He spends most of the series as this trope, then CharacterDevelopment finally morphs him into SergeantRock late in the eighth season.
** Simmons during his brief stint as leader of the Blood Gulch Reds.

* Played for comedy in two Film/TwistedSister videos, "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WT1LXhgXPWs We're Not Gonna Take It]]", the Neidermeyer is an irate dad; in "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRwrg0db_zY I Wanna Rock]]", the teacher is one. Either way, the guy ends up as the ButtMonkey and is played by [[Film/AnimalHouse the original Neidermeyer]], Mark Metcalf (helps the former song ends with Dee Snider mimicking the picture caption atop this page). Metcalf also appears in one video by Lit.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Sergeant Snorkel in ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey'', but far more so Lt. Fuzz. Whenever he gets the opportunity to command troops. Snorkel's men do respect him as a soldier - they just ''really'' don't want to be soldiers, and are rarely seen in the field (which for the strip means war games and exercises) where this becomes apparent. Fuzz tries to copy Snorkel's treatment of subordinates, and adds in his complete incompetence and desperation for recognition.

* In ''Radio/TheNavyLark'' Captain Povey frequently falls into this category with his obsession for hounding the Troutbridge crew out of the Navy. To be fair, the crew of the Troutbridge are completely incompetent/derelict in their duties.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Captain Jasper Stone from ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' was a really bad version of this. He was shanked by his own troops in the Battle of Gettysburg... only to rise as an undead and become Death's right hand man.
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' the piscoloths are described as the sergeants of the [[NeutralEvil yugoloth]] race. They are so cruel to their subordinates that said subordinates tend to [[TheStarscream gang up and murder them]] whenever given half the chance.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'':
** Excessively righteous Blossom. His military career was marked by ''repeatedly'' getting a battalion whittled down to about company size, and he made it very clear to everyone who would listen that he viewed this as a result of the incompetence of his soldiers. Especially hilarious since he ''is'' very talented - at personal combat - but has exactly no ability to recognise what his talents ''are'', leading to both military and civilian careers [[VideoGame/DwarfFortress crafted from incompetence and menacing with spikes of fail]].
** Tepet Lisara also qualifies. Out of jealousy, she got her cousin, an actually competent officer, removed from command, and devised the strategy that effectively ruined her House's standing within the Realm. Though that particular failure is never realized, she is still ReassignedToAntarctica for general incompetence, where she delights in assigning up and coming male officers to menial or suicidal tasks for petty amusement.
* In ''TabletopGame/WarhammerFantasyBattle'' 3rd Edition scenario "Fornerond's Last Stand", the High Elf general Fornerond Breezenimble (who happens to get killed immediately ''before'' the actual battle) is described to have been a completely incompetent nincompoop.
* Most of the Commissars in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. In fact, the 'Nam-inspired Catachan Jungle Fighters require a special saving roll before the game even starts to prevent them from fragging the Commissar (Oops, sorry sir!).
** Similar to the Dinobots example listed below, one of the reasons Imperial doctrine normally prohibits SpaceMarine commanders from leading large-scale actions and campaigns in which the Marines and Imperial Guard fight together is that they tend to work the normal troops as hard as their SuperSoldier battle brothers, often with fatal results.
** Common Imperial Guard tactics employed usually boil down to "throw men at it by the regiment like a battering ram until it breaks." A noted battle cries of commissars is, "We will drown them in our blood and crush them under the weight of our own dead!"
** Every Imperial Guard officer above Lieutenant (and sometimes below) is either incompetent, a jerk, a glory hound, cowardly, or any combination of those. This goes up even into the Munitorium.
** The officers of the Death Korps of Krieg are a weird subversion- they are possibly the most brutal commanders in the Imperium and treat their men like they're completely expendable. But the men don't care because they believe they are expendable, a Korpsman's sole purpose is to take an enemy bullet and quietly die to make room for the next one. In Krieg regiments the Commissar's job is to ''prevent'' soldiers getting themselves killed in pointless attacks.
** A Medal of Dishonor goes to Lord General Lugo, who's first act in ''Honor Guard'' is to order Gaunt and his men to step up their attack timetable to retake a holy temple, which subsequently explodes into a warp vortex (long story). He pins the whole thing on Gaunt, and assigns Gaunt to lead a convoy as punishment. He shows up again in ''Sabbat Martyr'', where he's playing a minor character from his previous appearance as the reincarnated Saint Sabbat. This time, however, fate bites him in the ass when the girl actually ''becomes'' the reincarnated saint (again, long story), and he spends much of the rest of the book standing around looking dumbstruck, which for him, is not much of a stretch.
** Subverted by Literature/CiaphasCain, naturally, who is certainly aware of this trope. He treats his men well and while he does genuinely care about them, he finds comfort in the fact that not being like every other Commissar in the guard greatly reduces his chance of being the victim of friendly fire. He actually comments on how a great many Commissars die "heroic deaths" suspiciously far from the front lines. He spent his later years attempting to teach commissar cadets to subvert this trope, with admittedly mixed success (most who are chosen for the Commissariat are simply not the right personality type to be taught how to lead through respect rather than fear). Cain certainly wants to avoid such a fate; "I want to die in a bed, preferably someone else's."
** Same goes for [[Literature/GauntsGhosts Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt]].
** On the other hand, there's the legendary Lord Commander Solar Macharius, whose armies conquered a thousand worlds for the Emperor in the space of seven years. There's also Lord Castellan Ursarkar Creed of the Cadian 8th, Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken of Catachan, and Commissar Yarrick, who wears a Power Klaw he ripped off of an Ork Warboss, all of whom are competent and admired by their men.
** In the computer spin-off ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'', Imperial Priests often shout "WE LOST BECAUSE YOU'RE ALL WEAK!" when their squad regains morale.
** There was Commander Kubrik Chenkov of the Valhallan Ice Warriors is an extreme example of this. His main tactics is sending legions of his own men straight at the enemy base without tank or artillery support or using them to draw enemy fire for his other forces, but unlike most cases his tactics really work.
** Similarly, some Space Marine commanders are capable of commanding large-scale operations; Marneus Calgar of the Ultramarines, Azrael of the Dark Angels, and Logan Grimnar of the Space Wolves have all had success in commanding Imperial Guard troops.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar'':
** Orson Perrault, the commander of the protagonists' air base, is this as well as corpulent, a horrible shot (he doesn't know that [[spoiler:how emptying the magazine into the doorway where the targets ''were'' when the lights went out is a bad idea]]), and without giving [[spoiler:Wardog Squadron and Pops]] a chance to explain themselves he assumes them all to be spies. Somewhat mitigated by the fact that [[spoiler:Hamilton convinced him that they were spies before they even landed, and that Pops had a past of his own that put him under suspicion.]]
** Lieutenant Colonel Ford attempts to land his plane on Sand Island despite the island being under attack and being told to wave off by the base. When Chopper lets slip that he thinks he's completely nuts and/or stupid, Ford threatens to write him up when he lands. [[spoiler:It gets cut off when an enemy plane shoots him down]].
* Admiral Greyfield of ''VideoGame/AdvanceWars: Days of Ruin''. A complete coward and a sub par commander who's greatest skills are taking credit for victories, and shifting blame for loses. He threatens executions for any failure to follow his orders to the letter, especially the order to win the battle. His cowardice is so much that he relentlessly hunts down any that don't adhere to absolute rule no matter how many of his own men are sacrificed or caught in the blast of the super weapon used to [[spoiler:[[NoKillLikeOverkill kill a single dissenting captain]]]], even resorting to executing enemies after surrender. [[spoiler:Lin even implied that he was a subpar commander at best and faked his results.]]
** "Captain" Waylon (Note the quotation marks), who unsurprisingly ends up working for Greyfield, is another example. After you rescue him and his unit (and he leaves), his wing men defect and join your unit specifically because he was this but they felt following him was the only way to stay alive in the apocalyptic wasteland.
* ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}'': We are losing this battle! Start fighting or I will find someone who can! A few games (including some in this series) offer one player on each team a "command" role. Depending on the game, this role's importance varies from pivotal to merely important. Some games (thankfully) offer mechanisms to depose commanders who fit this trope.
* Sufficiently unhappy nobles in ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' act this way, ordering beatings and hammerings to any dwarf that ignores (or is incapable of fulfilling) their demands. Unsurprisingly, players tend to respond to such behavior with [[TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch their own form of capital punishment]].
* ''VideoGame/IronGrip'' has the Fahrong/Confederacy, where apparently every officer above the Sergeant is this and everybody below it is CannonFodder.
* Lt. Cole Phelps of ''VideoGame/LANoire'' is such a Niedermeyer that it actually winds up driving most of the game's plot. Cole [[FreakOut being paralysed with fear at a convenient moment]] ensured that he was the last man standing after a night fighting the Japanese on Okinawa, which made him a war hero and he rose rapidly through the LAPD as a result. His Marines, infuriated at this, decided to steal massive crates of guns and drugs from the military because they thought they deserved to get rewarded as well. [[spoiler:Cole's order to burn out an enemy cave that turned out to be a field hospital gives one of his men massive PTSD and he is later revealed as the serial arsonist. This also so enrages the unit's medic that he actually shoots Cole in the back and later goes on to lead the aforementioned heist]].
* Zaeed Massani of ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' was apparently this, considering the fact that all his stories usually end with getting all of his men killed and info discovered in [[{{DLC}} Lair of the Shadow Broker]] reveals that [[spoiler:a major element for his betrayal by the Blue Suns]] was his inability to ensure loyalty. [[spoiler:In fact, he's actually a poor choice for an end-game Fire Team/Distraction Leader.]]
* The VideoGame/SengokuBasara portrayal of Mitsunari is also not far from this. A psychotic individual who was formerly a SycophanticServant to his lord Hideyoshi, he expected the same degree of fanatical loyalty. In his case however it wasn't so much that he was a jerk more that he's insane and had NoSocialSkills.
** Mouri Motonari on the same game is even worse and has been around long before Mitsunari was included. Basically, this is a guy is [[{{Jerkass}} a complete jerk]] who pretty much treats his own soldiers as nothing but pawns that he can toss into the middle of fire of his plans, with them dying in friendly fire in his plans that will also decimate his enemy. And he will claim that it's all his genius that brings victory, rather than the commitment and the sacrifices of his soldiers, meaning that he hogs all the glory. The soldiers do not question his authority at all despite the mistreatment, because Motonari is that much of a battle genius that they have no hope of winning if they don't follow his orders. This is also portrayed in gameplay, as Motonari is one of the few characters whose attacks will affect and damage allied troops, a trait shared with the resident AxCrazy {{Sadist}} monster, UsefulNotes/AkechiMitsuhide.
* Kraze and Kanaan from ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'', who you'll grow to hate very much early on in the game. Kanaan is more or less a classic example of a real dirtbag who wants all the glory to himself but hides behind his soldiers. Kraze is more or less the same, but at least he [[spoiler:he isn't given an option to be spared unlike most of the Imperial commanders]].
* Snowe from ''Suikoden IV''. He gets severe shellshock in the first battle (on the first shot, no less), abandons his men, and develops a HonorBeforeReason complex in order to make up for it. And because of his lineage, gets promoted beyond his competency.
* Lee Linjun from ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2]]'' quickly makes himself known as a complete jerk. He constantly argues with the pilots (especially Excellen and Katina), is clearly jealous of Tetsuya (even though Lee outranks him and commands a ship), and fully cements himself as a Neidermeyer when he makes it clear that everyone is expendable, and he really doesn't care if any member of the crew lives or dies. [[FaceHeelTurn Then he just defects to the Shadow Mirrors]]. Lee apparently lost his wife and parents during the events of the first game (6-months prior) and hasn't had time to deal with his grief. He's too much of an ass for fans to feel much sympathy towards, but it does help explain his irrational behavior.
* Due to the open ended nature of the story, it is entirely possible that both brothers in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' count as this. All of the mercs on both teams start haphazardly next to the other side, and can just run to battle in about 4 seconds, and everybody should die at least once. Given that the announcer seemed to be looking for this setup, it may be the brothers were intended to both become "the Neidermeyer".
* General Damon of ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles''. A completely inept commander who only attained his rank because of his noble status. He holds all of the militia as CannonFodder, possibly all of Gallia's citizenry, as his solution for attacking a notably larger [[TheEmpire Imperial force]] is to draft all the citizens they could into the militia and throw them all on a frontal assault. [[spoiler:Bastard even had the balls to claim Welkin's victory at Ghirlandaio as his own. Though Selvaria's [[TakingYouWithMe Final Flame]] in the citadel made that a sort of good thing]].
* Captain Bannon from ''VideoGame/WorldInConflict'' is this trope to a T, panicking when faced with opposition his men should be able to handle, ''whining'' when fighting at a disadvantage instead of focusing on how to keep the fight going favorably, deriding the player's character for his competence, and ''shooting enemy infantry'' who were trying to convey their wish to surrender by waving white flags. In the end, however, he becomes arguably the most heroic character among the Americans followed by the narrative, [[spoiler:volunteering to sacrifice himself to a friendly nuclear weapon so the approaching enemy will plow towards him into the blast radius, as retreating would've clued the Soviets in that something was wrong.]]
* Commonly invoked in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' for various Alliance and Horde commanders. At this point, it's hard to tell whether they are the exceptions or the rule. The actual racial leaders (with the exception of Garrosh Hellscream) tend to avoid this trope, but the player character frequently has to deal with various [[NonPlayerCharacter [=NPC=]s]]/questgivers that do fit the trope, especially on the Horde side.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Bleen]] leadership in ''Webcomic/{{Vexxarr}}'' tends to operate like this, [[YouHaveFailedMe not being used to setbacks]].
-->'''TheEmperor:''' Tell me how your [[AlienInvasion invasion fleet]] came to be destroyed by a group of [[PunyEarthlings inferior monkeys]].
-->'''Bleen soldier:''' Your eminence, the hu-mons have perverted our [[ArtificialGravity repulsor technology]] into [[WaveMotionGun a devastating weapon]].
-->'''The Emperor:''' Yet you did nothing to punish them for this?
-->'''Bleen soldier:''' Um... Excuse me? We were... I dunno, occupied.
-->'''The Emperor:''' Occupied? [[HoldYourHippogriffs What on Bleen]] were you doing other than [[AttackAttackAttack advancing the mighty flag of your sovereign]].
-->'''Bleen soldier:''' [[DeadpanSnarker Screaming? Praying? ...fighting over the escape pods? The usual.]]
* [[GeneralFailure Pturdd]] from ''Webcomic/SecondEmpire''. He's obsessed with glorious victory (and getting the credit for it) until he's shown, forcefullyv that he's not fit to lead a parade.
* Bojack from ''WebComic/DragonBallMultiverse'', according to the novelization.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Prince Zuko in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' started out as this in the series while hunting for Aang. He eventually got a little better when Iroh told the crew about Zuko's seriously messed up backstory, and Zuko risked his life to save a crewmember in the middle of a storm, allowing Aang to escape in the process, and Zuko and the crew started to respect each other a little, or at least enough for his second in command to stop challenging him to fights to the death.
* Capt Marcus of ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad'' is the worst example. He's both a GeneralRipper and GeneralFailure all rolled into one. His battleplans usually end up getting ambushed and outgunned by the enemy.
* Zapp Brannigan of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', who's especially fond of saving himself by [[RedshirtArmy sacrificing those under his command]]. Samples:
-->'''Bender''' (with his Patriotism Circuits activated): Sir, I volunteer for a suicide mission!\\
'''Zapp''': You're a brave robot, son. But when I'm in command, every mission is a suicide mission.

-->'''Zapp''': Stop exploding, you cowards!"

-->'''Zapp''': You see, Killbots have a preset kill limit. Knowing their weakness, I sent wave after wave of ''[[RedshirtArmy my own men]]'' at them, until they reached their limit and shut down. Kif, show them the medal I won.
-->''[[NoHeroToHisValet Kif]] begrudgingly points at a prominent medal on Zapp's chest.''

-->'''Zapp''': Whatever it is, I'm willing to put wave after wave of men at your disposal. Right men?
-->''Dead silence''
-->'''Random Soldier''': You suck!

-->'''Zapp:''' We made it through, Kif. How many men did we lose?
-->'''Kif:''' All of them.
-->'''Zapp:''' Well, at least they won't have to mourn each other.

-->'''Zapp''': Nothing remains now but for the captain to [[GoingDownWithTheShip go down with his ship]].
-->'''Kif''': Why, that's surprisingly noble of you, sir.
-->'''Zapp''': No, it's noble of ''you'', Kif. As of now, [[YouAreInCommandNow you're in command]]! (''Flees in an escape pod'')

** Lampshaded when he had to assign Fry [[ItMakesSenseInContext (a soldier in that episode)]] a punishment, we get this exchange, showing that [[BeleagueredAssistant Kiff]] is an even ''worse'' boss than Zapp:
-->'''Zapp''': Kiff, what's the most humiliating task you can think of?
-->'''Kiff''': Being your assistant.
-->'''Zapp''': Wrong! Being ''your'' assistant! Fry, from now on you are Kiff's assistant!
-->'''Fry''': That doesn't sound too ba-

* Mr. Peevly from ''[[WesternAnimation/TheHairBearBunch Help! It's The Hair Bear Bunch!]]''. Any respect the zoo animals give him is purely tongue-in-cheek.
* In ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'':
** Zim is shown to be this type of leader in the episode Hobo-13 in that he needlessly sacrifices his squadmates so that he himself can get to the end of the obstacle course, including using his last remaining soldier as a battering ram to open a door. The Drill Sergeant (ironically played by Creator/RLeeErmey) who meets him at the end chooses to fail Zim due to his horrendous leadership skills and challenges him into combat in order to pass (which Zim does by cheating).
** The Tallests are seen as worse than Zim, being a pair of petty, self-serving, and egomaniacal {{jerkass}}es, treating everyone beneath them with contempt and mockery, particularly the shorter Irkens. In fact, the Irkens are a race of Neidermyers.
* Ratty from ''WesternAnimation/MrBogus'' will often fill this role, whether it's bossing around his incompetent sidekick, Mole, or trying to one-up Bogus, without any success.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Principal Skinner was shot in the back when he was a sergeant in Vietnam when trying to get Joey Heatherton to ''put some pants on''. The depiction of his army career is the same as his current one, just with soldiers replacing Willy. That's assuming he's telling the truth in any of his flash backs, what with him [[spoiler:not really being Seymour Skinner]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformers'':
** Megatron was competent, but selfish. This and his ego led him to doing quite a few stupid things and abandoning Devastator in one episode. To be fair, it's really Starscream that was made out to be incompetent by the cartoon's writers, though his comic and toy bios show that he is far more brilliant.
** Starscream himself usually ends up as one of these whenever he's given the reigns. He's no fool, being very book-smart and a skilled fighter, but he's a roundly terrible commander; he often ends up getting betrayed or losing control of his own plots. The comic book ''Spotlight: Megatron'' shows the titular character being positively ''enraged'' at Starscream after he managed to, in three years of the former's absence, turn the aftermath of what had been a decisive and wide-ranging Decepticon victory into a complete rout that left troops cannibalizing each other to avoid starvation. A later comic, ''ComicBook/TheTransformersRobotsInDisguise'', however would reveal Starscream's true calling: politics.
** The real gem, however, is Galvatron. This insane psychotic warfreak shot at his own troops and did more damage to his own army than the Autobots. Needless to say, if it weren't for a number of certain extenuating circumstances, the Decepticons would have recycled Galvatron a long time ago, no matter how powerful he was. Said circumstances mainly being that, because of the backstabbing treachery endemic in their ranks, the first thing that would happen when Galvatron got slagged would be civil war breaking out due to there being no clear-cut successor to Galvatron's rank. And this would doubtlessly be fatal to the Decepticons, due to them being stuck on a burned out world and barely scraping together enough fuel, parts and ammo to survive from day to day.
** Sentinel Prime from ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' is an example this kind of character among the ''good guys''. Even in his younger days, he had zero respect for his peers, blaming the more responsible Optimus for Elita-1's presumed death (on an excursion that was ''Sentinel's idea to begin with''), and as soon as he gained a command of his own, promptly began treating his men like worthless garbage, causing poor Bumblebee and Bulkhead much pain and suffering. He remains a jerk in the present day, taking every opportunity to viciously mock Optimus and his team's lower positions.
** Grimlock is occasionally shown to be a bit of a Neidermeyer in the comics when he's put in command of units other than the Dinobots, largely because most Autobots aren't used to doing things TheSpartanWay like the Dinobots are and Grimlock being unwilling to accommodate them. When he briefly took over the Autobots he threw the rulebook out the window.
** Many sub-commanders within the Decepticons fit into this trope, but none moreso than Motormaster, leader of the Stunticons. His team is a big ball of crazy, and he loves to do things like order the silence-fearing Wildrider to remain quiet on missions. The intense loathing that the rest of the Stunticons have for Motormaster causes their [[CombiningMecha combined form Menasor]] to be utterly uncontrollable as ''none'' of his component minds are able to work with their leader's.
* ''WesternAnimation/YoYogi'': Dick Dastardly usurps Yogi's position as the head of the LAF (Lost And Found) section of Jellystone Mall and becomes a Neidermeyer to Yogi's friends. Later on, two kidnappers trick him into abducting Augie Doggie and he's now afraid of being sent to prison. He tries to get Yogi's friends to help him rescuing Augie but they won't follow him, so he brings Yogi back.
* Dick Dastardly, period, on his own show ''WesternAnimation/DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines''. The General believes him incompetent (just there to collect flight pay), Zilly tries to shirk his duties, and Muttley isn't above using blackmail to weasel a medal from him. Klunk is the only pilot that gives him an iota of respect.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* George Armstrong Custer:
** He was a glory-seeking General that lost his wits, every man in the Seventh Cavalry, and his life in the campaign that led to Little Big Horn. And he got in that mess from an increasingly frantic and frustrated desire for glory to turn to into a political advantage, no matter how many tribes or soldiers died to get it!
** However, one incident that is largely forgotten is that Custer almost singlehandedly prevented a massacre when [[GeneralRipper Philip Sheridan]] ordered an assault against the starved, exhausted and defenseless remnants of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House. Custer, realizing that the surviving Confederates were in no physical or emotional condition to fight anyone and were completely encircled, rode in front of the Union Army frantically trying to stop the attack. Custer's actions managed to delay the attack long enough for the famous surrender to be negotiated. Custer may have been a psychotic nut-case but he had nothing on Sheridan.
** Custer led a cavalry force of 700 men to take out Sitting Bull and the 800 natives who had left a reservation. Ignoring his scouts (members of the Crow tribe) who told him the village they spotted had '''thousands''' of women and children and probably an equal number of warriors, he split his force in half to "trap" the enemy. Custer's own group, about 200 soldiers personally led by him, would end up facing at least 1800 Native American warriors, warriors who had just fought off the other half of his armed force which had attacked the village. The only survivor from Custer's group was a horse called Commanche which had nearly a dozen wounds from bullets, arrows and spears. What everyone always forgets is that he was a Colonel at this point, having been a General in the Civil War, and wanted to regain his rank!
*** Not exactly. Custer, like almost all Civil War officers of the United States Army had two ranks during the war - permanent Captain in the Regular Army and Major General in the United States Volunteers. When the Volunteers were mustered out he was reverted to his permanent rank and then double-promoted to Lieutenant Colonel - skipping the rank of Major. There is no "what everyone always forgets" involved. He did not expect to "regain his rank" because that wasn't his rank to regain. He was actually at a higher rank than expected specifically because he had been such an effective and well-liked leader in the Civil War. He was a glory hound, but not for that reason.
** Custer had problems even before Little Big Horn: suspension from duty for a year for being AWOL, misappropriation of funds meant for provisions for reservation Indians, and during Reconstruction duty in Texas he only narrowly escaped being fragged by his own troops (namely, the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry, of which Custer had been given command and who resented his attempts at discipline). He was routinely called a 'dandy' and 'Ringlets' by his men as a result of his obsession with his personal appearance. Little Big Horn itself was the result of Custer's insubordination and happened when Custer and his men deserted their commanding officer (Custer had earlier been denied independent command because of his continued use of his position and his men for political lobbying).
** At least one historian has suggested that Custer's legendary recklessness was the result of a "Death Wish" caused by Custer's discovery that he was suffering from syphilis, which at the time was incurable, ultimately fatal, and caused delusions of grandeur and obsessive-compulsive behaviour.
* In UsefulNotes/WorldWarII General Lloyd Fredendall was one of the original commanders of Operation Torch (the American invasion of North Africa). Once on the ground in Africa Fredendall had his headquarters built 70 miles behind the front lines, which was viewed as cowardly by both the troops under his command and by his peers and superiors. From there he proceeded to issue unsound commands that showed little grasp of military tactics, including a tendency to place infantry in positions where they could not receive decent air or artillery support. By most reports Fredendall was a swaggering, cocky man who did not listen to his subordinates. Even more unfortunately, his adversary in the campaign was [[MagnificentBastard General Erwin Rommel]] and his famed Afrika Korps. After the crushing American defeat at the Kasserine Pass Fredendall was relieved of command and replaced by George Patton, after which American forces actually started experiencing success in North Africa. The irony is that Fredenhall was an excellent logistician. He was sent back to Stateside, where he made more for the Army logistics than any other general.
* Patton himself has been accused of being more than a little of a martinet, far too concerned with the dress code in a combat zone (including the fact he demanded, and may even have gotten, front-line infantry to wear their ties), attacking Metz and the Vauban forts without proper preparation and demanding the attack continue after it became clear it was not going to succeed, and finally culminating late in the war with his famous tirade against a soldier who had been shot in the foot for cowardice (said soldier had already won a Silver Star for valor).
** Sergeant Bill Mauldin's ComicStrip/WillieAndJoe called him on his uniform obsession multiple times, eventually leading to Patton threatening to shut down ''Stars and Stripes'' altogether to stop troops from reading the strip. Eisenhower himself stepped in and shut Patton down over this, and ordered Patton to leave Mauldin strictly alone. Eisenhower understood that the Willie and Joe comics (which depicted a pair of low-ranking infantry soldiers on the front lines) were very good for morale and that Mauldin himself was highly regarded by the enlisted men.
** Despite his dress code obsession however, Patton was very much a AFatherToHisMen in every other area. He displayed high favor to the frontline troops of his command, diverting provisions (such as wine, magazines and any type of recreational material) to them, preferred leading from the front whenever he could afford to and, when on the few occasions when he realized he was in the wrong (such as the aforementioned accusation of cowardice), he would apologize and try to make things right as best as he could. As well, in spite of being somewhat racist (his family did descend from the Confederate South after all), Patton was among the first US Army commanders to show favor toward the African American troops of his command, both through emphasizing their importance and performance as soldiers to even going as far as having black judges assigned to any court martials involving black soldiers. Generally (pardon the expression), Patton was more of AFatherToHisMen with some Neidermeyer traits than one or the other.
** Patton's diversion of provisions had a darker side, however, as he diverted them ''[[RightHandVersusLeftHand from other]] [[WeAreStrugglingTogether Allied armies]]''. His own army loved him, but ''everyone else'' hated him for stealing their food and leaving their men hungry... and unable to advance due to petrol and ammo shortages, leaving Patton's troops the only ones able to do so. This would've been alright if he'd been acting in the general interests of the entire Allied war effort, but 'make me look good' and 'win the war' are not compatible [[StrategyVersusTactics strategic-operational objectives]]. Sadly, like [[UsefulNotes/NoMoreEmperors Joseph Stilwell]] and Douglas [=MacArthur=], Patton could not (easily) be fired because he had an extremely cosy relationship with the media and was very popular. Had he not died in an auto accident shortly after the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, he probably would have gone out like [=MacArthur=]. Namely, dismissed for being a political liability who put his own military glory first, and global consequences, no matter how dire, second.
* UsefulNotes/DouglasMacArthur had the abrasiveness and ego down pat, and his handling of the fall of the Philippines and the UsefulNotes/KoreanWar make his competence in doubt. Though it was not well known at the time (the US media loved portraying him as a messiah), [=MacArthur=] was more concerned with his personal image than ''almost'' anything else. Everything from his famous shades and corncob pipe image to his style of command and administration, from his tenure as Superintendent at West Point to Korea, were designed primarily for his personal glory. As well, he was infamously (within the US Army) prone to shower favor on toadies and surround himself with them and ignore constructive criticism. [[InterserviceRivalry His hatred of the Navies]] under his command was also infamous, and after his victory over Japan and tenure as "Shogun" there, he let a lot of his prior flaws bubble to his head and blow themselves out of proportion, which was a major reason why the early stages of the UsefulNotes/KoreanWar went as badly for the Western Allies as they did. Ultimately, "Dougout Doug" really was that badass on a lot of occasions, and he did truly care for his men, but it had to be pretty bad for those traits to become less visible than his glory seeking.
** In command of Australians, he had none on his staff. In New Guinea he never visited the front lines and thus never recognized how difficult the terrain was. Which led, on multiple occasions, to his relieving officers who were just about to win their battles because he felt they were doing it too slowly.
** [=MacArthur=] ''did'' manage to reform West Point, updating its curriculum for the first time in over a century using the lessons learned from UsefulNotes/WorldWarI (in which he was a genuinely effective ColonelBadass). His reforms didn't set well with the Army establishment, which along with his other activities during the interwar period[[note]]including using force against [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_March World War One veterans seeking early payment of benefits during the Depression]][[/note]], only tarnished his reputation further. As did stealing credit from subordinates who planned and executed successful operations without [=MacArthur=]'s involvement, or undercutting other commanders. [[note]]In particular, the Inchon landing during the Korean War--in which [=MacArthur=] undercut Admiral James Doyle, who did most of the planning, before his immediate superior, and refused to invite ''any'' Marine Corps generals to the planning sessions despite the Marines constituting the bulk of the landing force![[/note]] His own personality didn't exactly help matters either: UsefulNotes/DwightEisenhower, his former aide-de-camp, when asked if he knew [=MacArthur=], replied, "Know him? I studied dramatics under him for seven years!"
* There is one story that the sailors aboard a US Navy vessel were lining up for geedunk (ice cream) when two Ensigns shouted "Make way for officers!" and started shoving through. Whereupon [[FourStarBadass Admiral]] [[FatherNeptune Halsey]] who had been waiting his turn patiently with [[AFatherToHisMen every other sailor]] shouted "Get back where you belong!" With appropriate sailorly adjectives no doubt.
* [[http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1969602,00.html Captain Holly Graf]], commanding officer of the guided missile cruiser USS ''Cowpens'' from 20 March 2008 until her relief as a non-judicial punishment on 13 January 2010. Her Neidermeyer behavior includes:
** When approached for advice by a junior officer, Graf allegedly responded with "Don't come to me with your problems. You're a fucking department head", and later "I can't express how mad you make me without getting violent!"
** Started a (confirmed) drag race with another destroyer that nearly resulted in a collision; the ships came within 300 feet of each other. A [[http://www.militarycorruption.com/Images/near-miss.jpg photo]] from the deck of Graf's ship shows the vessel heading straight toward the other. To make it worse, when the bridge crew went to sound a collision alarm (so all hands could brace and ready repairs), Graf ordered them to not sound the alarm. Such an alarm, after all, would have to be noted in the ship's logs. That would mean she'd have to explain why she endangered two very expensive ships and a couple hundred lives in a pissing contest.
** Tired of delays leaving a port, she ordered that the ship accelerate to 25 knots instead of 10, despite being informed it was dangerous to do so. As a result, the ''Cowpens'' ran soft aground and mangled the ship's propulsion screws. She then allegedly grabbed a British exchange officer by either the throat or the lapels (accounts differ), and began shouting "Did you run my fucking ship aground?!" She then went on to order the crew to falsify records and claim they were moving at 10 knots.
** Allegedly covered up the fact that her ship had struck a whale by ordering the crew into lockdown and temporarily terminating e-mail privileges.
** Graf was such a dick to so many people that [[AndThereWasMuchRejoicing the crew supposedly began cheering]] when another officer arrived on the USS ''Winston Churchill'' to relieve and replace her.
** When the Asst. Secretary of the Navy decided she did nothing to earn anything less than an [[http://www.navytimes.com/news/2012/01/navy-fired-cowpens-co-to-get-honorable-retirement-010612/ honorable discharge]].
* Captain Bligh had a reputation for this, but it's not really deserved: Yes, he flogged his men, but it was only because flogging was the mandatory punishment in the British Navy at the time. In fact, he was considered ''lenient'' compared to the other officers in the Navy. Yes, conditions were overcrowded on the ''Bounty'', but only because Bligh couldn't say no to friends and relatives who needed jobs for their friends and relatives. And when they finally got to Otaheite (later Tahiti), Bligh let his men run around and do whatever they wanted for the five months they remained. The conditions that led to the famous mutiny were largely made out of a desperate need to get his by-now rather lax crew into some semblance of order and competency. In short, the supposed tyrant's greatest crime was being too accommodating.
** Plus, after their mutiny, the crew returned to Tahiti and began treating the natives little better than slaves. Eventually the natives rebelled and killed nearly all of them.
** The famed Mutiny on the ''Bounty'' was not the last time Bligh faced a mutiny of those under him. His overly strict and by the book attempts to enforce discipline when he was made Governor of New South Wales sparked off the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rum_Rebellion Rum Rebellion]].
** Honestly, Bligh actually genuinely aspired to be AFatherToHisMen. He had served under Captain Cook during Cook's famed expeditions to Hawaii, and learned much on how to run a ship under him. He packed foods, such as sauerkraut that were reputed to help ward off scurvy, and as noted above, flogged where legally demanded and not "just because", and often commuted capital offenses to flogging when he could. His failings were a very harsh tongue and something of a taskmaster mentality.
** As for competence: After being ejected from the ''Bounty'' with the crew that stayed loyal, Bligh sailed an overcrowded ship's boat with little food and water and the crudest of navigational aids on a massive journey across open seas to reach modern-day Indonesia, with the loss of only one crew member. The other men on the boat acknowledged that it was due to Bligh's nautical skills.
** Bligh's discipline also ensured that the sick and weak were not abandoned to their fate but were the first to get fed when the boat's crew managed to kill a seabird etc.
* Hermann Goering, by 1945, was called the most hated man in Germany because of his obsession with fame, glory, BlingOfWar and rampant egomania. Given [[ThoseWackyNazis the competition]] at the time, it's quite an achievement. Göring was a perfect example of ThePeterPrinciple. A brilliant AcePilot (22 victories and Blue Max) and a competent wing commander, he found his level of [[GeneralFailure total incompetentness]] as Reichsmarschall. His desire to have ''his'' Luftwaffe deal the killing blow to the [=BEF=] instead of the regular army was one of the reasons they were able to evacuate at Dunkirk to fight another day. His later attempt to resupply the trapped 6th Army at Stalingrad by air despite the Luftwaffe never being designed around such a mission, let alone one at the limits of their own supply chain and incredibly harsh winter weather conditions, only resulted in a disorganized mess that not only failed to save 6th Army but cost large numbers of planes and pilots lost in the effort. When the regime was on it's last legs, he unsuccessfully tried to usurp power from Hitler at the last second, and was unrepentant during his trial for war crimes, firmly believing history would vindicate him as a German national hero.
* UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler. By the end of the War, many of his own men--particularly his generals--wanted him dead more than the Allies due to his repeated strategic blunders (the Allies stopped trying to kill him, fearing someone ''competent'' would take his place). Indeed, a few senior officers such as Claus von Stauffenberg, (many of them [[OfficerAndAGentleman Junkers]]-contrary to [[NaziNobleman common belief]], the German nobility generally disdained or even outright hated Hitler, who returned the sentiment), participated with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/20_July_Plot a plot to assassinate Hitler]] in 1944. [[CaptainObvious It failed]]. [[SarcasmMode On the bright side]], it inspired the film ''Film/{{Valkyrie}}''.
** After the defeat in Stalingrad (a defeat that occurred purely due to Hitler's personal strategic intervention) Hitler went from "makes unreasonable demands and interferes in well made plans" to "detached from reality". The famous stories from his war room are that he would regularly issue orders to units that no longer existed or were so undermanned they might as well not exist, then when his plans didn't work out, would blame the subordinate who was "responsible". Most Generals were lucky enough that they would simply be demoted or put somewhere out of the way (legendary General Guderian was one example), however some were not so lucky and would be executed for cowardice or "defying orders".
** One well-known story from the war is that when the Normandy invasion began, Panzer groups sat idly by while the Allies invaded. The reason? Because they needed Adolf's ordered permission to get into the battle. He did not give it until late in the day, because ''he was asleep''. And ''nobody'' wanted to be the one to wake him up and tell him the bad news.
* Captain Herbert Sobel, former commander of E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101 Airborne. He was incompetent, petty, a DrillSergeantNasty, and a complete {{Jerkass}}. Many say that his MoralEventHorizon was raiding his troop's rooms and confiscating everything from magazines to non-regulation clothing. When he was replaced, [[AndThereWasMuchRejoicing everybody was happy]]. While he was almost universally hated by every man who trained under him, those same men almost universally say that it was Sobel who made E Company into the elite unit it was ''because'' of his {{Jerkass}}, overly harsh treatment. (Yes, the portrayal of him in ''Series/BandOfBrothers'' is widely agreed to be ''perfectly accurate''.)
** An even more infamous example from the same war and company (and eventual miniseries) is 1st Lt. Norman Dike. He's been accused of delegating all duty to lower officers and [=NCOs=] during his tenure, and for disappearing from the front lines for hours at a time during the Battle of the Bulge; many of the men under (and over) him accused him of simply using the E Company assignment as a way to get "field experience" before continuing his climb up the ladder. Most infamous, however, is his historically-documented ''meltdown'' during the assault on Foy, Belgium. While trying to lead E Company on the Foy attack, he completely froze up from terror and was unable to give any commands at all, aside from one order for Easy to halt their advance into the town... in the middle of an open field. He was famously relieved of duty by [[MemeticBadass Ronald Spiers]], who would go on to lead E Company to victory in Foy. After this incident, Dike was quickly drummed out of the Airborne and was lucky to not be kicked out of the Army wholesale. Wiki/TheOtherWiki implies he had fought bravely and well in Normandy and got wounded twice. It is assumable he had become a ShellShockedVeteran.
* This happens often when the former military people end up in the areas where the less straightforward methods are the norm. A good IT example would be Bob Belleville, Apple's Software Manager for the original Macintosh development team. The guy was an alumnus of the same Xerox PARC lab as were most other Mac people, but his stint in the Navy had shifted his priorities somewhat. He once almost fired one of the critical OS developers over a dispute about the crucial part of software he felt was unneeded, and drove the chief OS architect to tears and filing his resignation (during the critical period of the OS development) because of his supposed ''insubordination''. In both cases only a good chewing out by Steve Jobs himself made him relent somewhat.
** A common problem with former military ''is'' [[StrangerInAFamiliarLand re-socializing to the civilian world]]. Once you spend a long enough time in, it takes time to get used to the less formal (in appearance) environment of the civilian workforce. There are reasons why former military are often seen in jobs with known chains of command.
** People who worked for Steve Jobs and left tend to have this view of him, considering his high standards. But since he led Apple from nearly dead in the water to having more liquid assets than the US government in 10 years, people skirt by this.
* Virtually every officer in the UsefulNotes/{{Imperial Japan}}ese military, in large part due to their brutal discipline and rigid stratification between enlisted and officer ranks. Imperial officers and [=NCOs=] were supposed to make their men fear them more than they feared the enemy. This tended to backfire in the Air services because the more experienced enlisted pilots would simply abandon officers that they didn't like; actual fragging was normally unnecessary since being alone in a dogfight usually meant you were dead meat. According to one surviving enlisted pilot, unpopular officers "often failed to come back."
* Similarly, virtually every officer in the pre-Russo-Japanese war UsefulNotes/{{Tsarist Russia}}n military, because of the brutal means of discipline and strict social class differences. Almost all officers came from the privileged nobility, while the enlisted men were almost all [[SlaveMook force-levied conscripts]]. One particular example was Lieutenant Ippolit Giliarovsky on pre-dreadnought battleship ''Potemkin'', whose uppity, cocky and bullying behaviour sparked the mutiny immortalized on Sergei Eisenstein's ''Film/BattleshipPotemkin''.
** Note that this had changed by UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, largely as a result of the reforms that came in the wake of the embarrassing stalemate that was [[UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-5]]. In 1913, 40% of the Officer Academies' graduates were landless gentry (i.e. families with titles, but little or no money), and another 40% were of the lower-middle class and peasantry. Only 20% of graduates were from land-owning and/or middle-middle-to-upper-class families. This was a drastically lower proportion than in Germany, wherein the Army's officer corps was overwhelmingly aristocratic. Unlike in contemporary Germany, the Imperial Russian army was actually a means for 'upward' social mobility. The [[UsefulNotes/BritsWithBattleships Royal Navy]] officers, who served as liaison officers, were appalled by the Russian Imperial Navy's brutal discipline and the incompetence of the officers. The Russian Imperial Navy used corporal punishments, which had been abandoned already in the Napoleonic times in the Royal Navy. The disaster in the Russo-Japanese war forced the Russians to reform.
** The Soviet military was markedly better, as the Soviet Union placed extremely heavy emphasis on military preparedness after the 22nd of July 1941 (for understandable reasons). However, a culture of ''dedovschina'' ('rule of the grandfathers') developed, whereby senior conscripts were encouraged by the hierarchy to inflict extremely brutal hazing and bullying upon junior conscripts. The practice is responsible for as many as 3,000 deaths per year, although the Russian Defense Ministry classifies most of those as 'suicides'. The practice was partly responsible for the ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strozhevoi_mutiny Strozhevoi]]'' Mutiny, the attempted defection of a Soviet frigate to Sweden in 1975. Lowering the mandatory service period to three years from five has eased the problem somewhat, but it still remains endemic to the Russian military even in the post-Soviet era.
*** The Russian military makes zero attempt to investigate the deaths of or get autopsies on its recruits, unless they exceed 3 deaths per 500 personnel per month. [[TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch Even so, the investigations are not renowned for their thoroughness or impartiality.]]
*** It doesn't help that the Soviet military set the standard for placing "politically reliable" (i.e. regime loyal) officers to high command positions over those who possessed real skills. This resulted in the Soviet General Staff becoming top heavy with Neidermeyers who were more concerned with BlingOfWar and [[MilesGloriosus Miles Gloriosusism]] than commanding soldiers effectively, in turn leading to the stereotype of communist militaries being led by {{General Failure}}s who were either fanatical or had gained their position through Party connections (namely through familial relations). An attempted balance for this was capital punishment (such as firing squads) being the standard reprisal for failure; in theory this motivated Soviet commanders not to screw up and do their jobs well, but in practice it was more of an Old Boss to New Boss transitioning that did more harm than good.
** This attitude affected even the competent Soviet Generals, such as Marshal Zhukov. They were aware that if they preserved the lives of their men at the cost of victory, their own necks would be in line. So they would often opt for very costly victories in men and material even for relatively insignificant gains. This would affect their postwar reputations: when Zhukov was in favor, he was the great military leader who won the war; when he wasn't, he was the butcher whose victories were built on a lot of needless sacrifice.
* Soviet General Grigory Kulik had a reputation of being erratic and a murderous buffoon. His personal command motto was: "Jail, or Medal." People under his command who he favored would receive (undeserved) honors, while those he didn't would be arrested for whatever reason he could think of. He would then shout his motto at his 'favored' subordinates to intimidate them if they were starting to displease him. Not only this, he was a stupendously inept officer who had no understanding of tactics and resisted all military innovations (such as tanks, rocket artillery, minefields, and sub-machine guns, all of which were effective). The only reason he survived for so long when other much more competent generals did not was because he himself had the personal favor of Stalin. He finally lost it after the end of WWII, when he was overheard criticizing Stalin. He was soon arrested, and eventually executed.
* Second Lieutenant William Calley, commanding officer of the platoon that perpetrated the [[UsefulNotes/VietnamWar My Lai massacre]], was regarded as incompetent (for starters, he couldn't even read a map or compass properly) and there had been discussions already within the platoon of fragging him. It's occasionally been noted that Calley was a product of Robert S. [=MacNamara's=] "Project 100,000," which sought to expand the US Army's numbers cheaply by lowering standards across the board. Had it not been for that failed initiative, most agree that Calley wouldn't have even been allowed in the Army, much less put in charge of anything.
** And his superior, Captain Ernest Medina, was little better. Medina was a martinet who openly harassed Calley, pushing him over the edge. It is suggested Medina himself ordered My Lai to be destroyed. Medina was an [[ThePeterPrinciple excellent NCO but a complete failure as an officer]].
* In the recently-published book ''The Generals'' by Thomas Ricks, the argument is made that the general officer corps of the US Army is overloaded with Neidermeyers (and several from World War Two to Iraq and Afghanistan are described), and it's only because of the competence of the enlisted, [[SergeantRock NCOs]], and [[FatherToHisMen good junior officers]] that this hasn't become more obvious.
** However, the wheels are starting to come off, and it's too late to tighten the lug nuts. Junior officers and senior NCO's, aware that the military is downsizing and completely fed up with incompetent leadership where the Neidermeyer is far too common, are hitting the door in ''droves.'' A great deal of their frustration was succinctly summed up in a devastating article written by an ''active duty'' lieutenant colonel. He boldly and honestly stated that a soldier who lost a rifle faced far greater consequences than a general who lost a battle or a war. Further, he observed that generals and admirals who commit rape and sexual harassment are protected by a "good old boys" system that ensures the worst that will happen to them is retirement with full pay and benefits. He ended the article by saying that junior personnel are fully aware that their leadership will throw them under a bus without a moment's hesitation.
* The term 'fragging' refers to dispatching an unpopular military officer with a fragmentation grenade. The reasoning was that bullets could be traced to individual rifles, but grenades could not, and would destroy other physical evidence. Apparently the process was that a verbal, informal mention of difficulties with an officer would be made. The next step was to place a grenade pin on the officer's pillow or other conspicuous place for him to find. If the message still wasn't coming across, a real grenade WITHOUT a pin would be placed in the general vicinity of the officer. In addition, apparently, the standing orders for a squad in Vietnam if their officer was killed was to return to base. Soldiers on a suicidal or otherwise dangerous mission sometimes were able to figure out the math on that one. They would skip the buildup with particularly incompetent, glory-crazed, or just plain abusive officers; if you were a big enough dick to your men or senselessly jeopardized their lives enough, odds are that a live grenade would just suddenly materialize in your tent and explode out of the blue, and no one would have any insight into how it happened.
* To US Airmen in Tech School (AF advanced training), "Ropes" often fall under this trope. Basically, they are to the USAF what prefects are to British schools - fellow students who come off as GungHolierThanThou {{Rules Lawyer}}s, ''and'' can get you in trouble for [[FelonyMisdemeanor even minor violations]] since becoming a "Rope" gives them a measure of authority to rat their fellow Airmen out to the sergeants.
* [[UsefulNotes/CheGuevara Ernesto "Che" Guevara]] was like this about half of the time more or less, depending on the source. While he was occasionally known for showing reckless bravery and some decent planning, at other times he was notably incompetent, fled from battle, and generally was a burden to his men. And he was verbally abusive to his men almost all the time and generally showed a disdain for "Bourgeoise tactics" that hardly helped matters at all. He is perhaps most infamously known for his [[LastStand "last stand"]], where according to most accounts he left the rest of his unit to fight it out against the [[BolivianArmyEnding Bolivian soldiers attacking him]] before surrendering afterwards with two loaded and primed pistols. Though to be fair, he did surrender only after taking two bullets, and his last remaining comrade fought to the end to protect him. Despite leading revolutionaries in Africa, Guevara was overheard to disparage his local African fellow travelers, stating that black people did not have the intelligence to make communism work, and placing Afro-Cubans in his command over the native Congolese.
* A much-disliked pilot in the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm, renowned for bratty manner, overloading his crew with irrational and unnecessary demands, and other failings in human management, insisted his hangar crew rename his plane after his girlfriend. He was not nice about it and did not ask - he ordered. The irritated crew painted the name "Phyllis" on the nose of his plane as ordered. The pilot pronounced himself satisfied. After a discreet interval, the letters "SY-" were painted in front of the name. The pilot did not notice. Everyone else on the carrier did.
* Lord Cardigan of UsefulNotes/TheCrimeanWar infamy provides a particularly odious example. He purchased the Lieutenant Colonelcy of the 15th Hussars, despite a complete lack of military experience (bypassing the regiment's senior Major, who'd fought at Waterloo and served for 30 years), and almost immediately transferred to the 11th Hussars through disagreements with his officers. Besides being a harsh drillmaster and disciplinarian he frequently antagonized his subordinates, especially those who'd served in India. He shot one officer in a duel, tried to cashier another for serving moselle at a champagne dinner and had a secretary record the private conversations of his subordinates. Cardigan's wartime leadership of the Light Cavalry Brigade wasn't especially distinguished, leading them on a pointless reconnaissance that achieved little but exhausting the men and losing valuable horses. While he showed courage during the Brigade's famous charge, he turned back immediately after reaching the Russian guns, believing it ungentlemanly to fight amongst private soldiers. Soon after he returned to England and was KickedUpstairs rather than given another field command.
* Italy's own [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luigi_Cadorna Luigi Cadorna]] was a strict disciplinarian whose main tactic was to have his men charge into the enemy lines... And he was the ''commander-in-chief'' at the start of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, succeeding a much more loved general who had died by heart attack. For obvious reasons he got ultimately sacked, and his name is still hated in Italy. Ironically, he also had a large share of the merit for Italy's ultimate victory on their front, as he understood the devastating power of artillery and machine guns from the start and, fighting his own {{Obstructive Bureaucrat}}s, managed to reform the army to take advantage of the machine guns and equipped it with one of the largest artillery parks in the war, meaning that, by the time he got sacked, all Italy needed to win was a competent general as commander-in-chief, and his replacement was rather good.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Aurelius_Arnheiter Marcus Aurelius Arnheiter]], dangerously close to a real-life Captain Queeg. Commanding a destroyer escort during the UsefulNotes/VietnamWar, he alienated his crew with bombastic religious services, obsessive attention to detail and harsh disciplinary actions. Like the fictional Queeg, he so alienated his crewmen that they started keeping a log of his irrational actions. Two particular sore points involved the color of Arnheiter's toilet seat, and his apparent breakdown in combat. Eventually, Arnheiter's superiors received enough complaints that they relieved him of command. However, Arnheiter appealed the decision and the resultant legal procedings and press coverage proved a huge embarrassment to the Navy.
* Leslie Gehres, captain of ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Franklin_%28CV-13%29 USS Franklin]]'', was a good example of a Captain Queeg. His crew regarded him poorly due to his disciplinarian attitude and open contempt for his crew. When ''Franklin'' suffered a pair of devastating bomb hits on March 19, 1945, Gehres had refused to change the ship's readiness level from Condition-3 despite being only 50 miles from the Japanese coast. Antiaircraft guns were unmanned, damage control personnel were eating breakfast, fire pumps were turned off, and fully-loaded aircraft on the hangar deck were ignited by the bombs in a catastrophic explosion. Gehres spent six hours doing nothing of any use while his ship burned and explosive ordnance cooked off inside. Instead, [[BadassPreacher Chaplain Joseph O'Callahan]] led the firefighting and rescue effort that saved the ship, pulling many wounded men away from the fires by himself, pausing only to issue the Last Rites to the many dead and dying. Gehres later tried to deflect blame by accusing many of the surviving crew of desertion in the face of the enemy for abandoning the ship (a capital offense punishable by death) in spite of the fact that they were forced (or blown) overboard by the explosions and fire. The Navy quickly dropped the charges and swept the accusation under the rug. Gehres received a medal but was never trusted to command a ship again. Chaplain O'Callahan received the Medal of Honor.