Academy investigating potential test compromise

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Matthew Rosine
  • Air Force Print News
U.S. Air Force Academy officials are investigating an incident of cheating involving more than 19 freshman cadets.

"We have an honor code here at the Academy," said Capt. Capt. Kim Melchor, the deputy director of public affairs during a telephone interview Feb. 8. "From the first day they arrive, we teach the cadets to be trustworthy and to understand that integrity is integral to every Air Force officer. Simply put, we don't tolerate cheating."

Nineteen cadets have already admitted to Academy officials that they were involved somehow.

"In light of this horrible situation, our cadets came forward with these violations," Captain Melchor said. "This is what we taught them to do. If you make a mistake, you have to admit to your wrongdoing and face the consequences of your actions."

The cheating incident began when the answers to a test apparently were instant-messaged through a social Web site to several cadets. The answers were for one of the regular weekly exams given to cadets on the subject of basic military knowledge.

The cadets who admitted to their involvement are currently being reviewed by a Cadet Sanctions Recommendation Panel made up of fellow cadets. This panel will validate the cadet's involvement and help determine the intent of the person using the information he or she received. This panel will then make a recommendation to the commandant and the superintendent who will render final judgment.

Cadets who are found to be involved who did not admit their involvement will face a similar panel headed by an Air Force officer. This panel will vote on the cadet's case and make a recommendation to the commandant and the superintendent who will render final judgment.

Cadets involved in this cheating incident have the option of voluntarily resignating from the Academy. They also could receive no action against them, an honor code probation for a period of predetermined days or they could be disenrolled from Academy.

"We are always striving to instill the importance of Air Force core values in our cadets through mentoring and leading by example," Captain Melchor said. "Our mission here is to build officers of character. Following the Academy's honor code, living by it, is the foundation of training here at the Academy. Everything is built upon that."

Originally created in the 1960s, the honor code has faced cheating scandals in 1965, 1967, 1972, 1984 and most recently in 2004.

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