“A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal…”

| December 22, 2020

“…or tolerate those who do.” Mostly.
It’s the biggest cheating scandal at West Point in decades. 70+ cadets made the same errors on a calculus exam, with 59 so far admitting to the offense. The exam was administered remotely because of COVID-19 concerns, which doubtless played a part.
Justice should be swift and without pity, an expulsion offense for the guilty, right?
Not quite.

More Than 70 West Point Cadets Accused Of Cheating In Academic Scandal

Vanessa Romo, Tom Bowman

Seventy-three suspected cheaters, one critical mistake.

Dozens of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point were caught cheating on a calculus final exam in May after they all made the same errors on the test, according to officials.

Instructors at the Army’s premier training ground for officers revealed the academic scandal on Monday, saying it’s the worst they’ve seen since the 1970s.

So far, 59 cadets out of a suspected 73 have admitted to taking part in the scam in which the students “shared answers and made the same mistakes,” Lt. Col. Chris Ophardt, a West Point spokesman told NPR.

The test was administered remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Four cadets have resigned and another eight, who say they’re innocent of any wrongdoing, will face a full hearing led by seniors at the academy. The cases against two others initially implicated in the scheme have been dismissed for lack of evidence.

Cadets who commit to the rigorous military academy agree to abide by a strict honor code that holds them up to a high standard in exchange for free tuition and a $10,000 annual stipend to every student, in addition to the opportunity to become some of the nation’s top military leaders.

The code is just a dozen words long: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”

Ophardt acknowledged the cadets — all but one of whom are first-years — fell short of living up to those words during this period of remote learning and other challenges brought on by the pandemic. Still, he maintains the “West Point honor code and character development program remains strong.”

He added: “The Honors process is working as expected and there have been no exceptions to policy for any of these cases. Cadets are being held accountable for breaking the code.”

Then why are the majority of them still on campus attending classes? Worse even than the loss of trust among so many, is the way West Point is handling the issue.

Expelled for cause? Perish the thought. They just need some more counseling, and a brand new rehabilitation program for cheaters is just the ticket.

Hat tip to our own Ex for bird-dogging the story.
Read the entire article here: NPR.org

I take no joy in posting this, and would just as quickly have Annapolis or Colorado Springs up had the cheating scandal occurred there.

Category: "Teh Stoopid", Army, Guest Link

Comments (75)

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  1. Sarge says:

    Thanks…there should be 70 extra openings next year.

    Attending school there is a a gift and that gift can be taken away.

    No Mercy as these our our future leaders.

  2. A Proud Infidel ®™️ says:

    For every Cadet admitted to any of the Service Academies there are dozens of others willing and qualified to do so, thus I say “THROW THEM the hell out as soon as they’re found guilty!

  3. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    That Code of Honor seems to be in Biden’s way. A pity it commits suicide shortly.

    • rgr769 says:

      I very seriously doubt anyone in that Biden family ever had any sense of duty, honor, or country. Exhibit A is that clip from 1988 where Gropey Joe lies repeatedly about his accomplishments in college and law school, where he graduated near the bottom of his class. I don’t think the bastard could have even taken a decent deposition in a dog bite case. Fortunately he never actually practiced law, except for working as a public defender for less than two years, before he got into politics.

      • Commissar says:

        Both of his sons served. And mindlessly disparaging Beau Biden’s service isn’t bullshit.

        The Trump’s never served. Ever. Not a single Trump has ever served. Going back generations.

        Funny how you claim the Biden’s have no sense of service but seems fine with the Trump family lack of any civic conscientiousness whatsoever for generations.

        • E4 Mafia '83-'87 says:

          Sniff, snifff…yeah, Hunter served alright. He served up a few bumps of the Devil’s White Powder. Beau served in the lead the way unit, Delaware National Guard JAG Corp 261st Signal Brigade. “Death from Paper Cuts” was their motto.
          Fred Trump Sr was 12 when the US entered WWI, and 36 for WWII. My Grandfather was in his 30’s at the start of WWII, but he worked for Sun Oil in Marcus Hook, PA which was a vital war industry. I never looked down on him because my other Grandfather fought in the Navy in the South Pacific. You should probably worry about the Dems throwing Joe under the bus for all his “Biden Family Business”.

        • SFC D says:

          Beau Biden served the nation. Hunter Biden served as an example of daddy’s influence and corruption. You serve as an example of mindless liberalism, and you remind us daily.

        • Deckie says:

          Ahem… getting shitcanned for drug use is not serving.

          GFY hood trash.

        • 31B SFC says:

          Commissar , Beau Biden’s service was exactly that…bullshit, National Guard JAG lawyer that never left the wire at the VBC…ole Hunted got an age waiver and then booted from Navy less than a month later for popping positive for coke.
          Granted the Trumps son did not serve, but Joe’s barley served

        • Berliner says:

          Joe Biden received five student draft deferments, first as an undergraduate at the University of Delaware and later as a law student at Syracuse University.

          And after a medical exam in April 1968, he received the “1-Y” classification, which meant he could only be drafted in a national emergency due to asthma as a teenager.

          On a side note “Biden was a standout receiver in high school and played on the University of Delaware’s freshman team.”

          • Berliner says:

            Hunter “failed the drug test 1 month after commission testing positive for cocaine and discharged less than honorably”.

          • Mason says:

            Indeed he was a standout player. He was known by his teammates as “Hands.”

            Shit you not.

        • Mason says:

          I’ll give you Beau Biden. He served, and by all accounts honorably. That you throw Hunter into the mix is more than laughable. Yeah, he “served”. Gosh you’re dense.

        • rgr769 says:

          Hey dipshit, Beau is not part of the family. He’s dead, Jim. You wanna throw up Hunter as a paragon of honor, go for it. That alone makes you look the fool we all know you are.

        • KoB says:

          Oh Good Lord spapos, tho I don’t read your drivel anymore this just jumped right out. Can you EVER make a decent comment that doesn’t include trashing The Trump Family or promoting your potty mouth BS? What is it with you? Did you walk in and catch the entire family of Trump Males banging your mother…or sister? You really DON’T realize what a sissy punk asinine piece of sh^t you are, do you?

          This article is about potential officers of the US Army that TOOK AN OATH and then violated that same OATH. They should be gone…NOW!

          I honestly believe that the only reason you would not have been the FIRST ossifer fragged is the time it would have taken to sell the chance to be FIRST to frag your worthless self centered ass and the tickets to said event. Maybe that’s why your higher kept you away from troops that had access to things that went BOOM!

  4. 26Limabeans says:

    Remote learning, remote voting.
    This is how we choose our leaders now.

    • Commissar says:

      We have been mail in voting since the early 1800s.

      Including extensive mail in voting during the civil war, WWI, and WWII.

      My bet is you voted by mail in the past as well.

      So stop trying to spin it as some new fangled change.

      • SFC D says:

        Commissar, in some states it WAS a newfangled change. Blindly mailing out ballots to every registered voter, alive or dead, present in the state or not, is an open invitation to fraud. Arizona has done mail in voting for years, very successfully. BUT, you have to request a mail in ballot, you are verified as a qualified voter, and everything works great. It can be done correctly, but the states that ran it through (under questionable legality) as an “emergency covid measure” basically tossed thousands of ballots into the wind, unverified and unchecked. It’s not spin. It’s a fact. Now, go look up “fact” in your Funk & Wagnall’s.

      • AW1Ed says:

        Absentee ballots, sure. Mass mailings shotgunned to the populace, no.

        Two strikes, Lars.

      • Ret_25X says:

        False.

        As usual, you are completely and idiotically wrong, Comrade Dumkopf.

        Try reading next time. It’s fundamental.

        Now, I realize that you are part of the “CCP first” movement, but even for you, this is a crass level of stupidity.

        I suppose it could be emotional incontinence that makes you utter such objectively false statements, but I don’t think so. I have come to believe that you are a true fan-boi of the Maoist destroyers.

        But then, if you weren’t, you would not be;

        Comrade Dumkopf! Master of Wrong! Speaking power to truth! Lies are just part of the personality!

        • Poetrooper says:

          “I suppose it could be emotional incontinence that makes you utter such objectively false statements…”

          More like emotional diarrhea…

  5. Roh-Dog says:

    If they’re first year and it’s calculus, it ain’t hard calculus.
    There’s about two rules you have to follow.
    Ffs.

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      If you have to cheat your way through freshman classes, you don’t belong there.

      If you think cheating your way to a commission is OK, you don’t belong there.

      Flush the turds. Better a small class of good ones than a big class of turds.

      “…Or tolerate those who do.”

      That last bit? It is the essential bit.

      -Essential-

      • Roh-Dog says:

        Perhaps the institution is a victim of its own success, pushing away all the smart people with moral codes with the sjw bullsheet.
        But you right, flush ‘em turds.
        Quality over quantity any day o’ the week!

      • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

        Well stated, 11B…

  6. USAFRetired says:

    These things periodically occur at the service academies. In the late 70s scandal at USMA they brought General Goodpaster out of retirement to serve as Superintendent there to help restore things.

    I’d be interested in a regression analysis to see from these periodic events if there is any correlation as to source of appointment, State, Congressional district, or any other demographic data, so that emphasis can be put into the recruiting process to prevent such things occurring.

  7. rgr769 says:

    Any future officer who will cheat and lie to get through a test will make an officer who will lie to superiors and potentially get good men killed. I could never abide dishonest officers nor incompetent ones. Unfortunately, I encountered both on too many occasions.

    One has to wonder how many of the cadets are the product of the snowflake factor of our current culture and education system.

    • Commissar says:

      There was an extensive cheating scandal in the 1970s. Bigger than this one with respect to percentage of cadets involved.

      I guess it was the snowflake factor in your culture and the education system you went through back then.

      • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

        JUST HAVE TO HAVE any attention you can get, eh you rabbitfucked chihuahua shit-for-brains?

        • ChipNASA says:

          And you just made The Hemisphere of Insults®™ **again**.

          “You just **HAVE** to have any attention you can get, eh you rabbitfucked, chihuahua, shit-for-brains, don’t you? DON’T YOU?!?!” (I added a couple of “don’t yous for emphasis)
          This fits in nicely for the need for many Stolen Valor puke’s narcissism, in addition to you-know-who.
          Thanks again as always.

      • SFC D says:

        The snowflake factor enters into play when cheaters are offered “rehabilitation” when they should be receiving “summary dismissal”. We don’t want to hurt the feelings of these cheating little fucks.

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          AND if they grow up cheating any way they can to get ahead, they could become D-rat politicians as they get older!

  8. Hondo says:

    Then why are the majority of them still on campus attending classes? Worse even than the loss of trust among so many, is the way West Point is handling the issue.

    They’re still there because even if they’ve admitted “wrongdoing” (the article doesn’t specifically say what they admitted to doing), due process takes time. And due process takes a helluva lot more time when you have a group of 70 or so vice one or a small group.

    Unless a Cadet accused of violating a Service Academy’s Honor Code resigns voluntarily, they have to be processed for an administrative separation. That in general takes a board action or high-level decision (I believe the Superintendent is the decision authority at all Service Academies, but I’m not positive). Each Service Academy has a defined process for doing this.

    There are numerous examples over the years where the admin process wasn’t followed correctly or completely – and a clearly guilty individual challenged the results and was allowed to continue as a Cadet on that basis (pretty sure the same is true for Midshipmen at the USNA/USCGA/USMMA also, but I can’t say from personal knowledge). The various Academies know this, and best I can tell now seem to be pretty careful to “dot the I’s and cross the T’s”.

    Please disregard – I initially missed the facts that *1) the cheating happened on an exam last May, and (2) that the 55 who were allowed to continue their studies were placed in a “rehab program” that adds additional requirements and essentially also places them on probation for the remainder of their time at West Point.

    Agree or not, “retain and rehab” is apparently an option under current West Point policy regarding the Cadet Honor Code. After some additional checking, I found that seems to have become USMA policy not terribly long ago – If I’m interpreting it correctly, one source I’ve seen implies it became official policy around 2000 or so (give or take a few years).

    • AW1Ed says:

      I’d agree, Hondo, but for two points. The offences occurred in May. Each deserve their day in court, as it were, but were is the swift justice?
      Also the new as of 2015 rehabilitation program- nothing more than Extra Military Instruction (EMI) which at least in my experience is the lowest level of official punishment, usually administered by an already overworked senior enlisted. Me, for example. Permanent probation? Don’t make me laugh.
      What was an Honor offense and grounds for expulsion is now treated as a training issue. Do the program grads get a certificate upon successful completion, extra points, and an opportunity to retake the exam?
      Rhetorical questions, sorry.

      • Hondo says:

        As I said above, AW1Ed: “retain and rehab” has apparently been the policy since around 2000, give or take a bit. Agree or not, that’s current policy. It was applied in this case – and not all were retained (a few were not offered rehab and were told to pack their stuff and depart).

        FWIW: I never said above that I agreed with the decision to “rehab and retain”. I merely said that it was current policy, like it or not. Lots of things are policy that I don’t agree with – but have to put up with anyway.

        I’m guessing the same or similar policy is now the case at the other Service Academies as well. Don’t know for sure, and don’t have time to research the matter.

        • AW1Ed says:

          Good article on how Big Navy mishandled the infamous class of 1994 electrical engineering exam scandal.

          “This sliding scale of justice is appropriate for a disciplinary violation, but is clearly inappropriate for an honor code violation.”

          Baltimore Sun

          • Hondo says:

            Well, AW1Ed – seems to me that per that article, apparently the Navy’s “retain and rehab” policy for USNA dates to at least 1994. The article appears to be an op-ed, and what you quoted is the author’s opinion. FWIW: the article’s author is a 1962 USNA grad.

            In reality, few (less than 1/3) of the guilty were expelled in that incident either. From the same article:

            Altogether, 134 members of the class were investigated, and 81 eventually admitted to cheating after advance copies of an electrical engineering exam were taken and distributed on campus. However, only 24 were expelled. Another 64 Midshipmen received lesser punishment for cheating or other violations; the rest were exonerated.

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          “As I said above, AW1Ed: “retain and rehab” has apparently been the policy since around 2000, give or take a bit.”

          Apparently they applied that to the little commie cockroach Rapone as well.

  9. USMC Steve says:

    Not surprised. Look at the American society they have to recruit from. There are most likely no people out there who don’t have mostly situational ethics. It will be decades if at all before we can reverse the moral rot present in almost all of the thirtysomethings and younger now. The true Clinton legacy.

    • Commissar says:

      So what was wrong with the America society they had to recruit from that led to the massive West Point cheating scandal more than 40 years ago?

      Who was the source of the rot pervasive in your generation?

    • Commissar says:

      By the way, my generation didn’t have a cheating scandal.

      Guess you and Gen z have the same systemic moral failures and lack of ethics.

      I mean I’d we are going to use one incident and extrapolate that the entire generation is a moral failure then we have no choice but to conclude your generation is a moral failure as well.

      I mean, it is, completely. No generation has taken more and given back less in the entire history of recorded human civilization. Your generation is abysmally immoral and self serving,

      But the West Point scandal of your generation is barely a blip on the radar of a half century of moral failure for the boomers.

  10. SFC D says:

    Dismiss all of them, summarily. Dismiss the cheaters, dismiss those who lied about cheating, dismiss those who enabled the cheating. That includes Cadets, instructors, leadership, all the way down to the janitor. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.00.

  11. Green Thumb says:

    Another handful of shitbag officers.

    An 80 year old shitbag was once a 20 year old shitbag.

  12. I bet they were all watching Animal House but missed the part when the tests were switched.

  13. Mustang Major says:

    Wow! West Pointers cheating? That has got to be a first. (Snark Snark)

    I say kick them out. (But, no one will call and ask my opinion.) Send the cheaters home and let them attend a liberal arts junior college where the instructors pass out the answers in advance. It is bad enough that a West Point infantry LTC battalion commander didn’t take the West Point honor code to heart during his career. But instead, he chose to rip off insurance companies and banks. (LTC Christopher James DeMure).

    I recall my time as an instructor at the Infantry School in the 80’s. Many of the foreign officer students cheated during exams. I decided to create four versions of the exam. The exam was an easy 25 question exam. The questions and question order were the same on all exams, but the multiple-choice answers ended up scrambled in four versions of the test. My boss gave me the go-ahead for the scheme.

    Well, no surprise. Most foreign officers (majority middle east) failed the exam as they uniformly selected the same answers.

    Well, the crap hit the fan. Everybody in the infantry school supported the test design that flushed out the cheaters. (The two-star on down.) Well, guess what, the part of the Army headquarters that facilitated foreign officers attending US military schools and the state department threw a fit. It turns out that despite the Fort Benning honor code, the foreign officers weren’t there to learn but instead make connections.

    Like the foreign officer students caught cheating, the West Pointers’ caught cheating may have other considerations at play that will trump their expulsion.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      “Like the foreign officer students caught cheating, the West Pointers’ caught cheating may have other considerations at play that will trump their expulsion.”

      Those with the proper family connections will likely skate!

    • timactual says:

      ” the foreign officers weren’t there to learn but instead make connections.”

      I may be too cynical but, judging from what I have read and heard I doubt that US officers are significantly different. Networking and ticket punching.

  14. David says:

    Thank God I never made any dumbass mistakes when I was 18 /s. (The list of dumbass mistakes I didn’t make in reality was far shorter.)

    While my first reflex is to say “throw ’em the hell out” I remember many, many other folks I have known who made early mistakes, paid the penalties, and turned out OK. I tend to think Draconian punishments like extra duty, loss of any leave or passes, etc. for a year or two will soon show who learns and wants to get sorted out, and who doesn’t. Continued problems? Get rid of ’em… but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

    I do challenge Commissar to try and make an argument without “but Trump” or similar. I don’t think he can do it. Seems like his entire life is trying to deflect by “but Trump’s kid” or “but Trump”isms.

  15. Wilted Willy says:

    Gee, I bet my pos brother would have been a shinning example to the cadet class on how to get away with lying,cheating and screwing the government out of thousands of dollars!
    My God, why isn’t that SOB in prison, somebody please explain this to me???

  16. Andy11M says:

    Shame they aren’t in their 3rd year, then they could be shipped off to the regular Army as shitbird Specialists and serve a 4(?) year sentence as enlisted and be forced to retell the tale of how they got kicked out of West Point. The best part would be that they would eventually have to serve under their former classmates.

  17. Slow Joe says:

    Fuck cadets.

    Worst and most entitled weasels I have met in my life. How many will only get a wrist slap?

    Answer: all the ones with political connections.

    • Poetrooper says:

      That’s a good point Joe. Since most appointments are attained through politicians, the Army must be careful to not offend the nominating politicians by nullifying their selections.

      And can you imagine the disbelief of a federal politician over his appointment being negated for such a minor thing as…gasp…

      DISHONESTY???

  18. MarineDad61 says:

    A Stolen Valor phony will not lie, cheat, or steal….
    Said no one ever.

    Obituary pending. Page is up. Obit not (yet).
    https://www.magicvalleyfuneralhome.com/obituary/lester-brown

  19. NHSparky says:

    I seem to recall signing integrity statements on pretty much every test I took as a student in the nuke pipeline and in the fleet. Something about the work on the test is my own, etc., and that if I (not the instructor) found an error during exam review, it was up to ME to let the staff know about it.

    And yes, they checked. And yes, students were booted on integrity violations out of the nuke program for it. Matter of fact, I’d venture to guess DU (demonstrated unreliability) drops were more common than academic ones.

  20. dc juggler says:

    Just out of curiosity I wonder about the demographics of the cheaters. I look at this through the lens of a late-1970s Coast Guard Academy graduate:
    1. Class of 1977–Eight black male cadets accepted the appointment. Two graduated.
    2. Class of 1978–Big push for more minority cadets (a good thing). About 30-35 accepted appointments. Overwhelming majority flunking our after First Semester grades. Normal disposition was dismissal with option to return the following year. Applied to all cadets. Good thing? I didn’t care one way or the other.
    3. Class of 1979–About 30-35 minority cadets. Same rules as previous year.
    4. Class of 1980–This was where sand got thrown in the gearbox. Push for more female cadets. About 30 or so women accepted appointments. How many male minority cadets? Only 2. That was the elephant in the room nobody talked about?

    Things seemed to have been sorted out fot the better over the last 40 years (based on observing the Cadet makeup at the occasional Alumni weekend visits.

    Just an observation from an office old goat/dinosaur. Merry Christmas everyone.

  21. Deckie says:

    The same West Point that never demanded a dime of money back from Spenser Rapone when he shit on his country and duties doesn’t drop the hammer on cheaters?

    You should see my surprised face.