Navy nukes cheat, too

| February 5, 2014

Ex-PH2 sends us a link to NBC News which reports that a bunch of Navy nukes in Charleston have been relieved from their positions as instructors for cheating. I guess they’re just trying to keep up with the Air Force;

About 30 senior instructors at the Navy’s nuclear propulsion school in Charleston, S.C., have been suspended from duty for alleged cheating on exams, U.S. Navy officials said Tuesday.

The instructors, the officials said, were stripped of their certification pending a Navy investigation.

The senior enlisted sailors involved are all instructors involved in re-certification for those who train the Navy’s nuclear propulsion course.

Navy officials say these sailors are involved in training for nuclear power plants on Navy ships and submarines and are not connected to any nuclear weapons program.

This is starting to disappoint me. It just seems strange to me that all of these firings are coming on the heels of the Pentagon drawing down the military.

Category: Navy

Comments (27)

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  1. rb325th says:

    I view it as a systemic breakdown in leadership within our Military, from its civillian leadership down the ladder.
    Look at the Guard scandal as well… all the relieved Generals for cause over the past few years, not being able to keep their hands out of the til our from under the skirt of woman not their wives.

  2. mark says:

    Not too long ago I attended the Navy’s Medical Laboratory Program (a joint Army/Navy school). It was a great program except for one Navy Chief who was an instructor in Microbiology.

    Before each exam she would hold a study session where she went down the exam question by question and gave us the answers. We took notes, memorized the answers and did quite well on the exams.

    Some of us reported this in our evaluations (as well as her apparent emotional instability that was regularly demonstrated). Nothing has ever happened.

    It’s not just nuke school.

  3. Bubblehead Ray says:

    If they’re lucky, these dorks will end up as IFBMs ( instant fucking Bosun Mates). More likely they’ll be invited to leave the canoe club. Either way, that high pitched whine you hear is Rickover doing 3600 RPMs in his grave.

  4. Hondo says:

    Bubblehead Ray: 3600RPM = 60Hz. Don’t think that’s a particularly high-pitched tone. (smile)

    Just pulling your chain, amigo. Yeah, these folks IMO need to be hammered – hard. In cutting corners while training safety-critical folks, they’re literally putting lives at risk.

  5. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Best way to complete a draw down is to deny as many people benefits as possible…clean out the dead weight and the slags at the same time…

    Some of these guys have probably been cheating for a while and it’s been over looked purposely until it was time to no longer over look it….

    When your elected leaders are liars and thieves, and the flag and staff officers they appoint are also liars and thieves lining their own pockets and not looking out for the troops it makes rb325th’s point exactly. Systems rot all the time, many of them from the head down…we see this happening now, and we see little being done about it.

    When we discuss it we are called cranky old men and women, when the reality is someone needs to keep the light shining brightly on liars and thieves unless we really want a society where that is expected behavior to flourish….so call me cranky if you like but I am going to call a liar a liar and a sh1tbag a sh1tbag until the day I die…

  6. O-4E says:

    I noticed in high school…the few times I made cheat sheets…I wound up remembering everything I put on the cheat sheet thus not even needing it

    It is a technique I have used to study for test successfully since then

  7. Ex-PH2 says:

    I sometimes think the military has completely lost sight of its real purpose.

  8. Rob in NH says:

    Well, this hits close to home, being a navy nuc. There was no cheating that I saw, but wow… This is one of those areas where there is no reason for cheating. You either study and make the grades, or you stay a conventional. Hell, I might have scraped by, but I made it without cheating. You just put the effort in.

    This is just crazy. 30 senior instructors! Most instructors are either senior enlisted (usually PO1 or CPO), or officer instructors direct from college. Just am shocked at this one…

  9. Hondo says:

    I’m guessing these guys/gals (if any of the latter) were “graded” themselves as instructors based on the percentage of trainees that “successfully completed” their courses. So these folks were taking the easy way of ensuring they’d get a “good grade” on their next eval.

    I once worked for a boss who had the perfect observation for this type of situation: “You get what you measure.”

    The way to measure training effectiveness isn’t the percentage that passes at the school. That simply encourages this type of “rigging the game”.

    The way you actually measure training effectiveness is feedback from the field as to how well prepared the trainees they’ve received over the last X months actually were. And you pay attention to that feedback.

  10. O-4E says:

    @9..Hondo

    You are correct. And the Army agrees with that. I have received at least half a dozen surveys over the last year about how well Soldiers and Lieutenants in certain MOS/Branches are performing in the field and to rate the importance of certain blocks of curriculum taught in the schools as it relates to the field.

  11. David says:

    I remember at OCS it was widely known that “OK, listen up, this is important” was code for “This here will be on your next test” – but this takes shit to a whole new level. Top down systemic rot is in danger of crippling us – this is reminding me of the ’70s all over again.

  12. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    Listen … I am going to say this once:

    “It is not my generation nor was this the norm in my generation. Recently, we have bred a generation of slackers and greedy spoiled little brats. I have never once in my life ever cheated on a test. I can not even imagine, knowing if caught … YOU ARE DONE (particularly in the military)! In addition, I could never live with myself as a follower, leader, husband and father.”

    I say burn them all!

    Any friggin” questions on this one?

    PS: Google “cheating in schools” it is a epidemic!

    • Jonn Lilyea says:

      When I wet to ANCOC at Benning in 1986, the instructors would stomp their foot when they’d talk about something that was going to be on the test at the end of the week. Some of my brother infantry NCOs didn’t pick up on it until it was too late.

  13. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    There is nothing wrong with “kicking the podium”. A good student, studies, learns and take the cues … putting emphasis on correct concepts, questions and answers during the course of the instruction is a good thing.

    That is what school is all about!

  14. Hondo says:

    O-4E: that’s good to hear. We need to doing more of that, across the board, throughout DoD.

    What you measure is critical. If the boss says to measure meaningless crap – like school completion rate or average number of trouble calls per day per person – subordinates will notice, and you’ll get pretty numbers. But unless you’re actually measuring what you want to see – like the how well the students perform on their NEXT assignment, or how long it takes on average for problems to get fixed – you may not get anything that’s meaningful.

    It’s critical to measure the correct things. Measuring the wrong thing can actually lead to a situation where you’re getting the opposite of what you really want. It did here.

  15. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    I good student on day one of a course or class would always raise his hand and ask, “Sir, for the sake of ensuring that we learn as much as we can here during the course (class), could you please make certain that you bring attention to the most important principles, concepts and learning points?”

    That student was me!

    In addition, I was a master at taking terminal and enabling objects and forming exact test questions.

    Finally, I studied my ass off!

  16. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    A good student …

  17. Former 3364 says:

    @3 @4 – It’s safe to say the KOG is on the governor and ready for electrical loading.

    The high pitch whining you hear is from the staff…

  18. NHSparky says:

    30 INSTRUCTORS? Most (if not all) of these guys/gals are sea-returnees, meaning they’ve 1–qualified as a student at prototype, 2–qualified on a plant, 3–are supposedly smart/skilled enough to teach new nukes.

    The “floatatypes” in Charleston are the same type of plant I learned at Nuclear Power School over 25 years ago. But even if you went to a different prototype or a different surface or submarine plant, certain principles still apply, and requalifying SHOULDN’T be so hard you feel the need to cheat.

    That being said, there has been a dramatic shift in how the school pipeline has been treated since I was a student. Back in the day, losing 60-70 percent from A-school through prototype (mostly in A-school and NPS) was the norm. Now, it’s unheard of to lose more than 20-25 percent in training–we’ve gone from a filter to a pump to get as many bodies on the boats. And the results are clear–more people going “sad panda” on the boat/carrier and putting that much more burden on the rest of the people who remain.

    A friend of mine who was a prototype instructor in New York told me horror stories of the incredible LACK of knowledge sea-returnee instructors had. Stuff that in my day would have earned you a, “WTF, are you THAT stupid?” look or a knock upside the head (or both.)

    So am I surprised that this is the end result? Not really. Upset, yes–but not surprised.

  19. NHSparky says:

    @4–Hondo–and 3600 rpm is true, but only if you’ve got 2 poles per phase. Our turbine where I used to work went at 1800 rpm, and our DG’s were at 514 rpm. All generated 60Hz.

    Still, the KOG would never have stood for this. And this kind of shit is what happens when nuke instructors are no longer required to be top half/top half/screened in NPS/Prototype/fleet.

  20. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    I did two tours as an instructor (qualified as MTS) and would never even consider pulling a stunt like this, or allow a fellow instructor to do this. While at the podium I might say “you may see/ hear this again” or kick at the podium/stop on the floor, but never resort to cheating.

    If these 30 Sailors were so concerned about there student, why didn’t they do something else, like set up time after class to actually work with them to help them understand the material (“study hall”)? Burn all of them for being lazy…

    Cheating is epidemic… just look at what has happened in Atlanta and Philadelphia in their school districts.

  21. Former 3364 says:

    It was reported on one site that these were senior enlisted cheating on re-qualification exams. Every one of these shit bags need to be transferred to CIVLANT ASAP! If these are kakais clad shit bags, court martial their asses

    was an instructor there 20 years ago and any decent operator should have no trouble passing that exam if they put in ther effort while working on their quals.

  22. Dennis says:

    When I was tech training instructor the squadron staff decided if a student failed, the instructor was to blame. It didn’t matter if the student had a room temperature IQ, any failure was the instructor’s fault. Never mind all of the after school hours the instructor spent with the student, never mind the times the instructor held up training for the rest of the class so the failing student could catch up.

    I do not approve of the instructors cheating; I would like to know how far up the chain of command it goes.

  23. NHSparky says:

    3364–that’s the whole problem. The quality of instructors (and operators in the fleet) seems to have declined dramatically since our time (I was in 8801.)

    And yeah, I went from a 688 to a 637 (with a radcon tour in between) and I had no problem requalifying RO/SRO/Ships in 4-5 months (you’re typically given six months if previously qualified, up to a year if you’re on your first boat.)

    I can’t imagine that instructor qualifications would be that much harder, aside from a possibly higher test score requirement.

    Also, hearing from some folks in the Charleston area that the “help” they will be getting will be lengthy and painful. As it should be in a case such as this.

  24. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    NH Sparky. Back in the day all we did was exercise, steam and deploy. I still have all EOCC procedures memorized for the two plants I steamed. Valve numbers and electrical panel switch numbers come to mind all the time.

    They don’t exercise like the 80’s or 90’s.

    Now a days, crews sit in training classes entitled “It is OK that Your Chief is Married to Another Man”, “Planning Your Ghey Military Wedding on the Base”, and my favorite, “When it is OK to Call ADMIN TIME OUT During General Quarters.”

  25. Former 3364 says:

    NHSparky, I was a year or so behind you (8902) and I would think that the senior enlisted “leadership” in place right now are people that we classed up with back in the day, a few of which I know are in Charleston now.

    There’s some good stuff over at TSSBP that’s worth a read.

  26. NHSparky says:

    They might be a lot junior to us. Remember, we’d be on our second (or third) CMC/COB tour by the 26-year point.

    I’m thinking that most of these “senior” people are PO1 and maybe CPO sea-returnees. That would put them in the 1995-2005 range, give or take.

    I can say that even as far as the late 90’s when I left my last boat, the LOK of the guys coming out of prototype was sadly lacking in basic maintenance principles, IPO, etc.

    I shudder to think what it’s like today if that slide had continued.

    And yeah, Joel puts out some good stuff from time to time.