The alleged cheating at the Army‘s storied training ground for officers, first reported by USA Today, involves a calculus exam administered remotely in May when the campus was closed and the cadets were at home, Lt. Col. Chris Hooper, an academy spokesman, told Military.com by phone Monday night.
Seventy-two of the accused cadets are plebes, or freshmen, and one is a “yearling,” or sophomore, Hooper said.
The cheating scandal is the worst at West Point since 1976, when 153 cadets resigned or were expelled for cheating on an electrical engineering exam.
Instructors grading the calculus test found suspicious discrepancies and brought the matter to the attention of academy authorities, Hooper said.
The result was that 73 cadets were charged with violating the academy’s strict honor code which states, “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”
Of the 73 cadets accused, four have resigned and cases against two others were dropped for lack of sufficient evidence, according to Hooper.
In the 67 remaining cases, 59 admitted to cheating and will be permitted to remain at the academy under a form of probation while undergoing rehabilitation and mentoring by a senior officer for the rest of their four-year commitment to West Point, Hooper said.
The eight other cases will be subject to additional honor code hearings before a panel of senior cadets, who are advised by military lawyers, Hooper said.
In a statement, Lt. Col. Christopher Ophardt, the academy’s director of public affairs, said, “[The] West Point honor code and character development program remains strong despite remote learning. Cadets are being held accountable for breaking the code. While disappointing, the honor system is working, and these 67 remaining cases will be held accountable for their actions.”
— Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.
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