The military academies have instituted Cadet Honor Codes to hold their students responsible during their time in school. The cadets promise to uphold standards against lying, stealing, and cheating. However, with this system, there are sometimes students who fail to live by this code of conduct and often times it is the shock generated that causes theses events to be labeled as scandalous.
There have been several noted cheating military academy cheating scandals over the past several decades. One of the biggest was in 1951, when 90 West Point cadets participated in ‘cribbing’ or receiving answers to exams ahead of time. An investigation recommended that the students be expelled, but they were left with bad reputations for the rest of their time at the school and during their terms of service. Another large scandal occurred the same year, when 83 West Point cadets violated the honor code to help the football team. The scandal was depicted in a 2005 made-for-TV movie called Code Breakers.
The Air Force Academy has also been plagued by military academy cheating scandals the past couple of years. In 2004, 69 cadets were accused of cheating on a military etiquette test. Forty-three of those accused were cleared, and 19 were found guilty by the honor board and were either expelled or put on probation. Seven more cadets ended up resigning. In 2007, 15 cadets were expelled and three resigned after they were caught cheating on a general knowledge test about the Air Force. These students were found guilty of forwarding test answers through email and social media.
In 2012, when 78 Air Force cadets were accused of cheating on an online calculus test. The students were required to attend a six-month remediation program (which is a form of academic probation). Most recently, in 2014, 10 Air Force cadets were found guilty of cheating on a Chemistry 100 lab report assignment.
Although these military academy cheating scandals do occur once in a while, they are somewhat rare since most students are selected for the schools, in large part, due to their upstanding character. Obviously there are no headlines when the academies go for long periods of time without any incidents!