What an article! It has left me bewildered and frankly, a little disillusioned. I was a Cadet Honor Officer just last semester, and I still believe that there is something of worth in the Honor Code and in Honor Education. But, as I like to do with all things, I hope to learn lessons from this article because all cadets have also been taught that 'perception is reality' as well as 'you are the best and the brightest'. Hopefully, when my class graduates we will go on to lead the Air Force in the right direction by not forgetting that everyone is susceptible to making mistakes, even Generals. I am realistic enough to know that even the wonderful Air Force Academy can improve. I am extremely proud of my school and of my classmates, so my hope is that in the future I can follow in the footsteps of someone like Mr. Malmstrom, who truly wants to help the Academy improve. I know that my experiences here will lead me to the right answers. Cadets are expected to do the right thing, and as my fellow classmate demonstrated by his critique of the DIT, this can have some subjectivity involved. However, in Honor Education we try to teach and learn how to live using values alone. Life is, of course, situationally dependent...but the Honor System really does try to get cadets to a place of self-awareness where they are fully aware of their character and they absolutely know what they are going to do, regardless of the situation. However, this is extremely difficult to do in practice, but not impossible. Hopefully we can continue to hold both cadets and leadership accountable and maybe articles and research like this can help bring those improvements.
For those of you who are judging cadets as a homogenous whole, you have to know that logic doesn't make sense. Please try to look also at the good that the Academy produces, whether it be in community service hours or the fact that the graduates go on to fight for our beloved country. This doesn't give us a free pass, and we should be held to the highest standard...but please don't attack the cadet wing as a whole. Since I am here right now, I know that your argument is wrong: there are people here who are some of the best I've ever known in my life.
And for the incoming freshman, USAFA Class of 2016 Appointee: the brochures of life always paint a glossy picture. But I still stand proud of this school and what I have gotten out of it. Coming here made me a better person, becoming involved in the Honor System helped me develop morally, and I still stand by this institution's mission. I am very honored that I will be receiving a commission in less than 40 days. I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to come here and experience this place. There is no place like it. I suggest that you at least try it for one or two years before you give up on it. You can't base your judgment off of an institution's brochure or a newspaper article. Come see for yourself; I guarantee that you will love it!
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