I was curious about the disparity of cadets stating that there were about 16 observations per year (mimicked by Christa Carroll) and Fred Malmstrom’s assertion that there were about 60 observations per data point. Reading about the survey data and analysis in the popular press has severe limitations since journalists are not trained in advanced statistics, no offense to Pam Zubeck. So I found the article she cited in the Journal of Human Resources which includes the survey. And I found out why there's this confusion. The survey considers a four-year interval of graduates per service academy as one data point. So the cadets’ calculations of simply dividing the 2,465 observations by the (52 years of graduates [from years 1959 to 2010] times 3 service academies) is inappropriate given the design of the survey instrument. If you correct for the four-year intervals then there are on average 63 observations per data point which is consistent with what Fred Malmstrom said.
And I’m very bothered about the cadets’ scorn for even attempting to assess seriously the honor code, echoed by old graduates and a few others (and of course the USAFA leadership). To these folks you are doing USAFA no favors behaving this way. Massive Defense budget cuts are coming just around the corner. Saying that you’re great just because you say so won't withstand scrutiny.
You can smugly stay in denial or you can join in and conduct honest research to attempt to verify the superior effectiveness of service academies over ROTC and OTS. There’s no question in my mind that Congress will want this justification as it decides where to aim its cleaver.
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