I'm still reading the comments but feel compelled to weigh in here:
I am a recent USAFA grad and I am returning to teach at the Academy in the next few months. I am offended at the outlook on both faculty and cadets presented by this article and many of the comments. Ladies and gentlemen, grads and onlookers, taxpayers and critics... can we focus on what's important here, rather than attacking others? A positive and well-thought out discussion about what we can do from here to improve (because the Academy is constantly developing) would be highly appropriate.
I don't recall ever taking this survey, but I sure wish I had the opportunity. I saw some of the best and brightest people I've ever met grow and develop as men and women of true integrity over my 4 years at USAFA. Yes, there were some folks who compromised their honor, but these were far fewer in number than this article would suggest. And we DO know which of our peers is not concerned about the greater good of the Air Force. I fully expect this to come into play as we progress in the ranks of the Air Force and have the opportunity to eliminate these self-interested individuals by preventing them from advancing in rank.
The suggestion that we have regressed morally is not surprising to me: hasn't our society as a whole corroded morally? All it takes is a few minutes of watching the news or seeing what's "important" to folks on Facebook to make that assessment. However, I still have a lot of faith and belief in the moral quality of individuals pre- and post-graduation from USAFA. This is why, instead of doing my 5 years and getting out of the Air Force, I decided to return to school and get an advanced degree in the area of study in which I plan to teach. I should note that while it was my intention to get my degree in this area anyway, my sponsoring department and the Air Force were still very clear that I MUST get my degree in this area of specialty.
AFIT doesn't have my degree, so here I am, at a civilian institution. I have been given a most unique opportunity, a very rare gift: the ability to compare 18-24 year olds at BOTH USAFA and a public university. I have met some nice people here, but I have also discovered the immoral, repellent things that graduating seniors at this college have done, which they plan to continue doing after graduation. I have seen how widespread cheating and dishonesty is, and I know how often undergrads here compromise their integrity. I don't need a survey to tell you that USAFA cadets have far more integrity and honor than these students.
When I return to USAFA, the most important thing I intend to emphasize in my students is not test scores or talent, but rather HONOR. Honor is essential in the Air Force, and you cannot put a price on the ability of your Airmen to look up to you and respect you as an officer with integrity. I look forward to continuing my service by being the best instructor I can possibly be: I owe it to an institution that did so much for me and made me into the officer that I am today.
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