My, my, it seems that I have stumbled onto the USAFA haters blog. I read the entire article, and I think I should get some credit for stamina. Ms. Zubeck is not a particularly good writer, and neither is she an objective one. Nevertheless, this is an interesting topic.
The article does not provide objective or useful information regarding the effectiveness of USAFA's character education. Nor does the essay provide objective or useful information regarding the state of honor code adherence in the Cadet Wing.
Rather, Ms. Zubeck presents, uncritically, the research of Professor Malmstrom with the clear assumption that this research is valid (perhaps it is, maybe it is not) and then she draws conclusions from it that do not necessarily follow.
As in so much of current American journalism, this is an opinion piece presented as if it were a news report. It seems obvious that the author and many who have commented here, have an ax to grind with the Academy.
I think the core of the hate has something to do with religion. Call me Captain Obvious.
But all the controversy over the MMRF issues, the issue of General Born's accreditation report, and Gen. Born's alleged counter insurgency is really beside the point this essay.
The point is that character training at USAFA may be failing and the code is being broken with greater frequency. Is that really so? Is the moral character or adherence to the honor code really declining among the Cadet Wing at USAFA? I rather doubt it, and the article certainly does not provide me with any reason to believe so.
I have interacted with Cadets at the Academy and in my home for the past three years, and I have found them to be young men and women of exceptional moral character and intelligence. I have only limited personal experience with USAFA Cadets, but I do have that experience, and it has been universally a positive one.
My sample of cadets is limited to those my adult child, a cadet, has befriended, but they are a pretty diverse group as to gender, race, religion or lack thereof, and socioeconomic and political backgrounds.
I find them to be superior to the friends of my other children who attend civilian colleges. In fact, they are markedly different in that they exhibit excellent character traits.
So, I think that the notion that character is falling apart at USAFA is, well, silly. Even if all of the sour grapes contained in these comments were true, the cadets are, by and large, doing well. There have been numerous character scandals at USAFA. I think these occurred before the much maligned General Gould and Born's tenure.
Or maybe it really was so much better and harder back in the good old days...
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