Thursday, September 12, 2013

AFA officers' actions "misguided and inappropriate"

Posted By on Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 5:13 PM

click to enlarge Cadets march on the terrazzo. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Cadets march on the terrazzo.

In another instance of questionable behavior, six Air Force Academy officials have been disciplined due to how they handled an alleged "flash" incident at the Preparatory School.

The academy wouldn't disclose how the officials were disciplined, but issued this news release:

Three officers and three non-commissioned officers received administrative disciplinary action today for a human relations incident that occurred at the Preparatory School involving cadet-candidates during basic training on July 31, 2013.
The incident involved mishandling of supervisory responsibility but did not involve sexual assaults, sexual harassment or use or possession of illegal substances.
The incident occurred after an individual identified as a dark-skinned male cadet-candidate allegedly "flashed" a group of cadet-candidates from another squadron. Reacting to this alleged incident after hearing about it, the group of officers and NCOs brought together a group of male cadet-candidates and separated them by race in an attempt to discover the identity of the alleged perpetrator. In doing so, the officers and NCOs in question used other inappropriate disciplinary tactics to try to identify the alleged perpetrator.
"The officers and NCOs grossly misjudged the entire situation. They reacted before properly collecting facts and failed to consult the chain of command," said Col. Kabrena Rodda, Preparatory School Commander. "Their collective actions were misguided and inappropriate."
The investigation into the incident is complete, and no further action is anticipated at this time. The Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits disclosure of further information but the ill-advised actions of the six individuals are in direct opposition to Air Force core values.
"The Air Force's Academy stands for respect and dignity for every individual and we take all incidents that happen to our people incredibly seriously," said Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, Academy Superintendent. "This was a case of immature judgment and knee-jerk reactions that were not in keeping with our core values."

It's clear the academy has no intention of revealing who was at fault and what type of punishment they received. Administrative discipline, according to this website, "is not punitive in character; instead, it is meant to be corrective and rehabilitative. Administrative actions include measures ranging from counseling or a reprimand to involuntary separation." 

The academy has held several courts-martial over the last year dealing with alleged crimes by staff and cadets. It dealt with a major cheating scandal and a crazy incident in which 27 cadets were injured in a "first snow" ritual, both in 2012.

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