Chris McBride 
Member since Apr 13, 2012

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Re: “Cracks in the code

The problem with this article is that it is a gross over-generalization of the cadet population. The data provided shows that yes, there are honor violations, yet when taken as a percentage, you are talking to 1.5 - 2.6 percent of the entire population. You cannot judge an entire population of approx. 4400 adults in a way like this. As Jim Huff states, yes, there is a probationary period, yet this gives those who did not make egregious violations a chance to reflect upon their actions and learn from them. This data does not also show the amount of violations that were brought up due to self reporting. The honor code is about integrity, showing that we have it. There are numerous cases in which the violator did something in violation of the honor code, but then had the integrity to fess up, to show that they did wrong, and were willing to face the consequences. The article talks about old graduates who stated that they were able to get away with cheating? Again, back then, there was no probationary period to reflect and change. If they had shown the integrity to admit their wrongdoing, they were dis-enrolled. Do not forget, cadets are young adults in college. Constantly developing and always human. It is only human to make mistakes, but it takes the Integrity to admit them. How many college / university students would willingly admit that they cheated on a test?

To supplement another comment, there is a skewed view of the honor system, like it is an anvil hanging over each of our heads, out to get us. But this is why these revisions are being done. To clarify obligations which are currently vague and to ensure that things are taken care of at the lowest level possible, so that cadets take accountability and responsibility for each other and, if necessary, take responsibility to call out another peer, which can be quite a difficult thing to do.

For those who are complaining about the "$400,000" cost per cadet; this is a large misnomer. It is not that it COSTS $400,000 per cadet to attend USAFA, rather, the quality of the education is WORTH $400,000 per cadet. This $400,000 does include tax funding, yes, but also private funding, military training, and items that are paid for by cadets. Cadets buy their computers, books, uniforms, food, laundry service, etc...These are all taken out of a monthly stipend that is a fraction of a military pay as cadets are under an Active Duty status. As for military funding, this is to go toward military training that is necessary to create military members prepared for combat, whether it is basic training, survival training, or even deployment training. Yes, this even encompasses private funding. The intercollegiate sports, sports facilities, even the CCLD (Center for Character and Leadership Development) are all funded by donations by alumni. Sure some outside public funding of the school may go to sports, but this is just like any other university. And this brings me to my next point, the money that tax payers give that go to USAFA is just like tax money that is provided to State Universities. It goes toward the overhead costs, such as those of supplementing faculty, utilities, and upkeep. Furthermore, this IS a military installation, and therefore has other military members and responsibilities like other funded military bases.

Finally, for those who feel that leadership is not right. This is a university and sometimes cadets are cynical. It happens to everybody. But trying to motivate a group of adults takes enthusiasm, which is what Lt Gen Gould gives us. Think of it this way, you may talk of how a majority of high ranking generals graduated from USMA? Most of these generals came directly out of the Army Air Corps into the new US Air Force. Back then, there was no USAFA, back then there was no USAF, so yes, it makes logical sense that they graduated from USMA. But in a modern context, they come from USAFA or ROTC. Another thing is that out of the 198 4 star generals, yes, 33 may be ROTC grads and 32 may be USAFA grads, but there are only 1000 USAFA grads a year, from one institution, whereas there are approximately 2100 ROTC grads per year from various Detachments across America. USAFA houses approximately 4000-4400 cadets, ROTC: 13,000. With these numbers, you can see, a higher concentration of USAFA grads tend to be in high leadership positions rather than those with ROTC commissioning. One note I want to make, is that I am not trying to speak ill of ROTC, they are the same as us: going to a university while training for military service. My only intention with these numbers are to show that the comments saying that USAFA is unnecessary, that ROTC can handle it are just not true, because more USAFA graduates end up leading the military than those from ROTC.

17 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by Chris McBride on 04/13/2012 at 12:25 AM

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