The insider 
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Re: “Cracks in the code

To the class of 2016 appointee commentators: Your questioning your decision to attend USAFA is very wise. 'Current Cadet' is shitting rainbows and dreaming in color. The majority of cadets are jaded and cynical. Why do you think they always say things such as, "It's a terrible place to be, but a great place to be from, " or "The best view of the academy is in your rear view mirror"? Only after cadets graduate do some (but certainly not all) start saying the place was fantastic. Some have very short memories. There are two things you should know. The administrations have ALWAYS been hypocritical and corrupt and the honor code has ALWAYS been cracked. This is not new. Getting rid of the current administration will not help because the Academy simply installs different graduates into the leadership positions. It's all very incestuous. Do you really think replacing one grad with another who went through the same brain washing is going to be better? This a culture and they are not interested in changing that culture. Not to mention, accountability is nil and they do their own self-assessments. Institutions cannot police themselves. Then you have the political favors between the leadership and the congressmen that represents the academy. Anyone remember good ol' Joel Hefley? He worked diligently to cover up for ol' Dallager, Taco and Wagie during the sexual assault scandal. How were the replacements? Weida? Slavic? Born? What really needs to happen is the installment of civilian leadership. It's the only way to temper the culture and affect change. They need outsiders. The Naval Academy has civilian leadership which appears to have done a better job.

How about THE top USAF JAG, Thomas Fiscus, the one responsible for overseeing the sexual assault scandal in 2002-03? Another Academy grad who was himself having multiple affairs (13) over at least a ten year period! That's only what is known...what is unknown?…
(In case you don't believe me).
He came out of the same system and engaged (long term) in the very behavior he was supposedly investigating. He was indoctrinated into that fraternity where sexual harassment and assault was (is) could he ever think it was wrong? Apparently he didn't.

But the honor code? As long as the Academies have had an honor code, is has been plagued by scandal. Why? Because it doesn't work. It assumes that those who administer it are honest and have integrity. It's based on false assumptions, making it inherently flawed. As CadetX stated, it's great in theory but not in practice. Through the years it has been investigated and investigated. Why? Because it continually is misapplied and many innocent people have been irreparably harmed by it. Read Pat Conroy's "The Lords of Discipline" or read about Johnson Whittaker and see how the honor code system served him....and that was in 1880! Want something more recent? Try the Prasse case in 2002. Or read Michael Rose's book, "A Prayer for Relief." Or read the GAO reports or the more recent "Honor Climate Assessment Task Force on the Honor Code and System" which came out in August 2001. (Beware, one of the authors is the honorable Thomas Fiscus). Much has been written about the honor code, but nothing changes. Cadets still get harmed. And cadets who should be removed, aren't. That's why cadets are cynical about the honor code. The "system" simply does not work.

And the biggest problem of all? You don't know if you will be caught in the system because it can be just that random! Don't risk it. Go somewhere else. Enjoy your college years. Don't get sucked into the best and brightest just ain't so.

41 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by The insider on 04/18/2012 at 10:15 PM

Re: “Cracks in the code

CadetX, I understand why you are anonymous. It's not because it is unprofessional as you suggest. Since when is expressing your opinion unprofessional? Don't we all have a right, indeed sometimes an obligation, to do so? Only at the USAFA would you be told that. They don't want you to engage in critical thinking. Sadly, the reality is that you will become a target and find yourself in short order brought up on an honor charge and expelled or a conduct discharge and expelled for publicly expressing your opinion. USAFA does not like cadets to speak the truth. They are very much like a dysfunctional family that wants its secrets and dirt to remain behind closed doors. And doesn't that strike you as odd, that the very institution that espouses to train men/women to do the right thing, demonstrate great character and integrity, keeps you from expressing your opinion, particularly when you witness something that is egregious? But more on point, I wasn't questioning your anonymity. I was questioning the use of CadetX since that is the designation for a cadet accused of an honor violation, of which you insist you have not done.

I want to point out that your suggestion that a "white lie" is not a lie is part of the problem with the honor code. Perhaps you see something as a white lie and insignificant, but someone who doesn't like you or feels righteous and powerful can and will take your little "white lie" and turn it into an honor code violation and you'll find yourself on the outside looking in, wondering what just happened. If you think that's a rare exception, you would be wrong. You don't have to do anything to get caught up in an honor code only need someone who doesn't like you to start misconstruing anything you say. A cadet was expelled for telling someone he didn't have any more cookies left when he did. A cadet was expelled over their status as a non-virgin. A cadet was expelled for saying he shined his shoes four hours before an inspection rather than the night before. But cadets can sexually assault other cadets or assault civilians or crap on the CQ desk or pose naked on the static planes or group masturbate on spirit banners or engage in any number of outrageous incidents, and they are retained. I can give you many other examples as well but I suspect you have many of your own. By the way, if you think I am making up the honor case expulsions, spend some serious time reading the GAO report comparing the honor and conduct adjudicatory processes at the service academies. So be careful before you cavalierly dimiss your insignificant white lies because others may not view it that way.

And Mr. Simler, you should take a good long look in the mirror at that 52 year old man staring back at you. My comments aren't bravado but an observation from an outsider who views your comments as sounding like they are coming from a wide-eyed 15 year old instead of a grown man. Do you really need daddy and his fighter pilot friends to make you sound credible? Have you no substance yourself? I stand by my earlier's weird and creepy.

25 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by The insider on 04/14/2012 at 6:21 PM

Re: “Cracks in the code

CadetX: First, I'm curious about the choice of your moniker given your statement, "I've never broken the honor code." One can only assume you were the subject of an honor code violation, which would also explain your fervent defense of the system. In my experience, those who have violated the code, were caught and subsequently given probation, have a particularly zealous but misguided righteousness with respect to the honor code/system. But I digress. What I really want to say to you is that even your naive statement above is an honor code violation. You "never" told a lie since being at the Academy? Any good psychologist would tell you that's impossible. You have simply chosen new definitions of what you will call a lie and what you will not call a lie and those new definitions are not in line with what the general population defines as a lie.

Second, congratulations on getting into MIT. IF that is true, you are the exception. True Grit is absolutely correct in noting that the academic caliber of Academy students is not up to that of students who go to top universities, nor is the teaching staff. I know cadets like to think they are superior in every way to other university students, but it simply is not true. They are not "the best and the brightest." They spout that nonsense because they are indoctrinated into believing they are "the best and brightest" from the moment they even think about applying. How else would the Academies convince people to come there? It is far from accurate.

Frankly, many cadets are about the most immoral and untrustworthy of students produced from any university. In the four years they are at the academy, they actually learn to lie, cheat and steal AND cover it up AND justify their actions. How many examples would you like? Going over the fence (OTF). Hiding liquor in the ceiling? Having secret apartments off campus? Having families off campus? Trashing expensive houses in the resort communities? Underage drinking? Taking someone's car without asking? Throwing bikes in the reservoir? Having someone sign you out? Having someone sign you in? Writing papers for other students? Stacking honor boards? Oh, I know what you'll say: "Those are regulation violations." Or this goody: "It's only a lie if you are asked directly about it and you lie." I particularly love the logic about not asking so a cadet doesn't implicate himself. Well, where I come from those are lies, deceptions and intended to mislead...and believe me, I could list many, many more examples. Being at the academy is like being in Wonderland. Things are not what they seem and everything is opposite of what you know.

Mr. Simler, you really, really need to stop living daddy's dream and get your own life. It's time to cut the cord there, not to mention your statements are just plain weird and creepy.

Mr. Malmstrom, thank you for your fine work and integrity. It's actually refreshing to see a grad who doesn't have his head in the sand, defending the Academy when the data suggests all is not fresh daisies and sunshine. The Academy will never improve or change because they are too busy concealing data, spinning information, intimidating people and just plain lying about what goes on there. Maybe some day they will actually get a superintendent, commandant and dean with integrity but I'm not holding my breath. Hell will freeze over before that happens.

Ms. Zubeck, thank you for continuing to expose the joke of the honor code and system. Julie Jargon of Westword also did a fine job with that but unfortunately she has moved on, so I'm glad to see you take up the fight.

Wears Blue, the admissions counselor. I 100% absolutely believe what you have posted. Colonel Hyatt's (the former head of the Center for Character Development, of all things) son was also substandard and cheated on a chemistry exam, but somehow managed to graduate. Nepotism, favoritism and the good ol' boys club lives on.

And to those of you who naively believe that the "honor system works," you have been fed the kool aid. On the one hand, there is a tremendous amount of dishonesty going on that is ignored and on the other, there are a fair number of cadets who are falsely accused and convicted. Honor board stacking to achieve the desired outcome is an all too common practice. Just because someone is accused and/or found guilty doesn't make it so. There are plenty of cadets out there that were falsely accused and/or convicted and unfairly expelled. Often these are the result of personal vendettas..both by fellow cadets and faculty. And therein lies the problem with those who advocate automatic expulsion for anyone found guilty. Don't bother to start posting about how the honor system is infallible please. You'll only demonstrate your ignorance and naivete.

Lest you accuse me, I am not Mikey Weinstein, nor have I ever met or spoken to Mikey Weinstein. But like him, I believe there are serious, serious problems at the Academy and I am tired of the cover-up, obfuscation and lack of integrity the entire chain of command demonstrates year after year.

23 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by The insider on 04/14/2012 at 10:32 AM

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