Academy honor cases focus on redemption, not expulsion

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Luigi59, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Academy honor cases focus on redemption, not expulsion

    Commandant stepping up enforcement; some graduates contend standards not high enough


    By EARL KELLY, Staff Writer
    Published 11/01/09

    Despite its reputation for setting high standards, the Naval Academy rarely dismisses anyone for lying, cheating or stealing, according to thousands of pages of documents obtained by concerned graduates under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

    It's a disturbing trend, these graduates contend, because Naval Academy midshipmen, as junior officers, become responsible for weapons systems, national security and the welfare of the young men and women who enlist in the Navy and Marine Corps.

    Academy officials counter that the honor code, or Honor Concept as it is called at the Naval Academy, is alive and well.

    Commandant of Midshipmen Navy Capt. Matthew Klunder would not go so far as to say that standards had eroded before he arrived in early June 2008, but he said he found some changes needed to be made.

    "I just got the real feeling inside my gut and on the back of my neck that we were missing the real core understanding of what honor was all about," said Klunder, a 1982 academy grad.

    "We have brought increased energy and increased focus, and I am pleased with that. ... I want the alumni to know (the Honor Concept) is important to the commandant," he said.

    The academy's focus on cases of lying and stealing saw two midshipmen court-martialed this year. Both mids in these unrelated cases were booted out of the Navy and sent to prison for stealing from their fellow midshipmen.

    After the first sentencing, in late April, a longtime academy spokesman said he could not recall the last time a mid had been tried for theft.

    Still, the number of honor cases and the lenient punishments remain a concern for many academy graduates.

    (Read the rest of the article.... CLICK HERE)
     
  2. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Honor code examples tough to piece together from documents

    By EARL KELLY, Staff Writer
    Published 11/01/09

    A group of Naval Academy graduates concerned about what they see as declining honor standards at their alma mater used the federal Freedom of Information Act to obtain more than 2,500 pages of case reports and related documents, which they shared with The Capital.

    The attorney who handled the FOIA request, Curt C. Hartman, a 1987 Naval Academy graduate, worked for two years to obtain the documents, which cover the years 2005 to 2007. The request took on a life of its own, and the federal magistrate judge who oversaw the case concluded that the academy and the Navy were guilty of foot-dragging. He ordered the Navy to pay the plaintiff about $20,000 for attorney fees.

    The final documents were heavily redacted and disorganized, and the outcome of each case generally had been withheld or removed, making it difficult to determine how particular cases were decided. Still, some of the cases could be pieced together.

    In July 2005, for example, a midshipman was accused of lying when he told another mid he didn't have an extra camouflage uniform the requester could borrow.

    This mid already had committed an honor violation by lying about his physical readiness test score.

    He received four months' remediation training and was put on six months' probation for the camouflage incident.

    The academy's current commandant, Navy Capt. Matthew Klunder, would not discuss the particular case, but commented on this type of case.

    "That would be in the minor-infraction area, and I am not going to kick someone out for that," Klunder said of lying about the camouflage uniform. "I want them to know it is part of developing, because it is a slippery slope. If you do that (telling falsehoods) every day, or every other day, next thing you know, it becomes almost routine to tell fibs or tell lies. ... That's when we get an avalanche like the electrical engineering (cheating scandal of the early 1990s). That's when it gets so loose and just slips off your tongue, and we can't have that."

    (Read the rest of the article.... CLICK HERE)
     
  3. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Honor has bumpy history at Naval Academy

    Evolved from self-policing mids to modern concept drafted by Ross Perot

    By EARL KELLY, Staff Writer
    Published 11/01/09

    Midshipmen are persons of integrity: They stand for that which is right.

    They tell the truth and ensure that the full truth is known. They do not lie.

    They embrace fairness in all actions. They ensure that work submitted as their own is their own, and that assistance received from any source is authorized and properly documented. They do not cheat.

    They respect the property of others and ensure that others are able to benefit from the use of their own property. They do not steal."

    Since its amendment in 2005, the Naval Academy Honor Concept - based on the statements above - has filled a 95-page book that explains what honor is and how honor violations are to be handled.

    Other service academies rely on honor codes, but the Naval Academy sets a higher standard. A code, according to Naval Academy officials, is a list of prohibited activities; a concept sets higher goals and aspirations.

    Midshipmen, in other words, are to behave properly out of a desire to behave well, and not just to avoid punishment.

    The Naval Academy implemented its first honor code in 1865, under Superintendent Rear Adm. David Dixon Porter.

    (Read the rest of the article.... CLICK HERE)
     
  4. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    One hundred and eleven views and no comments. :scratch:

    Interesting.
     
  5. NavIss58

    NavIss58 Member

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    Well Luigi59, the articles describe only what's been brought out in the open. How much hides behind the "code of brotherhood"? We will never know.

    Of the questions my son was asked at his BGO interview, two were telling in this respect. The first, are you familiar with the Academy's Honor Concept?, and the second, would you turn in your room mate, or other midshipman, if you knew they were dishonest? I do believe he could.

    Honesty is the first code in our house (Navy family), it begins early in life and is established by example. You know, the little things, like saying to a young child "don't tell, it'll be our little secret". Innocent enough some may say, but it establishes precedent early in one's life. You get my point.

    I'm sure your hit count is up by the time I post this. Is the silence a "don't ask, don't tell" response? Or just no interest in the subject?
     
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I don't think there is much to say. There is a little bit of history, a few statistics which may or may not mean anything and a lot of heresay.
    Lately, there appears to be some disgruntled old grads who seem to have an 'in' in the Annapolis paper. They keep getting these types of articles published even if there is no substance.
    I think the "concerned graduates" need to come forward and elaborate on their complaints.

    Perhaps he should go to West Point. They have a no toleration clause in their Honor Code, the Naval Academy does not.
     
  7. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    This I agree with - good Character is taught. The earlier the better. A lot of kids are just not getting it taught to them. This is something that crosses all barriers too.
    The Academies have to teach it and so they do.
     
  8. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    I fail to see how thousands of pages of documents that detail these honor offenses and the punishments can be construed as "heresay" and "no substance."
     
  9. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    so they claim.......if these disgruntled grads would go so far as to file a lawsiut, they should come forward.

    Thanks for joining in though - tell us what YOU think, after all you posted the articles.
     
  10. billy-bob

    billy-bob New Member

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    I'm curious why Luigi insists on stirring the pot anytime there is negative press regarding USNA
     
  11. NavIss58

    NavIss58 Member

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    Mom, I think the USNA Honor Concept clearly states "Midshipmen are persons of integrity: They stand for that which is right. They tell the truth and ensure that the full truth is known. They do not lie..."

    IMHO, to "ensure that the full truth is known" is to bear witness to infractions, no matter how 'minor' you may think the infraction is. I hope you're not suggesting that turning a blind eye to lying, stealing, or cheating is honorable or demonstrates integrity.

    I do not think that midshipman should be turned out for minor infractions either. They'll find their place in the ranks.:wink:
     
  12. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Why is "billy-bob" in favor of ignoring it? :scratch:

    Academy news is news. "Negative press" about any of the academies should be posted imho. Why hide from it?

    Is it just negative stories about USNA that bother you, or negative stories about any of the academies?

    Or should everyone stick their head in the sand and hope that if we don't hear about it, then it doesn't exist? :screwy:

    I get news feeds about all of the SAs - when a negative story comes in about one, I'll post it regardless of the academy.

    :cool:
     
  13. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Actually any academy save for USCGA. If you post anything less than glowing about the Coast Guard you are sure to see him get his knickers in a knot.:rolleyes:

    Not at all. I am not clear as to how you made that inference.
     
  14. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Yeah, about as often as your hysteric reactions whenever West Point is impugned, rightly or wrongly. :rolleyes:

    That glass house is pretty comfortable, huh?

    :lolatyou:
     
  15. wannabe2013

    wannabe2013 Member

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  16. NavIss58

    NavIss58 Member

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    2013, the 'room for discretion' part seems to all point to the same place- confront the infraction- ignoring it is not an option. Mom suggests that where a 'no tolerance clause' does not exist, tolerance is acceptable.

    In the BGO interview the applicant responded, "First I would confront the person and suggest they turn themselves in to the authorities, if they didn't, I would." Seems to me what an Honor Concept is all about.

    As for the finer details you suggest, I will leave that up to the Academy to decide.
     
  17. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I honestly can't figure out what she's arguing though. Either they are disgruntled grads (many of whom are officers) or she says they should all go to West Point.


    If anyone thinks that "Honor" isn't an issue at any academy, or that a "brotherhood" doesn't exist at West Point, AFA, USNA, CGA or USMMA....you're overlooking reality.

    As for Luigi only praising CGA, I distinctly remember him commenting on the cocaine case.
     
  18. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    These "concerned graduates" are what current Midshipmen want to be. They also donate a great deal of money. That doesn't mean they need to swallow everything their alma mater tells them too.

    To suggest that West Point doesn't also have "honor concerns" would certainly overlook problems they, and all other have. Isn't there a good movie about that? Maybe involving West Points football team from....way back?
     
  19. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Not to mention a few threads here concerning crimes and honor violations at West Point were summarily deleted.
     
  20. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Folks - don't read into what I am saying.

    West Point clearly has a "no toleration" clause in the Honor Code.
    "A Cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do".
    West Point cadets are duty bound to report infractions to the honor code. If they do not then they are just as guilty as the offender they tolerated.

    As wannabe2013 states:
    The honor concept at the Naval Academy is different. A mid doesn't necessarily have to turn in their classmate.
    I was simply responding to NavyIss58 post #5 and assumed more knowledge on Honor Codes and Honor Concepts on the part of the readers. My bad.

    Honor Codes and Honor Concepts have been controversial since they were implemented. The way they have been implemented has changed and the honor board's or committee's have changed in how they work. Even the punishments have changed or evolved over the years.
    Often it is not black and white although on the surface it seems as though it should be.

    If these disgruntled graduates (who give a lot of money), think they have a case; they should man-up and come forward. Hiding behind anonymous quotes and making thinly veiled accusations- even if they are true - is cowardly. IMO.
     

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