VMI Honor Code

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Wells8739, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Wells8739

    Wells8739 New Member

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    It's my understanding that VMI has the most stringent honor code of any college in this country. It is probably one of the biggest factors in my willingness to support my DS in going to this school in the fall.

    I would think that a very large percentage of the officer corp comes from the USNA,USMA,USAFA, VMI, Norwich etc. Given these schools all have demanding honor codes , how does one reconcile that almost 20% of the nuclear force is caught up in a cheating scandal ?

    I assume that VMI cadets have time to read the papers (I hope). I am curious to know how the leadership addresses these circumstances ?
     
  2. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    I can't tell you how the USAF leadership is dealing with this. I can tell you that VMI is a truly rigorous honor code. They don't allow for quibbling, for situational explanations etc. It's a straightforward code: " A Cadet will not lie, Cheat or Steal nor Tolerate those who do" and it has a well defined and well understood penalty- Dismissal is the only option and it is applied for the first infraction. There are No lesser penalties or remediation. It is the guts of the VMI system and it applies to Rats and heartbreakingly- even to First Classmen within a month of graduation. Everyone at VMI knows and understands it and 99% of them live it every day (There is no such thing as 100% support and buy-in for anything in this world including this). The Honor Code is fundamentally run by the Corps (though it is overseen by the Superintendant). A drumout for Honor violations is a really hard thing to watch - it is a throwback to an earlier and harder world where you paid for your loss of integrity. If I were running VMI- I'm not sure that I would be quite so hard and fast about separation for one offense and I am not sure that I would continue with the tradition of the drumout because as I have grown older and experienced more- I understand that occasionally even good men slip and take the easy out. BUT...
    Virtually every alum I know have really internalized the Honor Code and believes implicitly in it. I would say that virtually all strive to follow it long after their cadetships are done. In fact- I know former Cadets who were dismissed for honor violations and who know that more than anything else that failing in this instance was to fail themselves and their Brother Rats. I know of no other institution in the US where regardless of how painful it is - they carry out just what they say will. You can be a First Classman in April, have your hotel reservations and graduation invitations in your hand and be separated for Honor. It's not unfair- just hard and consistent and it stems from the belief that a man's word about what they have done is ultimately either absolute- or is nothing. The rest of the world would be a darn site better if this was one of the guiding principles for business , government and the military. (But then where would we get politicians?)
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  3. VMI82

    VMI82 Room 131

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    +1 Bruno

    We had a 1st Classman drummed out the morning we graduated my year. It is absolute.

    How the Air Force or any other Institution handles its honor is ... well, something we cannot control.

    BUT a VMI graduate goes forth into the world armed with the core value - Honor as a way of life.
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    For th Army at least, the majority by far of commissioned officers come from ROTC at Civilian Colleges. While the Honor Code at these schools are not as zero tolerance as VMI and other SMC's, it's not a cake walk either. All commissioned officers no matter where they commission take the same oath.

    I don't think they have really mentioned where these AF officers commissioned, but in the end it really doesn't matter, they all broke the oath they took.

    People are people, no mater what oath they take or what code they went to school under. As Bruno put so well, there is never a 100% buy in to the program.

    I give a lot of credit to VMI, they stand by their code no matter what.
     
  5. zrxkuma

    zrxkuma Member

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    DS is at VMI in AFROTC, they have utilized the USAF cheating issue as a teaching point as to how to apply the honor code in "real world" situations.
     
  6. bob80q

    bob80q bob80q Banned

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    Many colleges have honor codes, few actually enforce them. The Citadel also has a stringently enforced honor code that is administered fairly and without consideration of outside factors, an All-American football player was dismissed for an HV last spring which would never happen at any major university.
     
  7. glen

    glen Member

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    VMI Honor Code, etc - and USAF issues

    The missle crew integrity lax has nothing to do with honor codes or what is taught at a university, a federal military academy or an SMC like VMI - it has to do with failed leadership. The morale of these crews is at zero because their leadership has failed to plan and take positive action to keep good officers informed of their options for their future. These crews are looking at zero future for nuclear missle officers - and this is a leadership failure - failure to plan, failure to demand integrity, failure to lead - period.
     
  8. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Absolutely:thumb:
     
  9. VMI82

    VMI82 Room 131

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    amen!
     

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