As a Vietnam veteran, I was appalled by the actions of the cheating cadets and equally dismayed by the reaction of Lieutenant Colonel John Bryan, academy spokesman, to the violations of the Air Force Honor Code (“78 Air Force cadets cheated on test,” Page A2, June 7).
When we as draftees were inducted into the service, we gave a solemn oath to protect and defend our country and adhere to the military code chain of command from the commander in chief. We did not take an oath to sometimes do our duty or to fail to see the honor in our oath of service.
How is it that an elite corps of Air Force cadets could swear to an honor code and then break it by cheating? How as a veteran, taxpayer, and citizen can I trust these same cadets not to bend the honor code again when it suits their purpose? How can the Air Force Academy justify some sort of remedial class to restore lost honor?
If a cadet swears an oath and he or she breaks it, the consequences of the action should be removal from the service. These cadets are not junior high school students; they are adults selected to attend an elite academy at taxpayer expense, and are honor-bound to act accordingly. The Air Force brass should also uphold the standards of honor, as their sworn duty demands.
The writer was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant in the US Army.