Monday, October 28, 2013

Sexual Assault At Coast Guard Academy, The Webster Smith Case Chap 2


The Honor Concept

(Who Lives Here Revers Honor, Honor's Duty. Inscription on the plaque in the lobby of Chase Hall, the cadet barracks.)

Unlike the other service academies, admission to USCGA is based solely upon merit and does not require a congressional nomination. Students are officers-in-training and are referred to as cadets. Tuition for cadets is fully funded by the Coast Guard in exchange for an obligation of 5 years active duty service upon graduation. This obligation increases if the cadet chooses to go to flight school or grad school. Approximately 400 cadets enter the academy each summer with about 200 cadets graduating. Graduates are commissioned as ensigns. The academic program grants a Bachelor of Science degree in one of eight majors, with a curriculum that grades cadets' performance upon a holistic education of academics, physical fitness, character and leadership. Cadets are required to adhere to the academy's Honor Concept, "Who lives here reveres honor, honors duty," which is emblazoned in the halls of the academy's entrance.
The Coast Guard Academy Cadet Handbook (2010) tells the new cadet recruit that when you take the oath of office as a Cadet in the United States Coast Guard you begin your  development as a commissioned officer in the Armed Forces of the United States.  You will be expected to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and to selflessly serve the American people. 
America will place special trust and confidence in your integrity, ability and good character.  This special trust and confidence must be earned.  Make no mistake, the Academy leadership program is designed to challenge you.  Swab Summer will test your self-discipline, your physical stamina, your commitment to service, and your capacity for teamwork.  Above all, your success will depend on your daily commitment to the Coast Guard’s Core Values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty.
The first seven weeks at the Coast Guard Academy are referred to as the Swab Summer Training Program. They are a period for training in military fundamentals and physical conditioning.  They will prepare the "swabs" to join the Corps of Cadets at the start of the fall semester.
In the Honor Concept there exists a higher standard of conduct that can neither be delineated by laws nor defined by regulations.  It is the concept of Honor. Because Coast Guard cadets are called to a life of public service, and desire to attain that  special trust and confidence which is placed in our nation’s commissioned officers, their actions must be straightforward and always above reproach.  As future law enforcement officers, each cadet’s word and signature must be regarded as verification of the truth. The Coast Guard Academy’s Honor Concept is exemplified by a person who will neither lie, cheat, steal, nor attempt to deceive.  It is epitomized by an individual who places loyalty to duty above loyalty to personal friendship or to selfish desire. While the Coast Guard Academy’s Honor Concept differs from a code, in that failure to  report an honor offense is not itself an honor violation, cadets are required to report all activity that does not incriminate themselves.  Moreover, the condoning of an honor violation is a Class I offense under the Cadet Regulations.  Disenrollment is a very possible outcome. The Corps of Cadets are stewards of their Honor Concept.  The following words are emblazoned in the tiling of Chase Hall’s Quarterdeck, the cadet barracks’ lobby: Who Lives Here, Reveres Honor, Honors Duty  (The Coast Guard Academy Cadet Handbook (2010), p.13)
Military academies and universities across America  send millions of young graduates into life each year with their heads stuffed with new ideas, technology, processes, perspectives, and maybe even a little practical experience they can use in their first assignment as newly commissioned officers. Only in a few schools has the person been so fundamentally transformed from the raw material received four years earlier as at a military academy such as the Coast Guard Academy. How does this happen?
When the future cadets arrive for Swab Summer, the vast majority are typical high school graduates. Most of them believe the sun rises and sets on them. By the end of the first week of Swab Summer, they understand this is not the liberal arts college where students wear uniforms they have expected. By the end of Swab Summer they are starting to learn that any value they have in this world is to be earned by their adherence to certain rules of behavior that bind them to each other as Coast Guard cadets and future officers.
At the center of their new world is adherence to a Cadet Honor Code to which they swear: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do.” Their whole new world is shaped around these principles. This initially shapeless reality begins to form into principles of rigid honesty, loyalty to their fellow cadets, and respect for their classmates and all with whom they associate.
 Sometime between the end of their first year (Swab Year) and their Second Class Year when they will be expected to indoctrinate the new swabs, the majority start to understand the role of self discipline in riding the emotional waves of adolescence to a more settled understanding that the emotions are as changeable as the sea and not a reliable basis to govern personal behavior. Cadets learn to lead by first learning to follow. Basic Corps Values of honesty and loyalty become their template for acceptability. They develop a new understanding of the guiding role of honesty, truthfulness, and fairness in their world. Until this becomes second nature, a cadet is not prepared to lead, or to defend and to protect the Constitution of the United States of America.
George Washington, John Adams and Abraham Lincoln have all noted in one form or another that, “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Until we accept that as a nation, we are destined to continue to flail about rudderless in a tempestuous sea. (Business Ethics Articles From The Honor Code, 2008 by Robert E. Freer, Jr., President, The Free Enterprise Foundation, and Visiting Professor, at The Citadel).
What is conduct unbecoming an officer and a lady? Does it violate the Honor Concept? Does conduct that violates the UCMJ constitute a higher standard than the Honor Concept? Times are changing so rapidly, one wonders if cadets and officers of today can be held to the same standards of conduct that were intended by the drafters of the UCMJ and the MCM promulgated in 1951? Not everyone can be expected to meet ideal moral standards, but how far can the standards of behavior of cadets and officers fall below contemporary community standards without seriously compromising their standing as officers and ladies? Have the changes in ethics and values of American society been reflected in the military?
Men and women behave differently today than they did sixty years ago. They relate differently to each other today than they did sixty years ago. Dishonorable conduct is magnified when it involves interpersonal relationships.  Conduct that disgraces an individual personally and compromises her character may render that person unfit to be an officer. Making false statements, appearing intoxicated in public, failing to pay debts, reading another person’s mail, using insulting or defamatory language, spreading rumors or gossip about another person, and associating with people known to engage in sexually immoral behavior do not carry the same stigma as they did sixty years ago. Homosexual conduct does not carry the stigma that it did sixty years ago. All of these types of behavior would have constituted behavior punishable by court-martial sixty years ago.
What type of conduct today would violate Article 133 of the UCMJ? Is consensual sodomy a violation of Article 133? Would violation of a cadet regulation be an offense under Article 133? Would engaging in consensual sex with an enlisted member of another branch of the armed forces while on temporary duty be a violation of Article 133 for which a cadet could be punished?
Could breach of a custom of the service result in a violation of Article 133? Many Coast Guard cadet customs have been adopted into the cadet regulations. “Sexual misconduct” at the USCGA is defined as “acts that disgrace or bring discredit on the Coast Guard or Coast Guard Academy and are sexual in nature”,  including lewd or lascivious acts, indecent exposure or homosexual conduct.
But the definition also includes consensual acts that are prohibited in Chase Hall and on the Academy grounds, such as holding hands, kissing in public or having sex.
There are certain moral attributes common to the ideal cadet, officer, lady and gentleman. If a person commits acts of lewdness, dishonesty, indecency, lawlessness, indecorum, or violation of a cadet regulation that would seriously compromise her standing as a cadet or officer. Such conduct would at the very least be to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces.
Both the United States Military Academy and the United States Air Force Academy have adopted a Cadet Honor Code as a formalized statement of the minimum standard of ethics expected of cadets. Other military schools have similar codes with their own methods of administration. The United States Naval Academy, like the Coast Guard Academy, has a related standard, known as the Honor Concept.
West Point's Cadet Honor Code reads simply that
"A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do."
Cadets accused of violating the Honor Code face a standardized investigative and hearing process. If they are found guilty by a jury of their peers, they face severe consequences, up to and including expulsion from the Academy.
Definitions of the tenets of the Honor Code
LYING: Cadets violate the Honor Code by lying if they deliberately deceive another by stating an untruth or by any direct form of communication to include the telling of a partial truth and the vague or ambiguous use of information or language with the intent to deceive or mislead.
CHEATING: A violation of cheating would occur if a Cadet fraudulently acted out of self-interest or assisted another to do so with the intent to gain or to give an unfair advantage. Cheating includes such acts as plagiarism (presenting someone else's ideas, words, data, or work as one's own without documentation), misrepresentation (failing to document the assistance of another in the preparation, revision, or proofreading of an assignment), and using unauthorized notes.
STEALING: The wrongful taking, obtaining, or withholding by any means from the possession of the owner or any other person any money, personal property, article, or service of value of any kind, with intent to permanently deprive or defraud another person of the use and benefit of the property, or to appropriate it to either their own use or the use of any person other than the owner.
TOLERATION: Cadets violate the Honor Code by tolerating if they fail to report an unresolved incident with honor implications to proper authority within a reasonable length of time. "Proper authority” includes the Commandant, the Assistant Commandant, the Director of Military Training, the Athletic Director, a tactical officer, teacher or coach. A "reasonable length of time" is the time it takes to confront the Cadet candidate suspected of the honor violation and decide whether the incident was a misunderstanding or a possible violation of the Honor Code. A reasonable length of time is usually considered not to exceed 24 hours.
To have violated the honor code, a Cadet must have lied, cheated, stolen, or attempted to do so, or tolerated such action on the part of another Cadet. The procedural element of the Honor System examines the two elements that must be present for a Cadet to have committed an honor violation: the act and the intent to commit that act. The latter does not mean Intent to violate the Honor Code, but rather the Intent to commit the act itself.

Three rules of thumb
1. Does this action attempt to deceive anyone or allow anyone to be deceived?
2. Does this action gain or allow gain of a privilege or advantage to which I or someone else would not otherwise be entitled?
3. Would I be unsatisfied by the outcome if I were on the receiving end of this action?


U.S. Air Force Academy
The Cadet Honor Code at the Air Force Academy, like that at West Point, is the cornerstone of a cadet's professional training and development — the minimum standard of ethical conduct that cadets expect of themselves and their fellow cadets. Air Force's honor code was developed and adopted by the Class of 1959, the first class to graduate from the Academy, and has been handed down to every subsequent class. The code adopted was based largely on West Point's Honor Code, but was modified slightly to its current wording:
We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does.
In 1984, the Cadet Wing voted to add an "Honor Oath," which was to be taken by all cadets. The oath is administered to fourth class cadets (freshmen) when they are formally accepted into the Wing at the conclusion of Basic Cadet Training. The oath remains unchanged since its adoption in 1984, and consists of a statement of the code, followed by a resolution to live honorably:
We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does.
Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, so help me God.
Cadets are considered the "guardians and stewards" of the Code. Cadet honor representatives throughout the Wing oversee the honor system by conducting education classes and investigating possible honor incidents. Cadets throughout the Wing are expected to sit on Honor Boards as juries that determine whether their fellow cadets violated the code. Cadets also recommend sanctions for violations. Although the presumed sanction for a violation is disenrollment, mitigating factors may result in the violator being placed in a probationary status for some period of time. This "honor probation" is usually only reserved for cadets in their first two years at the Academy. (Cadet Honor Code, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Why have an honor code?
a. In professions such as the military where life is endangered by virtue of the institution's purpose, trust becomes sacred and integrity becomes a requisite quality for each professional. An officer who is not trustworthy cannot be tolerated; in some professions the cost of dishonesty is measured in dollars – in the Army, the cost is measured in human lives. The ability of West Point to educate, train and inspire outstanding leaders of character for our Army is predicated upon the functional necessity of honesty. In short, USMA expects its graduates and cadets to commit to a lifetime of honorable living.
b. In order to foster a genuine commitment to honorable living, USMA maintains Honor as a fundamental value. This value is operationalized through the Cadet Honor Code, the Honor Investigative and Hearing System, and the Honor Education System. Although the Honor Code & System "belongs" to West Point graduates, staff and faculty members, and cadets, the special charter of maintaining the Honor Code & System resides with the Corps of Cadets. Since 1922, the elected members of the Cadet Honor Committee have represented the Corps on all matters pertaining to honor and are the stewards of the Code. (Information Paper on "Honor" – A Bedrock of Military Leadership, USMA at West Point, MACC-S- HON, 8 May 1998. )
Spirit of the Code
a. The Cadet Honor Code describes the minimum standard of ethical behavior that all cadets have contracted to live by, not an abstract ideal to strive toward. Easy to understand and meet, it is the expected baseline behavior of cadets, not some ultimate state of purity that is hard to attain.
b. If the Code is the minimum standard for members of the Corps, what is the ideal that cadets should strive for?
c. That ideal is the "Spirit of the Code," an affirmation of the way of life that marks true leaders of character. The spirit of the code goes beyond the mere external adherence to rules. Rather, it is an expression of integrity and virtue springing from deep within and manifested in the actions of the honorable man or woman. Persons who accept the spirit of the code think of the Honor Code as a set of broad and fundamental principles, not as a list of prohibitions. In deciding to take any action, they ask if it is the right thing to do.
d. It is the Spirit of the Code that gives rise to the specific tenets of the Honor Code itself:
The spirit of the code embraces truthfulness in all its aspects. The Honor Code prohibits lying. 
The spirit of the code calls for complete fairness in human relations. The Honor Code prohibits cheating. 
The spirit of the code requires respect for the person and property of others. The Honor Code prohibits stealing. 
The spirit of the code demands a personal commitment to upholding the ethical standards which gird the profession of arms. The Honor Code prohibits toleration of violations.
e. This, then, is the essence of the spirit of the code as it applies to cadets - a cadet is truthful, fair, respectful of others' property, and committed to maintaining ethical standards in the Corps. This spirit shapes not only West Point but sets the ethical standards for leadership in the Army itself.
f. The growth of each cadet as a leader of character is marked by strict adherence to the minimum standards of the code, combined with a driving desire to progress beyond the external standards to an internalization of the spirit of the code. That is expected by the Corps, by the Long Gray Line, and by the nation.
How does the Honor Code operate? (At the U. S. Air Force Academy)
The administration of the Honor Code is accomplished by a joint effort between cadets and Academy officers. Each possible Honor Code violation is thoroughly investigated on the premise that the accused cadet is honorable until a sufficient amount of reasonable evidence shows otherwise. The primary sanction for code violations is dismissal from the Academy. Some cadets, however, are retained on probationary status. The main concern in the administration of the code is that fairness and equity be maintained while teaching the importance of personal responsibility and that the rights of the cadets are fully protected during this process. Cadets are taught the specifics of the administration of the Honor Code during Basic Cadet Training and throughout their Academy experience.
Cadets who live under the Honor Code agree it is a vital part of their development as military professionals. It also represents a broader aspect of ethical maturity which will serve them throughout their lives. As the bearers of the public trust, both as cadets and as officers, it is the Honor Code which helps build a personal integrity able to withstand the rigorous demands placed upon them. (The Honor Code, printable fact sheet, USAFA).





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