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Honor Code?

patriotmompatriotmom Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
We are having a discussion here about what an honor code violation is. If a cadre asks "Does anyone know who did such and such?" and you know who did it but don't say anything, is that an honor code violation? If "such and such" involves cheating, lying, or stealing would it be a violation? If it does not involve something as serious, would it be a violation?
Post edited by patriotmom on

Replies to: Honor Code?

  • Guy4ChristGuy4Christ Registered User Posts: 594 Member
    Let me see if I can try to answer these, but I'm not an honor representative, so this is just from the eyes of an average cadet.

    As far as the seriousness of the violation, seriousness doesn't really matter...if it's a violation, it's a violation. If you lie about your knowledge test or about where you were on a Saturday, they're both still honor violations. The only time the seriousness of a violation might matter is in an honor board, where they might give you a lesser punishment for something small. But even that is changing now.

    As for people asking questions, an upperclassmen (or anyone at the Academy for that matter) cannot use the honor code against you. If they ask a question and you feel like answering would put yourself or a friend in danger of a violation, and there is not a considerable reason for the person to ask that question, you can claim an "improper question," which is essentially USAFA's version of the Fifth Amendment.

    HOWEVER, that's different than if you are hiding something you know about a violation...if you were found to know about an honor violation and tolerate it (keyword - meaning that you didn't do anything about it) you can get brought up on honor as well, since the code involves not tolerating "those who lie, steal, and cheat."

    But in reference to the "improper question," if said cadre is just asking you, for example, if you left base when you were not supposed to, but has no reason to believe that you did, you can claim an improper question, since noone is allowed to take advantage of the honor code to make you answer a question without due reason to suspect.

    Hope that answered some questions.
  • patriotmompatriotmom Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
    That helps a little. I guess hypothetical situations can make it unclear. Hopefully, if the time comes, my son will know what to do. It is good to hear that there are honor representatives there to help.

    Did you see the movie, Annapolis? Was that a good representation of the honor code when one student reported on the other about the bath situation?

    What if a cadre asked, "Who turned off the stereo?" (obviously this is not lying, cheating, stealing, or dishonorable in any way) to a group of cadets? One in the group turned it off, but doesn't say anthing. Would that be a violation?
  • hornetguyhornetguy Registered User Posts: 3,187 Senior Member
    No it wouldn't. That's just remaining silent.

    A lot of people come here and really worry about the honor code. It is NOT here to hurt people. In these hypothetical situations, the right answer is probably you best judgment in the situation. I'm confused on the stereo situation you described. Are you talking about a situation where 4th classmen, prior to recognition, are listening and a cadre walks in the room as they turn it off? In that case, I believe that's an improper question. Or the cadre would just train them then and there if he/she suspects. Again, honor code is not meant to hurt people that don't deserve to be hit.

    Annapolis made a situation where the reasons were ambiguous. For lying about the shower, that would probably just get him 6 months probation (even though that would NOT happen or the cadre would probably be in VERY serious trouble). But since he attacked the other kid, then its possible the guy was kicked out for assault, not honor. (maybe the combo instead).

    If a cadet is in doubt, they can always approach an honor NCO or honor officer (2 dig and firstie cadets) to ask about whether something is or not. It can be anonymous if its approached as a "hypothetical." The squadron honor reps (NCO and officer) are the only elected positions, so they are usually people that are approachable and can answer most questions (if not they can talk to actual officers or group honor officers to help).

    The honor system is taken very seriously and has a large structure to it. Another key to remember that a lie, for instance, is not an infraction without "intent." It must be said and have intent to deceive. That means that a white lie with some buddies over who ate the last piece of pizza probably won't be turned in....

    My biggest emphasis is try not to fear it. I have a friend who is under investigation for lying to help someone. The person who turned her in is malicious and is honestly abusing the system. So, it will probably be dropped once the investigation reveals this. In the meantime, my friend has received help from her honor reps, my honor reps, and an officer mentor. So, she isn't going to be hung for something ridiculous.

    Does this help at all?
  • patriotmompatriotmom Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
    Yes, it does help. Thanks so much, and I hope your friend comes out okay. Just reminding me that it is not there to hurt, helps. Again, thank you.
  • RTBdadRTBdad Registered User Posts: 274 Junior Member
    It also should probably be pointed out that USNA's honor code differs from the ones at West Point and USAFA. Navy seems to take a different attitude about "toleration". There are some substantial discussions of this on the Internet.
This discussion has been closed.