The Air Force suspended 34 officers responsible for the nation’s nuclear weapons after they were accused of cheating on a proficiency test.
According to AP the profficiency test includes checking missile launch officers’ knowledge of how to handle an “emergency war order,” which is the term for the authorization required to launch a nuclear weapon.
The accused officers had their security clearances suspended, and were even pulled from their duties.
“This is absolutely unacceptable behavior and it is completely contrary to our core values in the Air Force and as everybody here knows, the No. 1 core value for us is integrity,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told reporters according to CNN.
I couldn’t agree more, cutting corners with nuclear weapons is probably a terrible idea.
What I don’t understand is what would prompt anyone to make this kind of choice.
Do these officers, who I’m assuming are very intelligent and well-trained, not understand the gravity of their situation?
According to Reuters, there were even individuals who knew about the cheating but let it happen anyway.
Honesty is an essential trait in every career, especially be so when those careers require a security clearance.
I don’t blame the Air Force as a whole, and am certainly grateful that those individuals have had their clearances revoked and that the entire force is being retested.
Yes, people are stid, and we all make mistakes, but there are some things that we should have no tolerance for.
Some things are just not acceptable. If anything, this story serves as a extreme example of why honesty is so important.
In pretty much any workplace where you are trusted with something important or sensitive, honesty is often more than a trait — it’s a necessity.
Do you really want to find out that the surgeon operating on you cheating his way through medical school?
Would you really be comfortable if your child was being taught by someone who cheated and lied his way through exams and evaluations?
The sad part is that even in these professions it happens more often than we would like,
According to a study in the Southern Medical Journal, 78 percent of first-year medical students admitted to cheating in 2010.
In a world full of dishonesty we must continually prove ourselves to be honest. With an ever-changing world we must prove that we are -to-date in our career fields and honestly striving to meet the requirements.
Eventually, as we establish ourselves in these chosen fields, people will rely on us.
Will we have the knowledge and skills needed to help them, or will we cut corners to avoid requirements we may think are unimportant?
Tests may not be perfect, and they are the bane of my existence as a college student, but cheating’s possible consequences outweigh it’s benefits.
Getting caught in college might get you a slap on the hand, but in the real world, even minor instances of cheating can lose you a promotion or even a job.
If we can learn to make honesty the best policy in college, then maybe we can avoid future pain and embarassment when we are trusted with an important task.
Learning to be honest in college can have it’s merits, especially if your future career plan is any branch of the United States Military.