If you cheat on your land navigation course at The Basic School in the Marines, you get kicked out.
Thirteen junior officers were kicked out of the Marine Corps last week after officials uncovered widespread cheating on a land navigation exam.
All 13 were students at The Basic School aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., a six-month training course for newly commissioned officers. Eight men — including two former football players from the Naval Academy — and five women were administratively discharged May 20 for allegedly using cheat sheets last fall to help them locate boxes stashed in the woods aboard the base, Marine officials said. Two of the 13 officers were prior enlisted Marines.
The scandal came to light in September after instructors at the school, which teaches new officers how to lead infantry platoons, compared current answer sheets to those used on previous tests. They discovered that several of the Marines’ wrong answers matched correct answers from the old test, Col. George W. Smith Jr., TBS commander, told Marine Corps Times.
Just in case anyone wasn’t clear, I think this is terrific news. No, not news that people were cheating. That’s bad news, of course. But I am thrilled to see that the Marines are sticking to their guns, and upholding standards. It’s one thing to be lousy at land navigation. You know, there’s 30 other guys in the platoon that can help you out.
But to lie, cheat or steal is a rubicon that no leader can cross.