In the United States, a Cadet Honor Code is a system of ethics or code of conduct applying to cadets studying at military academies. These codes exist at the federal service academies, such as the United States Military Academy and the United States Air Force Academy and at the senior military colleges, as well as other military schools and colleges. The United States Naval Academy and United States Coast Guard Academy have a related standard, known as the Honor Concept.
Since it applies to all facets of a cadet’s life, a cadet honor code is distinct from an academic honor code, which is used at many universities and colleges around the world but applies to academic conduct only. The codes apply to all cadets enrolled in the military programs at the institutions which use them.
The U.S. Military Academy at West Point
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. First they are tried by a jury of their peers. If they are found guilty, the case will go up to the commandant of the academy who will give his recommendation, then to the superintendent of the academy, who has the discretion to either impose sanctions or recommend that the Secretary of the Army expel the cadet from the academy.
Three rules of thumb
- Does this action attempt to deceive anyone or allow anyone to be deceived?
- Does this action gain or allow the gain of privilege or advantage to which I or someone else would not otherwise be entitled?
- Would I be satisfied by the outcome if I were on the receiving end of this action?
West Point Character Education Program and Character Integration Advisory Group
Here is a brief overview of the West Point Character Education Program and the newly established Character Integration Advisory Group. The video discusses the overarching USMA Character Education Framework and provide a cadet perspective regarding implementation across the Honor, Respect, and Trust programs within the Corps of Cadet.