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United States The Military

Half of US Nuclear Missile Wing Implicated In Cheating 313

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-did-you-get-for-question-four? dept.
mdsolar writes "Just over half of the 183 nuclear missile launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana have been implicated in a widening exam cheating scandal, the Air Force said on Thursday, acknowledging it had 'systemic' problem within its ranks. The cheating was discovered during an investigation into illegal drug possession among airmen, when test answers were found in a text message on one missile launch officer's cell phone. The Air Force initially said 34 officers either knew about the cheating or cheated themselves. But Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told a Pentagon news conference on Thursday that the total number of implicated officers had grown to 92, all of them at Malmstrom, one of three nuclear missile wings overseeing America's 450 inter-continental missiles, or ICBMs."
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Half of US Nuclear Missile Wing Implicated In Cheating

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  • No real surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by capedgirardeau (531367) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @10:17PM (#46116847)

    No surprise to me.

    It is a terrible, mind numbingly boring job that is essentially a career killer in the Air Force. Not to mention the fact that the likelihood of them actually having to do what they train for is very low and if they do have to do what they trained for it basically means they are helping end life on this planet as we know it.

    I completely understand why they would not be motivated to excel on the exams and/or might smoke a little grass.

    I wonder what their Russian counterparts' moral is like.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 30, 2014 @10:21PM (#46116861)

    Policies & procedures stuff, primarily. They cheat because, while there is a 'passing' score, your raw score also gets noted in member reviews. And when the review board sees that there's only 10 slots for the next rank in your specialty, and there's 20 people who graduated in the same class and all have good board interviews, of course they'll look at all your test scores next.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 30, 2014 @10:39PM (#46116939)

    there's only 10 slots for the next rank in your specialty, and there's 20 people who graduated in the same class

    Sounds like the military is overstaffed. Some budget cuts are in order.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 30, 2014 @10:40PM (#46116945)

    I expect professionals.

    Mid-level officers don't exactly get paid big bucks, you know.

    I don't want to understand

    How very American of you. Clearly we should all be proud of having you as a fellow citizen.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @10:44PM (#46116969)

    You don't seem to get it. That's exactly what's happening. The military is cutting troops, not re-enlisting them. When your entire career has been spent sitting in a bunker waiting for the order to destroy the world, getting laid off is a bit more of a threat to you than others. I know quite a few career military guys and they all fear for their jobs right now. Not that it's a bad thing, our military is way way too big... but you can understand why these people are going to such lengths.

  • Re:Still got nukes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 30, 2014 @10:48PM (#46116987)

    At gunpoint, the same way Americans do everything. Hell, if you don't mow your lawn in America, the guys with guns come to your house to force you to do it.

  • Re:Still got nukes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 30, 2014 @10:49PM (#46116991)

    The same way we do everything else: by force. Our government sees itself as the masters of the world, unfortunately. Don't agree to their terms? They'll bomb your country. Don't want to provide them with cheap products? They'll hack into your corporate networks, steal plans, and hand it over to American companies (for which their cousin/nephew/whatever works). Don't want to provide them with a constant stream of where you are and what you're doing at all times? Too bad, that wasn't an option.

    I am deeply ashamed at how our government is behaving yet still tries to hold up the illusion of democracy.

  • Where was the NSA? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MasseKid (1294554) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @10:52PM (#46116999)
    So the NSA, for all of it's intrusion into privacy to protect us all, could not find 93 co-conspirators who had access to nuclear weapons, how on earth can we expect them to find a small terrorist cell? What the hell are we trading our liberties, privacy, and freedom for if they can't even uncover something as large as this?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 30, 2014 @11:07PM (#46117075)

    No you don't seem to get it. Career military guys should be laid off. Let them be reservists with productive jobs instead of getting paid a living wage to wait for a chance to destroy something.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 30, 2014 @11:22PM (#46117137)

    Who wants to hire a guy who has spent their entire career sitting in a bunker waiting for the order to destroy the world?

  • by Kell Bengal (711123) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @11:38PM (#46117205)
    Lots of people! High security clearances (and the implication that they are therefore trustworthy), technical training plus an unblemished record will take you far. These people would be excellent for recruiting into fields that require technical skills but not deep specialisation, such that they could be affordably retrained. Sometimes the proven quality and reliability of a recruit is more important than any particular skills they might already have.
  • by tysonedwards (969693) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @11:39PM (#46117211)
    Repeat after me: I misinterpreted the rules.
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Friday January 31, 2014 @12:08AM (#46117355) Journal
    hmmmm. I do not think that you understand what the job is. These men are ran through drills where all of the sounds, and feelings would be the REAL thing. IOW, for their drills, they really believe that they are going through the real thing. That is harsh. It causes these men/women to have some hard strains on them. And being locked up when your family is suffering, is even harder.
    My sister was in the hospital with a 106 fever when the cuban missle crisis started. So, he had to sit on a runway for 3 days, with a nuke about 20' away from him, ready to fly to USSR and drop it, while he had absolutely NO idea of how his daughter was doing in the hospital. It was not until the stand down that he found out that she was alive. That is a hard thing to do.
  • by gishzida (591028) <gishzida AT gmail DOT com> on Friday January 31, 2014 @12:31AM (#46117455) Journal

    Except that 1/2 of them are now shown to be cheaters. There goes the trustworthiness, the technical training, and the unblemished record in one shot. Maybe they can work...

    ^H ^H ^H ^H ... on Wall Street.... for a political party... as an HR Director... as IT management at a financial institution.... As head of the NSA [I hear they are looking]...

    There, fixed that for ya!

  • by colinrichardday (768814) <colin.day.6@hotmail.com> on Friday January 31, 2014 @12:52AM (#46117543)

    Yeah, the banks wants guys who can sit in well-appointed offices waiting for the order to destroy the world.

  • This is not an isolated incident. Our society has rewarded, and is percieved to rewards cheating, duplicitiousness, dishonesty and fraud. The Justice system has been seen to go out of its way _not_ to prosecute certain crimes.

    The rot caused by this breakdown in law and order has clearly reached the military. How much longer will the US allow basic standards to slide?

  • by Rich0 (548339) on Friday January 31, 2014 @11:32AM (#46120717) Homepage

    Having studied for government certification exams before, a more likely set of questions is:

    What is the regulation that allows a warhead restraining bolt to be inspected without a current bolt inspector certification certificate?
    a. 19.393.7(b)3
    b. 17.101.4
    c 19.393.9(c)4
    d 19.393.12(d)7.5

    What is the model number of the restraining bolt for a launch button assembly? (not mentioned: As of the time of printing of this 5 year old test.)
    a. 413
    b. 74A3
    c. 802
    d. 7/12

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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