Air Force Cheating Scandal Widens

92 US nuclear missile officers implicated in a growing exam cheating scandal.

One of US’s three nuclear missile wings that oversee inter-continental missiles has been implicated in a cheating scandal. 92 Malmstrom Air Force Base officers in Montana have had their certifications revoked and are no longer attending their missile management responsibilities. The scandal was revealed by accident. During investigations for illegal drug possession in the Montana missile wing, the investigators discovered text messages that were revealing test answers. The phone was property of a missile launch officer.

During the primary investigations 34 officers were implicated either for cheating or concealing other’s cheating behavior. As of today, 92 officers in total have been implicated. The cheating scandal has caused great turmoil over the integrity and expertise of the said Air Force to manage such critical duties, however the Air Force was prompt to appease Americans that rigorous checks were performed before any nuclear launch to ensure the launch’s success. To destroy all suspicion, the Air Force has also taken steps to re-test the aptitudes and knowledge of the entire Montana wing.

Air Force Secretary, Deborah Lee James revealed during a Pentagon press conference that despite the removal of these officers, the Air force operations were carried out efficiently by bringing officers from other duties to attend the missile launch ones. As it was pointed out, cheating was culturally driven, officers didn’t want to blow the whistle on their co-workers and thus break their community’s unity.

At the same time, it is being suggested that the high-stakes exams instilled fear and overwhelming stress to the officers, which ultimately drove them to cheat. However, this claim hasn’t been presented to justify their actions or to conceal the implicated officers’ lack of an ethical compass.

One method to ensure better exam integrity would be to use an exam proctoring solution such as ProctorFree. This would offer a scalable option to ensure that the Air Force members were presented with a reliable deterrent to cheating during the exams. Being available 24/7 and being fully automated also allows military members to test around their difficult schedules that often involve shift work.