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“The 1951 Honor Incident: Myths, Facts, and Lessons”

Investigative History. A two-part serial article published in Assembly magazine, Nov/Dec 2001-Jan/Feb 2002 about a man-made institutional crisis at West Point in 1951 involving honor, ethics and truth telling.

Using research material from A Return to Glory, the piece summarizes the never-publicly-told story of behind the scenes events associated with the 1951 honor incident at West Point, and responds to an error-filled article, “Code Breakers,” written by well-known sports writer Frank Deford and published in Sports Illustrated magazine’s 13 November 2000 issue. The cadets involved in organized cheating were participating in far more serious activities than were ever made known to the Corps of Cadets, Academy graduates, and the public. Examples were conspiracy to cheat, to lie about the existence of cheating if ever confronted with evidence, 22 of 83 found guilty of cheating lied under oath when they first appeared for sworn testimony, intimidation of witnesses, attempting to discredit the board of officers investigating the incident, deliberately planning and successfully electing two company honor committee representatives who were involved in cheating, and threatening cadets who volounteered to go under cover to expose the cheating.