Military Scandals Back in Spotlight

But senators stressed they believe the alleged cheating on tests doesn’t represent the nuclear forces as a whole.

National Journal
Jordain Carney
Add to Briefcase
Jordain Carney
March 6, 2014, 9:06 a.m.

Sen­at­ors are circ­ling back to scan­dals that have plagued the nuc­le­ar forces this year, ahead of an end-of-the-month re­view dead­line ordered by De­fense Sec­ret­ary Chuck Hagel.

In late Janu­ary, top Air Force of­fi­cials said 92 of­ficer — nearly half of the in­ter­con­tin­ent­al bal­list­ic mis­sile crew — at the Malmstrom Air Force base either al­legedly cheated on a monthly pro­fi­ciency ex­am or al­legedly knew about the al­leged cheat­ing. The al­leged cheat­ing was dis­covered dur­ing an in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to al­leged il­leg­al drug use.

And last month, Adm. Jonath­an Green­ert, the Navy’s chief of nav­al op­er­a­tions, said the mil­it­ary branch has launched an in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to al­leged cheat­ing among staff mem­bers at its nuc­le­ar train­ing school in Char­le­ston, S.C.

“Some of the cheat­ing scan­dals head­lines we’ve seen, some of the oth­er things, what has caused these?” In­di­ana Demo­crat Sen. Joe Don­nelly asked at an Armed Ser­vices sub­com­mit­tee hear­ing Wed­nes­day.

The hear­ing also comes in the wake of an As­so­ci­ated Press re­port that the Air Force Academy is look­ing in­to al­leged cheat­ing by 40 ca­dets.

“I keep com­ing back to 99.5 per­cent of our air­men are people we’re real proud of, they get it, they un­der­stand the im­port­ance of our mis­sion,” said Lt. Gen. Steph­en Wilson, the com­mand­er for the Air Force Glob­al Strike Com­mand.

And Demo­crat­ic Sen. Mark Ud­all of Col­or­ado said he un­der­stands the scan­dals aren’t rep­res­ent­at­ive of the lar­ger forces, adding that of­fi­cials should em­phas­ize “that we ex­pect a great deal from them, but above all, we must demon­strate that we care about their well-be­ing, their fam­il­ies, and their ca­reers.”

Top de­fense of­fi­cials have noted that the nuc­le­ar forces are of­ten isol­ated from the rest of the mil­it­ary and of­ten pub­licly over­looked. But Wilson ac­know­ledged that mil­it­ary of­fi­cials have “fo­cused on the cul­ture of per­fec­tion, and we know that hu­man be­ings aren’t per­fect.”

His com­ments echoed those earli­er this year by Air Force Sec­ret­ary De­borah Lee James. The ser­vice’s top of­fi­cial said, at the time, that mis­sileers “cheated be­cause they felt driv­en to get 100 per­cent,” and called it an un­healthy en­vir­on­ment.

And Wilson said the mil­it­ary is “in­vest­ig­at­ing all kinds of al­tern­at­ive meth­ods of how we train, test, and eval­u­ate,” in­clud­ing meet­ing with fam­il­ies and be­ha­vi­or­al psy­cho­lo­gists.

Wilson ad­ded that three re­views have been launched in the wake of the scan­dals, aimed at find­ing and re­com­mend­ing cor­rec­tions for any sys­tem­ic prob­lems in the nuc­le­ar forces.

What We're Following See More »
CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
3 days ago
THE LATEST
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
3 days ago
BREAKING
MANAFORT AND FLYNN
Russians Discussed Influencing Trump Through Aides
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source:
BUT WHITE HOUSE MAY USE AGAINST HIM ANYWAY
Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
5 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."

Source:
BUSINESSES CAN’T PLEAD FIFTH
Senate Intel to Subpoena Two of Flynn’s Businesses
5 days ago
THE LATEST

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login