Retired colonel "horrified" at cheating allegations

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- After allegations of cheating surfaced in Charleston at the Naval power training unit, Pentagon officials say they have dispatched a five-person team to investigate.{}

But a local retired colonel says he is horrified by what is coming to light.

"We are horrified about what we see happening here.{} Particularly those of us who have attended and graduated from military colleges," said Dr. Earl Walker of The Citadel.

He has an interest in what's happening with allegations of ethical lapses at the Naval Weapons Station and other branches of the military. The professor of Management and Leadership at The Citadel's business school is also an Army Ranger and retired Colonel.

"Not surprised because all organizations go through this," said Dr. Walker.

He believes lapses of judgment is a reflection of pressure at all military levels from the war on terror and other conflicts.

"This stress has added and heightened the challenges that we have faced.{} None of that excuses this kind of behavior.{} But at the same time, it helps us better understand that behavior," said Walker.

The Army veteran also thinks a lack of routine reminders of core military principles can lead some sailors, soldiers, and airmen astray.

"Clear code of conduct.{} Very clear values.{} Clear mission.{} And constant repetition of these things," said Dr. Walker.

Still, he emphasizes strict discipline and punishment when those principles are broken.{}

"They should fire the individuals involved once established and proven.{} And prosecute them if appropriate.{} And that's bringing someone before a court of law if they have done something illegal," said Dr. Walker.

And that's what Pentagon officials have promised after a thorough investigation.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is ordering military leaders to put a renewed emphasis on moral behavior across the force following a series of ethical lapses that have included cheating scandals among the Navy and Air Force's nuclear missions.

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