Navy cheating scandal

(NBC NEWS) The Military is investigating another cheating scandal at a nuclear facility. Earlier this month dozens of officers were accused at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana.

Now, the navy is dealing with a similar situation in South Carolina.

The Navy emphasizes: this nuclear plant has nothing to do with nuclear weapons, but it’s left another black mark on the military’s integrity.

The Navy has decertified 30 instructors at its nuclear training unit in Charleston, South Carolina.

They’re accused of sharing information – cheating – on an exam qualifying them to teach new recruits how to operate nuclear reactors. “We conservatively estimate that this is probably less than one percent of the navy nuclear propulsion force,” said Admiral John Richardson, Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.

But it’s 20% of the instructors in Charleston. The school trains sailors how to work on a nuclear-powered submarine or aircraft carrier. These instructors had done that. Passed their own training as students, and came back to teach.

The Navy says one of them blew the whistle. “He recognized when he was asked to join in that that’s not consistent with those values and mentioned it to the command,” said Admiral John Richardson, Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.

This latest scandal comes just days after the Pentagon announced the number of Air Force officers in a separate cheating scandal in Montana had nearly tripled.

That case did involve safely storing nuclear weapons. “I guess I believe now that we do have systemic problems within the force,” said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James.

The South Carolina case is still under investigation.

There’s a third investigation into fraud by National Guard recruiters who took bonuses meant for rank-and-file soldiers who got others to sign up. The total amount pocketed: at least $29 million dollars.

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