US Air Force Academy cadets long suspected there were OSI agents among them. While most often dismissed as an inflated feeling of self-importance, it turns out they were right.
USAFA cadets have also long suspected they are used as lab rats, given the very controlled environment in which they live. For example, there were rumors for years that flu vaccines and other medications were tested en masse at USAFA before being released to the general population.
It seems the “controlled lab” suspicion, too, has been borne out as correct, at least in one instance. NPR reveals that a “social experiment” was conducted at USAFA over a period of two years, led by a Dartmouth College professor, Bruce Sacerdote, and two USAFA staffers: Scott Carrell and James West (who taught at USAFA from 1997-2011): Read more
The US military has revealed that 34 nuclear missile officers are being investigated for their roles in a cheating scandal at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. Worse, the scandal came to light as the result of an illegal drug investigation of Air Force officers:
Air Force Office of Special Investigations officials were examining allegations of illegal drug possession when evidence surfaced that a missile launch officer at the 341st Missile Wing electronically shared the answers to monthly missile launch officer proficiency tests with 16 other officers. Air Force officials subsequently approached the entire missile crew force at Malmstrom, and 17 other officers admitted to at least being aware of material that had been shared.
USAF Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh indicated it wasn’t just the act of “cheating,” but the failure to act by those who knew the cheating was occurring: Read more
The Inspector General of the Air Force is reportedly investigating the Air Force Office of Special Investigation’s (OSI) use of cadets as informants at the US Air Force Academy. USAFA Superintendent LtGen Michelle Johnson had previously declared she would “personally oversee” any such program in the future. Further,
Johnson said she will review the academy’s disenrollment process and that she intends to “eliminate the need for cadet confidential informants in the cadet wing…” Read more
The US Air Force Academy unapologetically defended its use of cadet confidential informants earlier this week:
The Air Force Academy stood by its use of confidential student informants Tuesday, noting that it’s a practice used across the Air Force that provides what it calls “vital information about criminal activities.”
A couple of days later, USAFA announced the Superintendent would begin having oversight of the program:
Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson will now exercise oversight of the confidential informant program at the academy…
She will be aware of the operations, but the Office of Special Investigations will still have command and control of the program, an academy spokesman said.
Also at the Air Force Times and the Stars and Stripes, with more here.
A fascinating article by the Colorado Springs Gazette accuses the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) of encouraging misconduct while using cadets to inform on their peers — and then disavowing them when they were no longer useful.
Eric Thomas, 24, was a confidential informant…OSI ordered Thomas to infiltrate academy cliques, wearing recorders, setting up drug buys, tailing suspected rapists and feeding information back to OSI. In pursuit of cases, he was regularly directed by agents to break academy rules…
Through it all, he thought OSI would have his back. But when an operation went wrong, he said, his handlers cut communication and disavowed knowledge of his actions, and watched as he was kicked out of the academy.
The Gazette claims to have obtained documents validating the cadets’ claims.
A lengthy article, but interesting.
Repeated at the Stars and Stripes.