Cheating Rampant in Navy's Submarine Crews: Report

Commander, tenth of USS Memphis crew fired
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2011 8:18 AM CDT
Navy Submarine USS Memphis Hit by Exam Cheating Scandal
In this March 2, 2011 file photo, the Los Angeles Class attack submarine USS Memphis returns to the U.S. Navy Submarine Base in Groton, Conn., after a two-month deployment that was its final mission.    (AP Photo/The Day, Sean D. Elliot, File)

The Navy discovered cheating so widespread among one of its nuclear submarine crews that it fired the commander of the USS Memphis and 10% of its crew, according to a report obtained by the AP. Sailors were emailed the answers before qualification exams and openly asked their officers for answer keys, the probe found. Navy officials say the case is isolated, but some former submarine officers say the problem is rampant, blaming it on competition between commanders and pressure to keep hitting higher performance targets.

One former instructor at the Navy's submarine school in Connecticut says he heard about cheating from members of a dozen other crews. "They've expected more and more paperwork, with higher levels of compliance, and over time those expectations diverged from what people are actually doing," he says. "In the nuclear department, the test became so difficult it really had no bearing on what people were doing on a daily basis." (Read more cheating stories.)

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