The students must memorize an honor code, warning them to “not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.” The words are inscribed in marble at the Honor Plaza, in an area of the campus where hundreds, perhaps thousands, of future U.S. Army officers walk by every day.

Now, Covid-19 has put that code to the test.

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point this month concluded investigations into its largest cheating scandal in at least four decades. It punished dozens of cadets found to be dishonest on an exam while studying remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic, though those avoiding expulsion won’t have a permanent blemish on their records.

A final summary report of their transgressions, including a decision to end a policy that for years has protected wayward cadets from being kicked out, is being reported for the first time by The Wall Street Journal.

By Tawnell D. Hobbs - read the full story on