Multiple Firings In A Nuclear Cheating Scandal That Keeps Getting Deeper and Broader

Abby Zimet

In an unprecedented action, the Air Force has fired nine mid-level nuclear commanders and disciplined 79 junior grade officers following an investigation into a cheating scandal on monthly proficiency tests that may or may not extend much further than the Air Force wants to acknowledge. A 10th commander, the senior officer at the Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, where the cheating was first revealed amidst a drug scandal and several security lapses, resigned because "we let the American people down on my watch." While Defense Department officials claim the cheating didn't extend to other nuclear sites, critics cite a culture of cheating among launch officiers, or missileers, that has been "extensive and pervasive at all the missile bases, going back for decades.” After announcing the firings Thursday, the Air Force also said it "will be changing rather dramatically how we conduct testing and training going forward while ensuring that performance standards are kept high," so there's that.

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