Air Force Academy Launches Investigation into Rape, Drugs and Cheating

This weekend, U.S. Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson announced she was requesting an investigation into the school's athletic department over numerous cases of sexual assault, flagrant drug use and academic cheating among cadets.


Through documents obtained during an investigation by The Gazette out of Colorado Springs, it's clear that Johnson (an alum of the Academy) has a larger problem on her hands than was apparent even after recent arrests. The Gazette reports that at a now-infamous 2011 party, football players specifically set aside a drink for women laced with date rape drugs:

The culture was so wild that academy leaders canceled a planned 2012 sting out of concern that undercover agents and confidential informants at a party wouldn't be enough to protect women from rape.

After this party, several cadets were expelled from school and a few were sentenced. That same month, the Defense Department reported that 13 more sexual assaults had been reported at the Air Force Academy than the year prior.


In a statement, Johnson said that "past behavior was troubling and suggested certain subcultures that were inconsistent with the Culture of Commitment and Climate of Respect we work hard to uphold at USAFA," adding that the school has been working to "refocus on our culture and climate," especially since she was appointed to her position a year prior.

Johnson also said that the school's athletic leaders have "responded" to her requests, and explained her plan for an Inspector General to probe further into this culture:

Additionally, as part of the new AF-wide Commander's Inspector General (IG) program, I've asked the USAFA IG to start their review of the Mission Elements with the Athletic Department. These efforts will help in eliminating subcultures at the Air Force's Academy whose climates do not align with our institutional core values.


Johnson cited a video produced by Cadet Athletes Against Sexual Violence (seen above) as a positive example of change among student athletes. "Despite all of our efforts," she noted, "I expect we'll still have issues with a few young people who will make poor choices." But as the Gazette reports, the loss of star athletes has meant big losses for the football team, which had a startlingly bad season last year. Isn't that just a crying shame.


Very Little Gravitas Indeed

I spent six years in the Air Force in a unit that was roughly 90% male (aircraft maintenance). I was involved in a sexual assault (not me, I didn't do it) Here's my take on why this is such a pervasive issue: there is simply too much god damned job security in the armed forces.

There are guys on their third DUI. Some guys get even more, but the commander uses his broad sweeping jurisdiction to sweep it under the rug. Just like sexual assault cases, many times.

The sheer volume of useless assholes in the military is truly astounding. There is a multitude of useless job positions, job titles, and people that simply lack any shred of work ethic.

This brings me to why this is so awful in the military. Job security is so bonkers you can commit what would be a fireable offense many, many times before getting discharged. And even when you do, its a months-long process to kick someone out. Prosecuting them for a crime is even worse, there are reams of paperwork to be done. It's a drain on the mission. It makes the unit and the commander look bad. The list of incentives to sweep shit under the rug is incredibly long.

In my case, I was in Crete, Greece. Best time of my life. Thanks to the actions of Muammar Gaddafi, I got a 5-month paid vacation to Greece, where I drank like a fish, got just as tan as the Greeks, and ate like a king every day. Out of everyone there, there was only one female in our maintenance group. She was married, but not very faithful. One night, she got incredibly drunk and had to be removed to her hotel room. Three guys basically dragged her into bed and then came back. I retired to my seaside bungalow.

Eventually the party died down, and like two days later we heard a rumor that an "incident" happened in her room. People were saying that one of our officers had had sex with her. Well, turns out she probably got raped by an unknown assailant. You could see it in her face that something bad had happened. No one ever got sent home, they never said who, and nothing ever happened. The OIC gave her an official memo forbidding her from consuming any alcohol for the remainder of the trip.

What I think happened? I think she came forward to our chief or OIC about it. The fact that her behavior was out of line, the fact that our leaders were fearing for their career, and the fact that her attacker was someone of high rank added up to make them shame her into keeping quiet. And so she did.