Inside the Navy’s Corpsman Cheating Scandal


By Debbie Gregory.

For the second time in three years, the Navy has broken a major school exam cheating ring at the San Diego Surface Warfare Medical Institute, resulting in 31 students being booted from the program.

An additional 13 students have been recommended for separation from the Navy.

An internal command investigation was launched last February after a student whistleblower came forward with cell phone photos showing what appeared to be a test, answer key and handwritten cheat sheet of technical assistance visit.

The investigation revealed four separate schemes by student corpsmen to violate the school’s honor code with various cheating techniques

In the wake of the findings, the school officer-in-charge and senior enlisted leader were removed from their posts. Navy Medicine Education and Training Command found they had failed to keep testing materials safe and had not worked to counteract or mitigate an environment that fostered pervasive cheating.

“We take seriously our commitment to provide the best care possible to those entrusted to us, and hold all our staff, including our corpsmen, to the highest standards,” said Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, Navy Surgeon General and Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. “Falling short of those standards will swiftly result in the highest attention of senior leadership and quick, decisive, definitive action to ensure fidelity and confidence in the Navy Medicine team and the care we provide. We will not entrust the lives of others to those who cheat,” he added.

Larry Coffey, a spokesman for Navy Medicine Education and Training Command said, “All of our instructors and leaders have been formally briefed on the new standards for safeguarding testing material. We have an amazing bright engaged staff of instructors and leaders and they have taken on these new standards and are resetting expectations.”

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