OCS Candidates Cheating on LandNav Kicked Out

According to a recent Marine Corps Times story, “Record number of OCS candidates booted amid cheating allegations”, twenty-one candidates were kicked out of OCS in one day for Integrity Violations.

Ten additional candidates were suspected of benefiting from or having knowledge of cheating, but were allowed to stay and were put on probation.

Less Important Than an Officer’s Moral Compass

What Happened on LandNav

The incident in question occurred on a dark night on one of the LandNav courses at OCS. Candidates are giving an azimuth and distance from different points, then walk through the woods until they (ideally) stop right at a numbered ammo can set up at waist height. Each LandNav course contains multiple boxes, and the candidates will get an overall score for the course.

This time, instead of working alone, two candidates decided that once they found the boxes, they could help guide others in the dark by tapping on the boxes. This should have been an obvious act of cheating to others, as well as themselves. Two candidates actually did the cheating, but all the others identified and interviewed (and punished) by the board were benefactors of it, or aware of it. Nobody turned in these cheaters, and at OCS, awareness of cheating is collaboration.

Awareness of Cheating is Collaboration

OCS CO on Integrity

The Commanding Officer of Officer Candidates School, Colonel Stillings, stated the following; “Their integrity can never be questioned. Once you somehow compromise your integrity, your leadership is then compromised, your ability to do your mission is compromised and people will not look at you the same way. If you somehow compromise your integrity, you cannot lead Marines.”

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