The Army plans to overhaul its largest online education program following revelations that thousands of soldiers have openly cheated on exams to get promoted, an Army spokesman has told the Boston Globe.
Gen. William Wallace, the head of Army training, ordered the overhaul recently after an internal review confirmed the findings of a Globe investigation last year that revealed the training command knew as early as 1999 that cheating was widespread. The investigation revealed soldiers were obtaining exact copies of tests and answers for the more than 1,000 online correspondence courses.
Army officials hope the changes will deter soldiers from abusing the Army Correspondence Course Program to fraudulently rack up promotion points, the Globe reported.
More than 300,000 active-duty and reserve soldiers are enrolled, most below the rank of staff sergeant, according to the Army.
Soldiers are warned before taking the tests that cheating is a violation of at least three articles in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the paper reported.
Wallace ordered a review of the program after the Globe reported in December that the Army testing office at Fort Eustis in Virginia had data going back eight years showing thousands of soldiers had completed multiple tests — each worth dozens of credit hours — in a single day, indicating they had obtained the answers beforehand.
Meanwhile, the Army’s own computer records showed that many violators had downloaded the answers from a cheating Web site operated by a former Army sergeant immediately before logging into the official Army Training Support Center Web site to take their exam, the Globe wrote.