By Jon Harper
Copyright 2014 Stars and Stripes
WASHINGTON — Staff members at an elite training school allegedly cheated on tests administered to personnel who train other sailors to operate nuclear reactors that power Navy submarines, Navy officials said Tuesday.
Answers to a written qualification propulsion exam were allegedly shared among some instructors at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command near Charleston, S.C., Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the Chief of Naval Operations, told reporters at the Pentagon.
The staff members accused of cheating were required to pass the test in order to qualify to instruct students on the training reactors. None of the students at the school appear to have been involved, Adm. John Richardson, the director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, told reporters.
The allegations came to light Monday when a senior enlisted sailor at the school was approached by at least one sailor involved in the cheating.
“One of our sailors from the Nuclear Power Training Unit in Charleston, S.C., was offered to compromise his integrity, recognized that this was wrong, and reported it to the command.” Richardson said.
“To say that I’m disappointed would be an understatement. Whenever I hear about integrity issues, it’s disruptive to our units’ success and it’s definitely contrary to all of our core values,” Greenert said.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Training Command are investigating. The tests and the operation of the reactors involve access to classified material, Richardson said.
“I assure you if these allegations are substantiated … we will hold the appropriate people accountable,” Greenert said. “We will remain vigilant throughout the program.”
Richardson said punishment would be meted out on a case-by-case basis, but such behavior would likely result in removal from the program and possibly removal from the Navy.