Honor Directorate

    The Air Force Academy exists to produce individuals inspired to lead and serve our nation. An individual's ability to lead hinges upon the individual's ability to gain the respect of the people they find themselves surrounded by. Without respect there can be no leadership, and without integrity an individual has no hope of gaining the respect of others. Thus, it is imperative that, as an institution which seeks to produce leaders, we actively commit ourselves to integrity.

    Habits foster character, which, when grown, determines a person's destiny. Consequently, it is necessary to strive daily to develop habits of uprightness so as to build a foundation of forthright integrity. An individual who has not yet committed to living with integrity will rarely choose to do such when placed in a precarious situation. Rather, it is the person who has already decided to live with integrity, and reinforced that decision with their daily actions, that will maintain their honor when placed under great stress. We should not fear the Honor Code. On the contrary the Honor Code provides the precepts necessary to develop habits of integrity. Hopefully by embracing the Honor Code for the four years we spend at the Academy we will gain the foundation that is necessary for a life of integrity and leadership.
Image of the USAFA Cadet Handbook
Air Force Cadet Wing Honor Code Reference Handbook
About the Code   

Honor Directorate: Provide Honor Code System administration to include education, case processing and support to the Cadet Honor Committee.

Honor Code: We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does.

Honor Oath: We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, (so help me God).

Spirit of the Code. Do the right thing and live honorably.

Foundation. The Class of 1959 gave us the Honor Code because lying, stealing, cheating and tolerating are dishonorable, and we can't have the trust and respect required in our community--the military--if they are allowed to exist. So if you don't lie, steal, cheat, or tolerate, are you honorable? Not Necessarily. Being an honorable person implies much more than someone who doesn't lie, steal, cheat or tolerate. You could lock somebody in a closet and they'd never violate the Code. Are they honorable? What about the individual who plans to lie or cheat but is afraid to get caught so they choose not to? Is this an honorable person?

Education. Honor Education is used at the Academy to ensure a base of common knowledge essential for all cadets and future officers. Cadets participate in five "formal" honor education phases from BCT through the first-class year, each corresponding to their level of development (basics: introduction; 4th class cadets: loyal followers; 3rd class cadets: coach/role model; 2nd class cadets: mentor/worker; 1st class cadets: leaders/supervisors). There are honor lessons, numerous guest speakers on honor, and other various strategies included in honor education efforts.

Honor Code System. The system is the process by which cadets are held accountable to living by the Honor Code. While the Cadet Wing Honor Code is very simple and straightforward, the honor system supporting it is evaluated by the Secretary of the Air Force, Air Force General Counsel, Congressional members, defense counsel, and members of the media. The honor system at the United States Air Force Academy is different from all other USAF administrative processes because the Honor Code and the honor system are unique to the Academy. The very first graduating class adopted the Honor Code, placing the responsibility of upholding it firmly in the hands of the cadets. It is a duty no cadet takes lightly and the Cadet Wing has proven itself worthy of this responsibility. For this reason, the first two phases of the honor system are the responsibility of cadets with permanent party oversight. The final phase of the honor system rests with the Chain of Command because only it has the authority to sanction cadets.

Living Under the Honor Code. Cadets are expected to report themselves for any violation. Furthermore, they must confront any other cadet they believe may have violated the Honor Code and report the incident if the situation is not resolved. This creates an atmosphere of trust unparalleled at other institutions.

cadet group photo
U.S. Air Force Academy, USAFA, CO 80840, (719) 333-1110 DSN: 333-1110, Updated: 01 Nov 14
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