DOD Service Academies:
Status Report on Reviews of Student Treatment
T-NSIAD-92-41, Jun 2, 1992
GAO discussed the preliminary results of an ongoing review of student treatment issues at the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy. GAO noted that: (1) at all three academies, hazing-type treatment occurs more frequently than officially filed charges would imply, despite prohibitions against it; (2) women and minorities did not fare as well as other groups with respect to academic, physical education, and military performance grades, although there was no evidence of deliberate or systematic efforts to treat those groups differently; (3) sexual harassment occurs more frequently at all three academies than is reported to officials, although students generally agreed that if the harassment were reported, the incident would be thoroughly investigated and the offender would be disciplined; (4) there was also general consensus that there were significant negative consequences to reporting harassment, and a relatively small number of conduct cases were reported involving harassment charges at all three academies; (5) the military performance systems at the academies were flawed because the systems were trait-oriented rather than performance-oriented, and some systems had disparate effects in terms of minorities' grades and, to a lesser extent women's grades; (6) the academies generally provide the minimal due process rights stipulated by the courts and some additional rights, with limitations; and (7) at all three academies there was a lack of consensus as to what constituted an honor offense.