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Academy prep school disciplines six in race-tinged incident

Sep. 12, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
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Three officers and three noncommissioned officers at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School received administrative disciplinary action Sept. 12 for their role in a racially tinged incident involving cadet-candidates.

On July 31, the academy said in a release, a dark-skinned male cadet-candidate allegedly “flashed” a group of cadet-candidates from another squadron. After hearing about the alleged indecent exposure incident, the six officers and NCOs assembled a group of male cadet-candidates and separated them by race in an attempt to find the alleged flasher, the academy said. The release said the officers and NCOs also used other “inappropriate disciplinary tactics” to try to identify the flasher, but the academy did not specify what those other tactics were. The academy refused further comment.

“The officers and NCOs grossly misjudged the entire situation,” said prep school commander Col. Kabrena Rodda. “They reacted before properly collecting facts and failed to consult the chain of command. Their collective actions were misguided and inappropriate.”

The academy’s release did not name the six officers and NCOs, and did not say what disciplinary action they received.

In its release, the academy said the officers’ and NCOs’ actions were “ill-advised” and “in direct opposition to Air Force core values.”

“The Air Force’s Academy stands for respect and dignity for every individual and we take all incidents that happen to our people incredibly seriously,” said academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson. “This was a case of immature judgment and knee-jerk reactions that were not in keeping with our core values.”

The academy issued a short statement Aug. 1 that said an “alleged human relations incident” had occurred and that individuals involved had been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation. Later that day, the academy said the incident was not related to sexual assault, sexual harassment or use or possession of illegal substances.

The academy finished its initial investigation the first weekend in August, and said it appointed an experienced investigating official to cross-check that investigation.

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