TIME Military

Commander in Air Force Cheating Scandal: ‘We Let the American People Down’

This undated handout photo provided by the US Air Force shows Col. Robert Stanley II.
This undated handout photo provided by the US Air Force shows Col. Robert Stanley II. US Air Force/AP

Col. Robert Stanley resigned and retired from the Air Force on Thursday when nine commanders were fired for failing in leadership duties while Airmen allegedly cheated on missile tests

The senior officer at the Air Force nuclear missile base where nine officers were fired Thursday amid a cheating scandal said in his resignation letter that he was leaving the military because the “we let the American people down on my watch.”

“This is a wake-up call for everyone who has lost their sense of right and wrong, for those who have become cynical and for those indoctrinated by modern society to acquiesce when faced with bad behavior,” Col. Robert Stanley wrote, according to the Associated Press.

Officers were allegedly sharing answers to tests on “emergency war orders,” which included information on targets and missile launches. The cheating reportedly began in 2011 and continued for two years. The nine officers fired by the Air Force were said to have failed in leadership. Col. Stanley said in the letter that had one “silent Airman” come forward with the details of the scandal, the reputation of the 34th Missile Wing could have been maintained. “But it didn’t happen,” Stanly wrote. “Wrong won out over right … the voice of integrity was silenced … and the good guy lost at the end of the movie.”

Stanley said he hopes his action will stir other Airmen to “stand up for what’s right the next time they are confronted by immorality.”

[AP]

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