Panel to Evaluate Service Academies
A House committee announced plans Thursday for a broad investigation into the quality of U.S. service-academy education, saying it will go beyond the main issue of strategic training to include ethics.
“The panel will examine the entire military education system to determine whether it is producing professional military strategists and officers,” said Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services panel on military education.
“They’re not adequate in a lot of areas, in our feeling,” said Rep. Jack Davis of Illinois, the ranking Republican on the panel. “We have to make sure we have competent field officers who know more than how to push a button.”
Panel members said they also want to make sure students are taught about their responsibilities as officers. They cited the involvement of White House officials, who are academy graduates, in the Iran-Contra affair.
“The military has a responsibility to conduct itself consistent with laws passed by the U. S. Congress, even the ones they don’t like,” said Rep. Joseph E. Brennan (D-Me.).
“A few people do not necessarily represent the whole education program,” he said. “But I was appalled that people that have reached those ranks . . . seemed, at least in my opinion, to have a disregard for the Constitution.”