WPAOG Parent Handbook 2021-22

20 DEVELOPING LEADERS OF CHARACTER The Honor Code The mission of the United States Military Academy is to produce leaders of character. For over a century, the Cadet Honor Code has provided the foundation for character development at West Point. The West Point Cadet Honor Code states: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do.” The ideals affirmed in the Honor Code attract toWest Point youngmen and women who aspire “to live above the common level of life.” The unyielding requirements of the Code instruct, motivate, and ultimately shape cadets during their years at the Academy. Most importantly, the effects of the Code continue to guide and inspire Graduates during their years of military service and beyond. More than any other aspect of West Point, the Honor Code unites the “Long Gray Line” of cadets and graduates by expressing their shared commitment to personal integrity and professional responsibility. The Honor Code is a straightforward standard that develops cadets’ moral character and fosters a culture of trust at West Point. The first three tenets of the Code—a cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal—are prohibitions against behaviors that would destroy trust and teamwork. Those elements of the Code establish a minimum standard that all cadets are capable of meeting from their first day at the Academy. Refusing to lie, cheat, or steal on any typical day is not particularly demanding. However, living up to that standard every day—for four consecutive years, in all situations and despite all temptations and personal consequences—can be uncomfortable or difficult at times. The Honor Code pushes cadets to perceive the ethical aspects of situations and then “to choose the harder right