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Discovered cheating last November 10 per cent of the USS Memphis crew were discharged and Navy officials claimed the isolated incident resolved, but new information indicates the practice is widely accepted.According to the Associated Press, former submariners say they routinely received answers to the nuclear qualification exams which are so difficult and impractical they had no choice.
Further information obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request shows an atmosphere aboard the nuclear submarine that fostered cheating with emailed answer keys, unsupervised tests, and open requests to officers for answers.
One sailor told investigators that test-takers were encouraged to “use their time wisely” during breaks, insinuating that they should look up answers to exam questions.
One of the former officers, Christopher Brownfield, [says] “It was almost universal, I don’t know anybody on the ship who could have passed that exam without cheating on the first try.”
The former submariners maintain they were fully proficient at their jobs handling nuclear technology, but that competition among officers making the tests made success almost impossible.
The U.S. has about 70 nuclear submarines hosting 16,000 nuclear-trained officers and enlisted sailors.