New Superintendent Named for Naval Academy
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Navy’s top admiral decided against expelling three of 29 midshipmen caught up in the U.S. Naval Academy cheating scandal, a Navy spokesman said today.
Adm. Frank B. Kelso II, the chief of naval operations, decided that three of the midshipmen who had been recommended for ″separation″ from the academy should be allowed to stay on while receiving lesser punishment. In the case of the other 26, Kelso concurred with a lower board’s finding that the midshipmen should be expelled.
Those 26 have three days to submit letters of explanation to the Navy secretary, who will make the final decision on their fate. Lesser punishment could include loss of privileges, including a ban on extracurricular activities, and assignments in reading and writing about ethics, the spokesman said.
On Thursday, Defense Secretary William Perry announced that Adm. Charles R. Larson, 57, would replace Rear Adm. Thomas Lynch, who came under congressional criticism for his stewardship at the academy because of the cheating scandal and concern over sexual harassment of female students.
Larson, commander in chief of U.S. Pacific Command at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, served as superintendent of the Annapolis, Md., academy from 1983 to 1986. Returning as a four-star admiral, Larson will be the highest-ranking officer to head the academy its 149-year history.
Kelso’s decision comes after the conclusion several weeks ago by an honor review board that 71 midshipmen were involved in cheating on a 1992 electrical engineering exam and that 29 should be dismissed.
A Navy inspector general’s report on the cheating scandal did not criticize Lynch directly. But it said there was a wide belief among midshipmen that as a former football player at the academy, Lynch had favored football players who were implicated in the original investigation.
Lynch responded to the scandal by placing more emphasis on the honor concept and on moral development.
The cheating scandal, and another incident in which a female midshipman was chained to a urinal and harassed by a group of male students, sullied the reputation of the bucolic waterfront campus that produces about half of the Navy’s officers.
One recommendation stemming from the academy troubles was that a higher- ranking officer head the institution. Lynch is a two-star admiral, while Larson holds four-star rank.
Perry selected Adm. Stanley R. Arthur to succeed Larson at Pearl Harbor. Arthur now is vice chief of naval operations at the Pentagon.
Navy Secretary John Dalton ″was looking for the most qualified person to come in and continue the progress that’s being made at the Naval Academy toward improving the honor concept and maintaining academic quality,″ his office said.
Because Larson had planned to retire this summer, he will be allowed to go ahead with retirement, then be recalled to the superintendent’s job at his four-star rank, the Pentagon said.
Larson, a Sioux Falls, S.D., native and 1958 Naval Academy graduate, was trained as a submariner. He served on the ballistic missile submarine Nathan Hale in the early 1960s and commanded the attack submarine Halibut from 1973 to 1976. He was a naval aide to President Nixon from 1969 to 1971.
Larson commanded the Navy’s Pacific Fleet in 1990 and 1991 and took over as commander in chief of all U.S. forces in the Pacific in March 1991.