CHAPTER 3 HONOR COMMITTEE PROCEDURES
302. Approach for Clarification
304. Honor Investigative Hearing
305. Post Hearing Procedures
306. Honor Mentor Program
301. OVERVIEW. Each cadet, the Corps of Cadets as a whole, the Honor Committee, and the leaders at the Military Academy share the serious responsibility for the proper processing of alleged honor violations. Each of us is responsible for seeking clarification from any cadet who commits a questionable act with honor implications. Should some doubt remain after the clarification process, the inquiring person should encourage the approached cadet to discuss the matter with his or her honor representative. Should the cadet fail to do so, the person approaching for clarification must then report the matter to a member of the Cadet Honor Committee. The Honor Committee, acting on behalf of the Corps of Cadets, will investigate alleged violations of the Honor Code and determine whether the evidence against the accused cadet warrants an Honor Investigative Hearing. The Commandant, upon recommendation by the Cadet Honor Committee, has the authority to convene an Honor Investigative Hearing to determine if a cadet has violated the Cadet Honor Code. Ultimately, the Superintendent, United States Military Academy, approves the findings of an Honor Investigative Hearing. Furthermore, after all necessary administrative processing and after receiving chain of command input, The Superintendent determines the disposition of cadets found to have committed an honor violation.
302. APPROACH FOR CLARIFICATION. The approach for clarification is a recommended process where a person who believes a cadet may have possibly committed an honor violation, approaches that cadet and requests clarification of his or her actions. The intent of this process is to determine if a misunderstanding or misperception is responsible for the appearance of an honor violation. The approach for clarification is a sign of respect for the approached cadet and may eliminate the possibility of a needless investigation. The approach for clarification is not mandatory. If the person observing the honor violation is unwilling or unable to conduct the approach (s)he must contact a cadet honor representative.
Approaching a cadet whose actions may have constituted a potential honor violation is a difficult duty but an inescapable requirement as part of the professional responsibility to maintain the standard of integrity within the Corps. When attempting to resolve a question of honor, keep two things in mind: 1) that the honor violation must consist of both the act and the intent to commit the act; and 2) that because that cadet's integrity is being questioned, one must be prepared for a defensive or negative initial response.
a. Conducting the Approach. When approaching a cadet for clarification, point out in a non-accusatory manner the exact action considered improper and request an explanation. Inform the cadet that this is an approach for clarification but do not accuse the cadet of having committed an honor violation. Give the cadet an opportunity to explain the situation before alleging it to be an "honor violation." Such an allegation is serious, and therefore should be made only after considering both sides of the incident. Ask the cadet to clarify the circumstances that raised suspicions to see whether misunderstanding or misperception is involved.
(1) Cadets. When a cadet becomes aware of a possible honor violation, he or she should approach the cadet for clarification within 24 hours. After conducting an approach for clarification, the observer will take the actions outlined in paragraph 302b.
(2) Non-Cadets. When a person other than a member of the Corps of Cadets becomes aware of an action with potential for honor implications, that person should approach the cadet for clarification as outlined above. If the observer is not satisfied, then the person should obtain the cadets name, company and social security number and report the incident to the Company Honor Representative (CHR). If, in the case that a Tactical Officer from another company suspects a violation, he or she may report it to his or her Company Honor Representative who is then responsible for reporting it through the suspected cadets Company Representative.
(3) Academic Faculty. Members of the faculty may have occasion to approach cadets for clarification to properly evaluate cadet academic work. In so doing, faculty members will be guided by this document and by the Deans Policy and Operating Memorandum, (DPOM) number 2-4 (Honor), which establishes policy and procedures for academic departments in this area. The department head will decide whether or not to forward a report of a possible honor violation. If a possible violation is reported, the department head, the SAH, and the departments honor liaisons (officer and cadet) will continually coordinate to ensure that the Honor Committee obtains all relevant information and materials and the department receives the results.
(4) Fourth Class Cadets. Fourth Class cadets who observe a potential honor violation by an upper-class cadet, if hesitant to approach the upper-class cadet privately, should ask another cadet to accompany him or her in approaching the upper class cadet.
b. Resolution. After conducting an approach for clarification take the following actions:
(1) Satisfactory Resolution. If, after discussion with the suspected cadet, a cadet observer concludes that a violation did not occur, the observer will take no action. Because the observer is satisfied after the approach for clarification takes place, the issue is now "clarified."
(2) Unsatisfactory Resolution. If the observer suspects a violation following the cadets explanation, the observer should encourage the cadet to report the matter to an honor representative. If, after encouraging the cadet to report himself or herself, the cadet fails to do so in a reasonable time (24 hours under normal circumstances), the observer will report the matter to the Company Honor Representative.
c. Importance of Follow-up. Situations will sometimes arise which at first glance may appear to be violations of the Honor Code, but upon closer examination prove to be nothing more than misunderstandings or misperceptions. In this eventuality, the cadet will drop the matter. It is important to recognize that the presence of any doubts regarding the matter necessitates the continued pursuit of proper resolution.
REMEMBER: The obligation of cadets not to tolerate violations of the Honor Code requires that a cadet who is aware of a suspected violation report it within a reasonable time. A reasonable time, under normal circumstances, is 24 hours.
e. Self-Report Versus Self-Admit.
(1) Self-Report. The act of turning oneself in, for committing a violation of the Honor Code, without influence from any outside source and without doing so to avoid being turned in by another person is a self-reported honor violation. Cadets who admit to an honor violation after an approach for clarification are usually not considered to have self-reported. A cadet who self-reports is generally also considered to be a self-admit.
(2) Self-Admit. The act of admitting to violating the Honor Code before the HIH, independent of when the admission occurs or under what circumstances, is considered a self-admit. Not all self-admits are considered to be self-reports.
303. INVESTIGATIONS. The investigative arm of the Honor System is designed to conduct procedures and actions by which cadets resolve possible violations of the Cadet Honor Code by investigating alleged breaches, distinguishing violations from non-violations, and providing the Superintendent with their findings. Cadets conduct nearly all of the process with officers providing only legal review and necessary assistance.
a. Company Inquiry. The initial stage of the official investigation into an alleged violation of the Cadet Honor Code is the Company Inquiry. The purpose of the initial inquiry is to determine whether or not the allegation(s) should be further investigated.
When a Company Honor Representative (CHR) receives a report of an alleged honor violation, (s)he will take the following steps:
(1) If the cadet suspected of an honor violation is in their company, one of the Company Honor Representatives will immediately notify the Regimental Honor Representative (RHR) that an honor investigation is pending and provide all known details of the suspected violation. This is a critical step for record keeping and chain of command information purposes.
(2) If the suspected cadet is in another company, the CHR and the observer will consult with the CHR of the suspected cadet and will inform him or her of all details of the alleged violation.
(3) The CHRs from the cadet under investigations (CUI) company, acting together, form the Company Team (CT). The CT will inform the cadet that (s)he is under investigation for allegedly violating the Honor Code. The CT will read the CUI his or her rights and have the cadet sign three copies of the rights warning (See Appendix 2). The date that the CT informs the cadet he or she is under investigation and reads the rights is considered the first day of the investigation.
(4) The CT will discuss the situation with the CUI to determine if credible evidence exists to warrant further investigation by an HIH. The CT serves to lay the groundwork for more detailed investigation by the Investigative Team.
(5) The CT will then submit a written report of facts and recommendations to the RHR within two (2) working days after reading the rights warning to the CUI. The CT should consult with the RHR prior to making the recommendation. Inability to meet the suspense should be reported to the RHR, who may grant additional time.
The Company Team may recommend dropping the case but it cannot drop the case. All investigations must be processed through the VCI.
(6) Should no Company Team be available (summer training companies, for example), the investigation may start with the Investigative Team (IT).
(7) The Special Assistant for Honor will inform the Staff Judge Advocate and a suspected cadet's Tactical Officer chain of command whenever an alleged honor violation may also constitute a violation of USCC SOP or the UCMJ. If a cadet violates a regulation (e.g., drinks alcohol in the barracks) and violates the Honor Code (e.g., subsequently lies about consuming alcohol in the barracks), (s)he may be ordered to appear before an Honor Investigative Hearing and other disciplinary proceedings for actions related to the same incident.
b. Regimental Honor Representative. In honor investigations, the RHR is responsible for:
(1) Receiving and evaluating the results of the Company Team inquiry.
(2) Appointing an Investigative Team if necessary.
(3) Supervising the investigation and ensuring it is complete, professional, and follows the established procedures outlined in this pamphlet.
(4) Returning the investigative folder to the CT or IT if the investigation is incomplete or requires more evidence.
(5) Conducting his or her own investigation when necessary.
(6) Independently evaluating the evidence in the investigative folder and making a written recommendation to either forward or drop the case.
(7) Forwarding the investigation to the VCI for action.
The RHR may recommend dropping the case but cannot drop the case. All allegations must be processed through the VCI.
c. Investigative Team. The RHR appoints the Investigative Team (IT), normally from the regiment of the cadet under investigation but not the same battalion. The IT is composed of one First Class honor representative and one Second Class honor representative, usually from the same company. The purpose of the IT is to perform a thorough and complete investigation of the case to enable the VCI and, when necessary, the Commandant to make a proper referral decision. The IT must remain impartial and will make a recommendation solely on the merits of the case.
(1) The IT normally has five working days, from the time the RHR gives it the investigation folder, to complete the investigation. Like the CT, the IT must ensure that the CUI signs three copies of the rights warning to guarantee proper administration of paperwork. (See Appendix 2)
(2) The CUI has the right to remain silent. If the CUI agrees to an interview, the IT should record a summary of that interview, sign and date that record, and ask the CUI to sign that record. Any written statements submitted by the CUI should be signed and dated.
d. Executive Staff Review. The VCI will review the case folder (all evidence, statements and recommendations) and, after consulting with the Special Assistant for Honor and a designated representative from the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate (SJA), determine the case's disposition.
(1) If the VCI agrees with the like recommendations from the RHR and the IT, the VCI will forward the case to the Commandant (for referral) or drop it.
(2) If the VCI disagrees with the recommendation of either the RHR or the IT, the VCI will refer the case to the Chairperson who will direct the VCI to either forward or drop the case.
(3) If the VCI is unable to make a recommendation, the chairperson may direct another member of the executive staff to write the recommendation. The normal line of authority for writing recommendations is the chairperson, executive officer, VCE, VCL, VCSP, and the secretary. If the Chairperson deems appropriate, he or she may designate any member to make a recommendation.
(4) If the decision is to forward the investigation to an HIH, then the VCI will draft the allegations and forward the investigation (complete with a summary of the case, justification of evidence, and recommended witnesses) to the SAH. The SAH reviews the packet to ensure the investigation was thoroughly and professionally conducted. The SAH will forward the packet to the Staff Judge Advocate for legal review unless further investigation by the Committee is required. Following the SJA review, which is advisory only, the investigation will be returned to the SAH, who will forward the case to the Commandant.
(5) If the investigation is dropped, then the VCI is responsible for preparing a memorandum for record explaining the rationale for the drop and for informing the CUI.
(6) The Chairperson is not bound by any recommendation contained in the investigation folder.
e. Referral To Honor Investigative Hearing (HIH). If the VCI or Chairperson decides to forward the investigation to an HIH, they will submit a memorandum, with all of the evidence used in the review, to the Commandant, the convening authority, recommending that an HIH be convened. The Commandant may direct further investigation, drop the case, or refer the case to an HIH. If the Commandant refers the case, he or she will endorse the allegations and the recommended witness list. Only the Commandant may dismiss an allegation in its entirety. The Commandant delegates authority to the SAH to approve alterations to the allegation(s) and to approve alterations to the witness list referred by the Commandant. The Secretary of the Honor Committee will serve notification to the CUI of the Commandants decision to refer the investigation (see Appendix 3). The SJA, in coordination with the SAH, will schedule the preliminary hearing(s) and HIH.
f. Rights Of The Cadet Under Investigation. Cadets under investigation have full Article 31 rights. At the initial stage of any investigation, the investigator will read the cadet these rights. Failure to read a cadet their rights is not, in and of itself, automatic grounds to overturn an investigation or a Honor Investigative Hearing.
g. Disposition of Disciplinary Cases with Honor Implications.
(1) The chain of command may concurrently process disciplinary matters relating to violations of the USCC SOP, despite potential honor implications and an ongoing honor investigation.
(2) In the event a cadet has potentially committed a violation of USCC SOP or the UCMJ and, in so doing, may have also violated the Cadet Honor Code, the chain of command will determine the most appropriate course of action.
(3) USCC SOP establishes the disciplinary system for the Corps of Cadets and is intended to provide a fair and non-judicial method of addressing the act of violating a regulation or otherwise failing to meet the standards expected of members of the Corps. If the violation has possible honor implications, the Honor Investigative Hearing is responsible to determine the INTENT of the cadet when the act was committed. Regardless of the Cadet's intent, the act should be appropriately addressed by the chain of command through the disciplinary system.
h. Investigation Process Visual Aid.
304. HONOR INVESTIGATIVE HEARING. The Honor Investigative Hearing is an administrative proceeding, convened by the Commandant, which hears all evidence concerning the alleged violation. The purpose of an HIH is twofold: (1) to determine whether or not the Honor Code has been violated; and (2) to provide input to the Superintendent for disposition of the case. An Honor Investigative Hearing Board consists of nine cadet voting members. Of these nine voting members, four are members of the Honor Committee and five are members of the Corps-at-large.
a. Preliminary Hearing Between Hearing Officer (HO) And Respondent. The HO will conduct a preliminary hearing with the respondent. (See paragraph 304e. for details concerning the HO's duties and qualifications.) The purpose of the preliminary hearing is to give the respondent a chance to prepare his or her response for the Honor Investigative Hearing and address any questions to the HO. The respondent may consult with counsel prior to the preliminary hearing. Present at the preliminary hearing will be the HO, the respondent and a reporter. Members of the Honor Committee with a need-to-know (Secretary or investigative chain of command), counsel of the respondent, and family members of the respondent may attend this hearing at the discretion of the HO.. Others wishing to attend must request permission from the HO to do so. The following actions will occur at the preliminary hearing:
(1) The HO will give respondents the opportunity to admit committing a violation(s) and sign written stipulations of fact. If accepted, the stipulation becomes an exhibit and part of the record.
(2) The respondent must raise the following issues (or they may be waived). The HO will normally not consider these issues subsequent to this preliminary hearing. However, the respondent may raise issues at a later time if he or she could not reasonably have identified them before the preliminary hearing.
(a) Any challenge to the HO (only grounds for challenge of hearing officer are lack of impartiality or lack of qualification as HO).
(b) Any objections concerning investigative procedures.
(c) Any requests for delay, attendance of witnesses or production of evidence. The HO may grant the respondents request to delay the HIH for up to seven days. Requests for delays longer than seven days must be submitted for approval to the Commandant, through the Chief, Special Actions, 4th floor, Building 606, and the Special Assistant to the Commandant for Honor Matters, 4th Floor, Building 747.
(d) Any objections to documents contained in the investigative folder
(3) The HO and the respondent will review a copy of the Investigative Review Statement which will be read at the beginning of the HIH.
(4) The HO may, at his or her discretion, report any matter arising at this preliminary hearing to the Commandant through the SAH. The SAH will also inform the Chairperson of the Honor Committee of these matters. If, at the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, the HO has suppressed evidence against the respondent which precludes the finding of a violation, the HO may recommend, through the SAH to the Commandant, that (s)he dismiss the allegation(s) against the cadet. The HO does not have the authority to dismiss any alleged honor violation on the part of the respondent.
(5) The HO will attempt to schedule any subsequent sessions of the preliminary hearing without delaying the date set for the HIH.
(6) The reporter will prepare a summarized record of the proceeding. This record will become part of the summarized record of the HIH.
b. Respondent. The respondent has the following rights at a Honor Investigative Hearing:
(1) The right to remain silent-- that is not to make a statement and/or not to testify. No adverse conclusion can or will be drawn from the respondents decision to remain silent.
(2) The right to consult with legal assistance prior to both the preliminary hearing and the Honor Investigative Hearing. Cadets may retain a civilian attorney at their own expense and/or consult with the West Point Legal Assistance Office, Staff Judge Advocate. Civilian or Military counsel may not represent a cadet at any Honor Investigative Hearing. However, the respondent may consult with legal assistance during breaks and recesses.
(3) The right to call witnesses and present evidence in their behalf.
(4) The right to appear personally and to be present during open sessions.
(5) The right to question all witnesses at the HIH.
(6) The right to challenge any member of the HIH "for cause," where the respondent believes that the admittance of this member to the HIH will result in a bias against the respondent.
(7) The right to obtain copies of all investigative reports, recommendations, statements, hearing member worksheets and all other official documents relating to the investigation, hearing and subsequent review process.
(8) The right to have a cadet advisor present.
The respondent may elect to waive the right to be present at an open session of the hearing. The hearing officer must ensure the respondent fully understands his or her rights. The absence of the respondent does not relieve the HIH of the duty to make a thorough, complete, and impartial inquiry of the matter referred for investigation. If absent, the respondent may not be able to question witnesses and object to the introduction of evidence.
c. HIH Board Members. Board Members will hear all facts of the case. They will ask questions of the witnesses to clarify and understand the circumstances surrounding the alleged violation. After hearing all the evidence, board members will deliberate and vote on whether or not a violation of the Honor Code has occurred. A found vote by at least six of the nine members is required to find that the respondent has violated the Honor Code. REMEMBER: Board members are only voting about a violation of the Code; they are not voting about the final disposition of the respondent. Board members will provide input to the Superintendent for disposition of the case. (Refer to Hearing Member Worksheet, Appendix 4)
(1) Composition of a Honor Investigative Hearing Board:
First Class Respondent Second Class Respondent
2 1o Honor Representatives 2 1o Honor Representatives
2 2o Honor Representatives 2 2o Honor Representatives
3 1o Cadets at large 2 1o Cadets at large
2 2o Cadets at large 3 2o Cadets at large
Third Class Respondent Fourth Class Respondent
2 1o Honor Representatives 2 1o Honor Representatives
2 2o Honor Representatives 2 2o Honor Representatives
2 1o Cadets at large 1 1o Cadet at large
1 2o Cadet at large 1 2o Cadet at large
2 3o Cadets at large 1 3o Cadet at large
2 4o Cadets at large
(2) Normal composition of a HIH Board from 1 May until graduation:
First Class Respondent Second Class Respondent
2 1o Honor Representatives 2 2o Honor Representatives
2 2o Honor Representatives 2 3o Honor Representatives
3 1o Cadets at large 3 2o Cadets at large
2 2o Cadets at large 2 3o Cadets at large
Third Class Respondent Fourth Class Respondent
2 2o Honor Representatives 2 2o Honor Representatives
2 3o Honor Representatives 2 3o Honor Representatives
2 2o Cadets at large 2 2o Cadets at large
3 3o Cadets at large 1 3o Cadet at large
2 4o Cadets at large
(3) Board Member Selection Criteria:
(a) No member of an HIH will be from the company of the respondent. Normally, no more than two members of an HIH will be from the same academic year company.
(b) The Chairperson, Secretary, or HO may recommend an alternate composition to the SAH when the normal composition provided in this paragraph would be impractical. The Commandant delegates decision authority for altering hearing composition to the SAH.
(c) The Secretary of the Honor Committee will select all hearing members-at-large randomly. The Secretary will also appoint Honor Representatives serving as hearing members. Alternate and reserve members will be appointed as needed.
(d) The Secretary prepares orders appointing the hearing officer, cadet president, primary members, and alternate and reserve members as needed. The Commandant approves these orders. The Chairperson or the Secretary may excuse members before the hearing for good cause; they will inform the SAH of all excusals.
(e) A member must attend all sessions of a hearing unless excused in advance. At the discretion of the HO, the hearing may proceed into session even though a member is absent for unknown reasons, provided there are sufficient members to properly constitute a hearing.
(f) During the voir dire process the HO will replace excused members with the first appropriate alternate for their position and class. After the voir dire process is completed, one alternate, a First Class Honor Representative, will remain as a nonvoting member of the hearing. This member will replace any voting member who is excused during the course of the hearing by the hearing officer. During the hearing, only the hearing officer may excuse a member, and then only for good cause. The reporter will annotate all changes in the composition of the hearing in the record of the proceedings.
(g) If the respondent is a member of a minority group, the Honor Committee will, upon the written request of the respondent, include at least one member who is from the same minority group, if reasonably available. Non-availability of members of the same minority group will not prevent convening the hearing. In the event of non-availability, the Honor Committee will state the reason to the HO in the record of proceedings.
d. Cadet President (CP). The CP of the HIH is normally a First Class Honor Representative. He or she is expected to provide leadership to the members of the hearing. At the HIH, the Cadet President:
(1) Receives the investigation folder from the hearing officer simultaneously with the other voting members. The folder contains the allegation(s), names of all witnesses (including those requested by the respondent), and all pertinent documents and other evidence.
(2) Directs the appearance of witnesses scheduled to testify at the HIH and calls them into the hearing room.
(3) Has witnesses report and administers the oath to them.
(4) Calls all witnesses in the order determined by the hearing officer.
(5) Begins the questioning of hearing witnesses.
(6) Presides over all closed deliberation sessions of the HIH, announces all findings of fact and recommendations, and speaks for the members of the HIH on all matters relating to their deliberations.
(7) Is responsible for the conduct of hearing members during open session.
(8) Censures or directs members questions as he or she sees appropriate, with the concurrence of the Hearing Officer.
e. Hearing Officer (HO). The HO is a Judge Advocate and a nonvoting member of the HIH. The HO presides over all non-deliberation sessions and ensures that the hearing is conducted in a fair and orderly manner and in accordance with this regulation. At the preliminary hearing, the HO reviews all board and respondent exhibits to ensure that they are admissible, sets a date for the HIH, and rules on any requests for delay (subject to the limitations of paragraph 304i. of this regulation) and the evidentiary issues raised by the respondent. At the HIH, the HO:
(1) Reviews the investigation packet prior to dissemination to the cadet members to ensure that it contains only admissible information.
(2) Questions the members (voir dire process) to ensure that they are qualified to sit.
(3) Ensures the board is properly constituted.
(4) Rules on all challenges of the members raised by the respondent.
(5) Rules on challenges, procedural, and evidentiary matters. The HO may recommend dismissing allegations against the respondent which are not legally supported by evidence. In doing so, the HO must make his or her recommendation for dismissal through the SAH to the Commandant. In light of a recommendation to dismiss by the HO, the Commandant decides the final disposition on the status of the case.
(6) Directs, along with the cadet president, the order in which all witnesses are questioned.
(7) Questions witnesses to clarify confusing points and to ensure relevant evidence is elicited from witnesses. The HO should remain impartial when questioning the witnesses and like board members, should not become an advocate either for or against the respondent.
(8) Instructs board members on applicable law and provides procedural voting instructions prior to closing for deliberations.
(9) Supervises the preparation of a summarized record of the proceedings and authenticates that record, including certification of findings and recommendations. The reporter or a cadet member of the HIH may also do this if the HO is not reasonably available.
g. Cadet Advisor. The respondent may elect to bring any one member of the Corps of Cadets with him or her to the HIH to act as an advisor and to provide moral support. The cadet advisor may not address the hearing before the announcement of findings except as a witness. Communication between the cadet advisor and the respondent is not privileged, as in an attorney-client relationship. Moreover, a cadet advisor is not exempt from abiding by the Cadet Honor Code, to include the toleration clause, and must report any suspected violation by the respondent
h. Investigative Representative (IR). Any member of the Executive Staff, as determined by the VCI or the Chairperson of the Honor Committee, may act as IR. The IR presents a statement summarizing the results of the pre-hearing investigation. This summary is not evidence, and will be considered as argument. The purpose of the summary is to provide the HIH with an overview of the known evidence, and to clarify and bring the issues into focus. The IR will also discuss whether the investigation is contested or if the respondent has admitted to the violation. Facts surrounding admissions and the manner in which the violation was reported will also be discussed. Ordinarily, the IR will take no further part in the proceedings following the presentation of the opening statement but may answer questions and may be recalled if necessary. The HO, SAH, and the respondent will review the IR's statement before it is read to the board members.
i. Rules For Conduct Of Proceedings (AR 15-6 does not apply to these proceedings).
(1) Challenge. The HO will question all members of the HIH as to their ability to serve before they consider any evidence. The respondent will have the opportunity to question the members regarding possible bases for challenges. The respondent may challenge voting members of the HIH for cause. Peremptory challenges are not permitted. The HO will ask all the members of the HIH, questions regarding the members ability to serve. After recording the individuals answers to these questions, the HO will conduct an individual voir dire with every cadet as the HO deems necessary. The HO will ask questions designed to inform potential members on the standard of proof, ensure they understand their responsibilities as members of the Corps of Cadets, and ensure they will do their duty to be fair to the respondent and the requirements of the Cadet Honor Code. The HO and respondent may both ask any questions that the HO rules relevant. The HO may attempt to individually rehabilitate any potential hearing member during the voir dire process.
(2) Oaths. The HO will administer the oath to the CP. The CP will administer the oath to the members. The HO will not be sworn. The CP will swear all witnesses testifying at the HIH. The CP administers oaths in the performance of his or her duties. The HO will administer the oath to the hearing reporter at the first preliminary session or indicate that the reporter has already been sworn.
(3) Proof Of Facts.
(a) General. The most often used methods of proving or disproving (either directly or through inferences) facts and circumstances relevant to the matter under investigation are through: real (tangible) evidence; documentary evidence; testimony or statements of witnesses; and matters of which official notice may be taken without proof.
(b) Real evidence. A tangible object (e.g. term paper, drill rolls, departure book) which is material and relevant to the subject of the inquiry is real evidence. Whenever an item of real evidence would aid in establishing the existence or nonexistence of a fact, that item, or a photograph, description, or other suitable reproduction of it, should be included in the report of proceedings, together with any statements of witnesses necessary to identify the item and verify the accuracy of the reproduction. If the physical layout of a building, room, or other place is relevant, the members, together with the hearing officer and the respondent, may visit the scene, if practicable; in any event, a diagram should be included in the report.
(c) Documentary evidence. Documentary evidence consists of records, reports, letters, and other written, printed, or graphic materials that indicate the existence or nonexistence of a fact.
(d) Testimony or statements of witnesses. Oral or written accounts of matters within the personal knowledge of individuals usually constitute an indispensable part of the evidence considered in an investigation. Individuals qualified to do so based on their own skills or personal observation (lay or expert witness) may provide opinion evidence, but opinion evidence on the ultimate issue of found or not found is not admissible.
(e) Official notice. Some facts are of such common knowledge that there is no need to obtain specific evidence to prove them (e.g., general facts and laws of nature; general facts of history; location of major elements of the Army; organization of the Department of Defense and its components). This includes, but is not limited to, those matters of which judicial notice may be taken (Rule 201 of the Military Rules of Evidence). The HO will determine whether official notice of specific facts may be taken.
(a) General. The Cadet Honor Committee does not have the authority to subpoena witnesses to appear and testify at an HIH. However, an appropriate Commander or supervisor may order military personnel and federal civilian employees to do so. Other civilians who agree to appear may be issued invitational travel orders in certain cases (see par. C6000.11, JTR). An investigator should normally inform a witness of the nature of the investigation before taking a statement or testimony. The hearing officer should protect every witness from improper questions, harsh or insulting treatment, and unnecessary inquiry into his or her private affairs.
(b) Attendance as spectators. Merit witnesses normally will not be present at the investigative proceedings except when they are testifying. At the discretion of the HO, character witnesses may attend the proceedings even when they are not testifying.
(c) Taking testimony or statements. The HIH board normally elicits witness testimony through questions and answers. However, to conserve time and resources, the CP may ask a witness to confirm a prior written statement (which will first be made an exhibit). The witness is still subject to questioning (by members, the respondent, and HO) on the substance of such statement. Subject to availability and evidentiary ruling of the HO, the CP recalls witnesses and calls for additional documents collectively desired by a majority (five out of nine) of the primary members. The Cadet Honor Committee may solicit specific character statements from a respondents chain-of-command and Company Tactical Officer if statements have been submitted on behalf of the respondent. These statements and those solicited by the respondent may be relevant as evidence prior to deliberation. The hearing officer will rule on all character evidence.
(d) Discussion of evidence given. The HO will direct military and civilian witnesses not to discuss their statements or testimonies with other witnesses, or with persons who have no official interest in the proceedings, until the investigation is completed. Witnesses may discuss any relevant matters with the hearing officer, the respondent, or the respondents advisor or counsel.
(5) Observers. Hearings will be closed to the public at large. Attendance of non-witness observers is limited to Department of Defense personnel with official interest in the proceeding, cadets, and members of the respondent cadets family. The Commandant may admit other persons to observe a proceeding if their attendance would not have an adverse effect on the fairness and dignity of the proceeding or the respondent cadets right of privacy. Persons wanting to observe the HIH should make a request to the SAH. Respondents should notify the SAH in advance if their parents plan on attending.
(6) Rules Of Evidence.
(a) General. These proceedings are administrative and not judicial in nature. Therefore, the rules of evidence prescribed for trials by courts-martial, or for court proceedings do not generally apply. Accordingly, subject only to the limitations set forth below, the HIH may accept anything which, in the mind of a reasonable person, is relevant and material to whether the respondent committed or attempted to commit the alleged act or acts as charged and the respondents intent at the time the alleged act or acts took place.
(b) Best evidence. An investigator may consider lesser evidence even when there may be better evidence available to prove the same fact. Generally, however, an effort should be made to obtain the best evidence reasonably available. The investigator will consider factors such as time, importance, and expense as well as the availability and reliability of secondary (substitute) evidence. Although hearsay evidence is acceptable, the personal statement or testimony of a witness is usually better evidence than an earlier written statement by that witness or having someone else state what the witness said. Therefore, a witness should appear before the investigative hearing unless the witness is not reasonably available (e.g., cannot be located; cannot be ordered to appear and refuses to do so; the importance of such testimony or personal appearance is disproportionate to the delay, expense or difficulty in obtaining it). Similarly, the original or duplicate original of a document or writing is better evidence than a copy. However, a copy is acceptable if the original is not readily obtainable.
(c) Limitations. The Honor Investigative Hearing is not subject to exclusionary rules precluding the use of relevant evidence. However, the following limitations do apply with regard to evidence that may be accepted and considered at the hearing:
- Privileged Communications. The HIH board will recognize only those forms of privileged communication as stated in MREs 502 and 503 concerning the attorney client and penitent clergyman privileges.
- Polygraph tests. The HIH board will not receive or consider any evidence of the results, taking, or refusal of a polygraph (lie detector) test.
- Self-incrimination. The HIH board will not compel any witness or respondent to incriminate him or herself or to answer any question the answer to which might be incriminating. Also, the board will not require a witness to make a statement or produce evidence if the statement or evidence is not material to the issue and might tend to degrade him or her (see Article 31, UCMJ). The board will not require a witness not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice to make a statement or produce evidence that would deprive him or her of his or her rights under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, the witness must state specifically that his or her refusal to answer a question is based on the protection afforded by Article 31 or the Fifth Amendment. Whenever it appears appropriate and advisable to do so, the HO will explain the rights of a witness or respondent using the procedure found on DA Form 3881.
- Immunity. In rare cases, the appropriate authority may grant a witness or respondent testimonial immunity and require him or her to testify notwithstanding Article 31 or the Fifth Amendment. The USMA Staff Judge Advocate office will provide additional guidance on this subject.
- Involuntary admissions. The HIH board will not accept a respondent's confession or admission obtained by unlawful coercion or inducement likely to affect its truthfulness. However, the fact that a respondent was not advised of his or her rights granted under these procedures or the right to a lawyer before a confession or admission was made, does not, of itself, prevent acceptance of the confession or its admission as evidence.
- Bad faith unlawful searches. Unless the HO determines that the evidence would inevitably have been discovered, the HIH board will not consider evidence obtained from an unlawful search conducted or directed by a member of the Armed Forces, acting in an official capacity . The HIH board will not accept or consider any evidence against a respondent whose rights were violated from a search. Otherwise, the board may accept any other evidence obtained as a result of a search or inspection.
(7) Ruling On Procedural Matters. The Hearing Officer will make all rulings on procedural matters (challenges, motions, introduction of evidence, and delays). The HO will make the ruling on delay requests subject to the limitations of Paragraph 304 a (2) (c). The procedures contained in this pamphlet are only a guide. Procedural errors or irregularities in an investigation will not invalidate the proceeding or any action based on it, unless the respondent raises the alleged error and he or she demonstrates that the error has had a material, adverse effect on his or her substantial rights during the HIH.
(8) Evidence Of Other Honor Violations. If it appears that the respondent or witness may have committed another violation of the Honor Code, the hearing member who suspects another cadet should report such matters to the appropriate company honor representative. As a courtesy, the hearing member should also inform either the Secretary or the Chairperson of the Honor Committee that a new allegation arose during the course of an HIH.
(9) Testimony Conclusion. At the conclusion of the testimony, the HO will issue appropriate instructions and guidance to the board members. The voting members will thereafter enter closed deliberations. After the hearing has been closed for deliberations, the board will receive no further evidence but the HO may provide further instructions to the members.
(10) Deliberation and Findings.
(a) After receiving all evidence and testimony, the HIH must determine whether sufficient evidence exists to support a finding that the respondent violated the Honor Code. The respondent must have: committed the alleged act - having the required specific intent at the time the alleged act was committed or forming that intent during the existence of a continuing act; or tolerated a violation or attempted violation of the Honor Code by another cadet. A finding that the respondent violated the Honor Code must be supported by such evidence that a reasonable person, considering the evidence as a whole, can accept as sufficient to support a conclusion that the allegation of a violation of the Honor Code is more likely to be true than not true.
(b) The members vote by secret written ballot on each allegation, after adequate opportunity for full discussion. The finding of a violation of the Honor Code requires an affirmative vote from 6 of the 9 members. Only one vote may be taken per allegation.
(c) The board members will enter findings supported by the evidence and any advisory recommendations deemed appropriate.
(d) The board members secretly mark the ballots. The Cadet President will then count the ballots in the presence of the other board members. The CP will destroy the ballots after each member verifies the accuracy of the count and signs the allegation sheet. In the case of a mistaken vote or other compelling circumstances, the HO may direct a re-ballot.
(e) Cadets should report any attempt to discover the vote of an individual HIH member to the HO, the Chairperson of the Honor Committee, the SAH, the Commandant, or the Superintendent, as appropriate.
(f) The CP may request that the HO assist in arranging the findings in proper form prior to announcement to the respondent.
(g) The CP will announce the findings to the respondent when the proceeding is reconvened.
(11) Recommendations. If the respondent is found to have violated the Honor Code, (s)he may present matters to the board pertaining to his or her retention as a cadet.
(a) After the announcement of findings, either the respondent or the cadet advisor may address the hearing. The respondent may submit written character statements to the board as additional exhibits. This address not only gives the respondent the opportunity to express him or herself to the hearing members after the finding, but also facilitates the hearing members' abilities to accurately assess the respondent's resolve to live honorably and complete the hearing member worksheet.
(b) In addition, the Cadet Honor Committee may solicit general character statements from the cadet's Tactical Officer and cadets in the chain of command having supervisory responsibility for the respondent. Failure to obtain some or all of these evaluations prior to the hearing, or at all, does not affect the validity of the proceedings, and is not grounds for objection. The Cadet Honor Committee should provide copies of statements to the respondent as soon as possible after receiving them.
(c) Hearing Member Worksheets. The hearing member worksheet provides the Superintendent with hearing member input toward disposition of a cadet who has been found to have violated the Honor Code. The Cadet President will brief the hearing members on the purpose and importance of the worksheet. The hearing members, after receiving an explanation of the form, will review the evidence presented at the hearing with respect to the specific questions contained in the worksheet. The members will then anonymously fill out the worksheets. The Superintendent will consider the worksheets during his review of the matter prior to his determination of sanction. An example Hearing Member Worksheet may be found in Appendix 4.
305. POST HEARING PROCEDURES.
a. Procedures Immediately Following a HIH.
(1) SAH Actions. Following the HIH, the cadet found in violation of the Cadet Honor Code reports to the Special Assistant to the Commandant for Honor Matters. The SAH will evaluate the cadets emotional state and contact the tactical officer as the situation warrants. The SAH will then outline the steps of the review process, explain the regulatory limitations placed on cadets who are found in violation of the Honor Code, explain the possible sanctions, and discuss the Privacy Act. The SAH will offer the cadet the opportunity to call his or her parents (or another important family member or friend). The cadet may choose the time for calling and may speak to his or her parents privately. If the cadet does not appear to pose a risk to him or herself, or to anyone else, the SAH will release the cadet to return to the company area.
(2) Reassignment. The Brigade Tactical Department (BTD) will decide whether or not to reassign a cadet found to have violated the Honor Code. The BTD may not reassign the cadet to any company in the same battalion or any company with a member who served on the Honor Investigative Hearing Board.
(3) Resignation Option. If the cadet elects to resign, the BTD will process the resignation through the USCC S1. In accordance with the USCC SOP, this resignation must be "in lieu of final disposition of my case resulting from my appearance before an Honor Investigative Hearing."
(4) Documents. The Honor Committee Secretary will keep one copy of the board exhibits, the signed hearing findings, and the HIH member worksheets for inclusion in the SAH duplicate files. The court reporter will include the original documents in the actual case file.
b. Review of Findings. In cases where the Honor Investigative Hearing makes a finding that the cadet violated the Honor Code, the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate will review the record of proceedings to verify that the hearing was conducted in accordance with applicable law and regulations. The Staff Judge Advocate will forward the record of proceedings with the legal review through the SAH and the Commandant, to the Superintendent for final action.
c. Advisement of Persons Involved. The Vice Chairperson for Investigations will ensure that all persons involved in the investigation receive notice of the results of the Honor Investigative Hearing. In academic investigations, the Honor Committee Liaison Representatives will visit the academic department involved and advise the department and others concerned of the results of the investigation. The SAH will inform the Commandant, BTD, USCC S1, LDB, R&D, Registrar, and the applicable academic departments.
d. Status During the Review Process. Cadets found to have violated the Honor Code will not participate on Corps Squad and Club Squad teams, participate in public relations activities, perform guard duties, or otherwise represent USMA until the honor investigation review is resolved in their favor. The found cadet has reduced rank and privileges, IAW the USCC SOP during the period of the USMA review process.
e. The Review Process. The USMA review process begins with a found decision by a HIH and ends with a decision from the Superintendent - verbal or written, whichever occurs first.
(1) Record Of Proceedings. In any investigation resulting in a finding of one or more violations of the Honor Code, the SJA is responsible for preparing a summarized transcript of the proceedings.
(2) Certification and Authentication. The HO, or in his or her absence the court reporter or Secretary, Cadet Honor Committee, will authenticate the accuracy of the summarized transcript and certify the findings and recommendations.
(3) Disposition of Transcripts. The SJA will prepare an original and three copies of the record of the proceedings. After authentication and certification by the HO, the HO will furnish one copy to the respondent who will sign and date a written acknowledgment of receipt. The HO will include the original of this receipt with the original record of the proceedings and will include a copy with the other copies of the proceedings. The HO will then forward the original and one copy of the record of the proceedings to the SJA.
(4) Legal Review. The SJA will review the summarized record to determine: if legal requirements have been complied with; the effect of any error (including whether any error had a material adverse effect on any individual's substantial rights); and whether the findings of the investigation are supported by sufficient evidence and by a greater weight of evidence than supports a contrary conclusion. The SJA may, as part of his or her legal review, make recommendations regarding appropriate disposition of the matter. The SJA will forward a copy of the entire case file, to include the summarized record, the SJAs review, the board exhibits, the appellate exhibits, the respondents exhibits, and the hearing member worksheets, through the SAH, to the Commandant.
(5) SAH Review. The SAH will review the record and make a written recommendation to the Commandant. The SAH will make a recommendation on whether or not the Superintendent should uphold the findings of the HIH and a recommendation on the final disposition of the found cadet. The SAH will prepare a draft recommendation from the Commandant to the Superintendent. The SAH will place any recommendations from the academic department into the packet. The SAH will then give the case file to the BTD Executive Officer within 24 hours from receipt of the case file.
(6) Chain of Command Review. The BTD XO, upon receipt of the case file, will immediately give it to the found cadets tactical officer with instructions to have the cadet report to the Commandant NLT 5 working days from tactical officers receipt of the file (the Commandant may elect to not meet with the cadet). The tactical officer will prepare the chain of command recommendation worksheet, include it in the case file, and return it to the BTD XO NLT 24 hours prior to the appointment with the Commandant. The found cadet will normally meet with the Commandant. A member of the cadet chain of command and the Honor Committee will usually also attend the appointment. The Commandant will make a written recommendation to the Superintendent for disposition of the case. The Commandant may "set aside" such findings that are not supported by sufficient evidence. If the Commandant "sets aside" the findings, (s)he may then close the case or direct further investigation.
(7) Rebuttal. The SJA will provide all recommendations and the Staff Judge Advocates review to the respondent for consideration, and opportunity for rebuttal. The respondent will sign a written acknowledgment of receipt and will have three calendar days to submit his or her rebuttal. Upon request of the respondents rebuttal, the SJA will address any allegations raised by the respondent or his or her counsel. The SJA then prepares the record for action by the Superintendent and makes an appointment for the cadet and his or her tactical officer to meet with the Superintendent if the Superintendent desires to do so. Normally, a member of the cadet chain of command and a member of the Honor Committee will also meet with the Superintendent.
f. Actions by the Superintendent. The Superintendent carefully considers a found decision by an HIH. The Superintendent will review the entire record, including the Staff Judge Advocates review and any matters offered by the Commandant and the respondent, come to his own conclusions, and then proceed to take action on the matter.
(1) Not Found. The Superintendent is bound by a finding of "no violation" by the HIH.
(2) Found. The Superintendent is not bound by a finding of a violation by the HIH or by the HIH's recommendations. In order to find that the cadet violated the Honor Code, a greater weight of evidence must exist than supports a contrary conclusion. The Superintendent may approve only such findings that are supported by sufficient evidence. If not supported, the Superintendent will "set aside" the findings. He may then close the case or direct further investigation. Procedural errors or irregularities during or prior to the HIH normally do not invalidate the proceeding or any action of the Superintendent based on it.
(3) Harmless Errors. If the Superintendent notes a harmless defect in the proceeding, he or she may take action notwithstanding the defect.
(4) Minor Errors Requiring Correction. The Superintendent or Commandant may return the case to the same HIH for corrective action if there has been a minor procedural error or omission that may be corrected without prejudice to the respondent.
(5) Substantial Errors. In case of a jurisdictional error (e.g., failure to meet essential requirements with regard to appointment or composition) or of an error which has a material adverse effect on an individuals substantial rights, the Superintendent may not use the affected part of that investigation as the basis for adverse action against the person whose substantial rights were prejudiced. If the error can be corrected without prejudice to the respondent, the Superintendent may do so, if necessary, by returning the matter to the same investigative body for corrective action. In case of an error that cannot be corrected otherwise, the Superintendent may set aside the findings and recommendations and instruct the Commandant to convene a new HIH composed entirely of new voting members. The new HIH receives any evidence properly considered at the previous hearing. The new HIH may also consider additional evidence.
(6) New Evidence. Following an HIH that resulted in a finding of a violation, the Commandant may convene a new HIH when presented with new evidence of an exculpatory nature. The new evidence must be likely to produce a result more favorable to the found cadet and have been discovered after the original hearing but before the sanction has been fully executed. If the Department of the Army has already separated the cadet, the Chairperson of the Cadet Honor Committee will present the facts and appropriate recommendations to the Commandant. In investigations resulting in a finding that does not sustain the allegation, the Honor Committee may not initiate new honor proceedings with respect to the same alleged violation of the Honor Code.
(7) Disposition. If the Superintendent approves the HIH findings, he has two basic options for the ultimate disposition of the cadet. He may recommend separation to the Secretary of the Army or exercise discretion. The Superintendent will sign an action document detailing his decision and will normally notify the cadet in writing about his decision. The Superintendent may also inform the Chairperson of the rationale for the decision.
(a) Factors Considered When Determining Disposition. Normally, the Superintendent will consider the following factors when making a decision on the disposition of a cadet found in violation of the Honor Code: duress at the time of the violation; severity of the violation; time under the Honor Code; resolve to live honorably in the future; the manner in which the case was reported; and the overall performance and conduct history of the cadet. These factors will aid the Superintendent in assessing the cadets potential as a commissioned officer and as a leader of character.
(b) Sources of Information for Determining Disposition. The Superintendent may use a variety of sources of information in making this assessment. Sources may include, but are not limited to, statements made by the cadet, character witnesses, cadet and tactical officer chains of command, members of the Honor Committee, members of the HIH, and the SAH.
(c) Separation. The Superintendent may recommend separation with or without a formal invitation to reapply to West Point at some point in the future. In cases where the Superintendent deems appropriate, he or she may elect to invite the cadet to reapply pending a successful period of enlistment and successful completion of an Honor Mentorship Program in the US Army. If he determines that the cadet should be separated, he will forward his recommendation to the Secretary of the Army for final action. Only the Secretary of the Army can separate a cadet from the Military Academy.
(d) Discretion. If the Superintendent does not recommend separation to the Secretary of the Army, the Superintendent may exercise discretion by retaining the cadet in the Corps. Discretion entails any developmental alternative to separating the cadet. The Superintendent may direct such sanctions or developmental alternatives, as (s)he deems appropriate. Normally, when the Superintendent exercises discretion (s)he directs that the cadet enroll in an Honor Mentorship Program at West Point and places the cadet in a suspended separation status for whatever time period (s)he deems appropriate. For the purposes of found honor cases, the suspended separation does not entail loss of privileges unless specifically directed by the Superintendent. Vacation of the suspension is not contingent upon demerits or punishment tours arising from future disciplinary actions. The Superintendent will normally vacate the suspension when and if the cadet is found by a second HIH for a second breach of the Honor Code. In addition to enrollment in an Honor Mentorship Program and suspended separation, the Superintendent may choose to "turn back" the cadet to the next graduating class or delay the cadets graduation until December of his or her current graduation year. The Superintendent will normally use these options when the cadet needs more time to develop and mature before commissioning. The developmental methods mentioned above are the most common; however, the Superintendent is not limited to them and may take any action which he has the authority to administer.
g. Processing Guidelines.
(1) The Secretary of the Army recommended to the Superintendent that the United States Military Academy process all cadet honor investigations within 60 working days. These 60 days commence once a CHR has informed the cadet that he or she is under investigation for allegedly violating the Honor Code (presents written notification to include the Rights Warning Statement). The 60 days end (if the cadet is found) once the Superintendent signs the action document for discretion cases or once HQDA receives the case file for separation cases.
(2) During the periods outlined in this paragraph, processing days through the date of the hearing, are defined as follows:
(a) Academic Year Period (The first academic day, 1st semester through the last Term End Examination, 2nd semester). Any day, except Saturdays, on which regular academic classroom periods are scheduled for the Corps of Cadets, and when the cadet under investigation is present for duty at West Point.
(b) Summer Training Period (After last TEE, 2nd semester, until the first academic day, 1st semester). Any day except Saturdays and Sundays, on which the first details of both CBT and CFT are present for duty, and when the cadet under investigation is present for duty at West Point or Camp Buckner. Cases will normally not be processed during the second details of CBT and CFT due to the extremely limited pool of potential Honor Investigative Hearing members.
(c) Given the above definitions, the following days are not considered processing days through the date of the hearing:
- All Saturdays and Sundays
- The following legal holidays: Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Martin Luther Kings Birthday, Presidents Day, and Memorial Day
- Term End Examination Period
- Corps Leave Periods: Christmas Leave, Spring Leave, and Summer Leave
- Reorganization Week
- Any other day when the Corps is not present for duty at West Point, such as the Army-Navy Football Game extended weekend
- The second detail of CBT and CFT
(d) The Cadet Honor Committee will not normally conduct investigations or hold Honor Investigative Hearings during the above outlined times. However, the Honor Committee may investigate or hold outstanding Honor Investigative Hearings during these times if the necessary individuals are available.
(e) Following the hearing, only non-duty days for USMA military and civilian personnel are not counted as processing days unless the cadet is unavailable and his or her presence is required for case processing; e.g., to submit a rebuttal to the Commandants recommendation.
(f) Personnel processing a case will use the investigation control sheet at Appendix 1 to provide a record of the processing.
306. HONOR MENTOR PROGRAM. The purpose of the Honor Mentor Program is to give cadets found to have violated the Cadet Honor Code the opportunity to learn from their mistake and to provide them a mechanism of assistance in their moral-ethical growth and development. Annex F (published separately) details the mechanics of the Honor Mentor Program.
a. USMA Mentor Program. When the Superintendent exercises discretion, he or she will ordinarily assign a member of the staff and faculty to serve as the cadets mentor for approximately six months. Completion of the mentor program is a mandatory step for the lifting of a suspended separation. The SAH will implement and supervise the USMA Mentor Program.
b. ARMY Mentor Program. If the Superintendent separates a cadet for violating the Honor Code, the Superintendent may give the cadet an opportunity to participate in an Army Mentor Program. The SACSP will implement and supervise the Army Mentor Program.