VMI – Honor Should Be the Core Of Who We Are

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(Ken Hirllinger ’85, The Spirit of VMI) “A Cadet does not lie, cheat or steal; nor tolerate those that do.” If the VMI system has stayed the same as when I was a Rats in the 80’s, these words, the Honor Code, are thrust into a Rat’s mind the moment they are given their Rat Bible. I distinctly remember on Matriculation being given mine, and told to open to the Honor System and immediately study the words, know the framework of the Honor Code, and memorize the Honor Court members. As I progressed down the concourse to the barber shop, I was reading those words and the idea of the single sanction honor system, when an upperclassman started grilling me with “what’s 82+3”. When I answered and was told that number did not exist, I was dropped for pushups. Then it was repeated, and having the honor code on my mind, I once again answered and was once again dropped. It took a couple times until I got the acceptable answer.

Later that night our Rat Mass was marched into Jackson Memorial Hall. The impressive silence was…


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