The U.S. Military Academy at West Point has been rocked with its worst cheating scandal since 1976 as 73 cadets are accused of breaking the honor code. 

The cadets were accused of cheating on a calculus exam back in May when the service academy switched to virtual classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the cadets involved, 72 were first-year or “plebe” cadets and one was a sophomore. 

West Point, which is about 60 miles north of New York City along the Hudson River, is the oldest of the country’s five military service academies. Upon graduation, cadets become officers in the Army. They are expected to embrace the values of Duty, Honor, Country, and Professional Excellence.

Evidence of cheating surfaced when it was learned that cadets “shared answers and made the same mistakes,” Lieutenant Colonel Chris Ophardt, a West Point spokesman said to NPR.

Thus far, two of the cases were dropped due to a lack of evidence, four other cadets have resigned from the academy, while 67 other cases are still under investigation. 

“West Point honor code and character development program remains strong despite remote learning and the challenges brought by the pandemic,” LTC Ophardt said to CNN. 

“Cadets are being held accountable for breaking the code,” Ophardt added. “While disappointing, the Honor System is working, and these 67 remaining cases will be held accountable for their actions.”

The West Point Honor code is short but to the point: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”