The outbreak of COVID-19 last spring forced the United States Air Force Academy (AFA) to switch to remote learning. The move, which was geared at keeping cadets safe, caused a second outbreak, this time of cheating.

Things began to go awry when the Academy sent home for remote learning 3,000 cadets from the lower three classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023 during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as the country looked to limit the spread of the virus and keep social distancing. Only the senior class of 2020 was kept on campus.

“Part of the review will focus on the spring semester of 2020, when the Academy made the unprecedented decision in March to send the lower three classes home, approximately 3,000 cadets, in order to best protect their health and safety,” academy officials said in a news release Friday, as reported on

“The decision forced a swift, 8-day transition of the Academy’s academic curriculum to at-home remote classes, a first for the traditionally in-person institution. Unfortunately, amidst these extraordinary circumstances and challenges, 249 cadets were suspected of violating the Academy’s Honor Code.”