Air Force Academy Recruiting Students to Inform

Due to pressure to curb drug use, sexual assault, and other infractions, the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs has instituted a secretive program using cadets as informants against other cadets.

Despite the AFA pushing honesty and trust as core values in both the Academy and the Air Force in general, this program has caused informants to be expelled for doing what the Academy secretly asked them too. According to the article on Stripes.com:

Eric Thomas, 24, was a confidential informant for the Office of Special Investigations, or OSI — a law enforcement branch of the Air Force. OSI ordered Thomas to infiltrate academy cliques, wearing recorders, setting up drug buys, tailing suspected rapists and feeding information back to OSI. In pursuit of cases, he was regularly directed by agents to break academy rules.

“It was exciting. And it was effective,” said Thomas, a soccer and football player who received no compensation for his informant work. “We got 15 convictions of drugs, two convictions of sexual assault. We were making a difference. It was motivating, especially with the sexual assaults. You could see the victims have a sense of peace.”

Through it all, he thought OSI would have his back. But when an operation went wrong, he said, his handlers cut communication and disavowed knowledge of his actions, and watched as he was kicked out of the academy.

The top commander of the AFA and members of its civilian oversight board claim no knowledge of this program by the OSI, although the Colorado Springs Gazette confirmed its existence by interviewing former OSI agents, informants themselves, phone and text records, and documents obtained by the Freedom of Information Act.