• Our honor code is one of our most treasured traditions.

    Stan Okoye ’13, Vice President Honor Court

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The VMI Honor Code

Since its founding in 1839, VMI cadets have been bound by a code of honorable behavior.

The cadet-run Honor Court was established as a continuously operating body beginning in 1908. The heart of the VMI honor system is the Honor Code: A cadet does not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do.

Don’t do ordinary.

The VMI honor system does not recognize degrees of honor.  The only sanction for any breech of honor is dismissal.

Single Sanction

The sanction for any breech of honor is dismissal. When rats sign the Matriculation Book, they commit themselves to a life of honesty and integrity. If their commitment is not complete, their stay at the Institute may be short.


Above all else, cadets are expected to conduct themselves as men and women of character at all times. Exemplary conduct both at and away from the Institute reflects credit on the cadet, the Corps, and the Institute.


Cadets are expected commit to respectful living, treating everyone with dignity and fairness. Cadets come to understand the impact of their behavior on others and strive to exemplify civility.


Cadets live and learn in an environment of trust. Their daily lives and conduct are regulated by the traditions and rules of the Institute and a very simple code of honor. Cadets trust one another because their word is their bond.

Our world needs women and men of principle who will stand for values and beliefs despite the costs, despite any ridicule or scorn.

Matt Waalkes ’13

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