Editor:

Regarding Helen Jean Smith's "The cadet oath" letter in Friday's edition, she incorrectly identified the U.S. Military Academy Honor Code as the oath taken by cadets upon entering a service academy. Actually, they verbally take the same oath members of Congress take to support and defend the Constitution on Induction Day (the day they report to start their four-year matriculation).

The Honor Code at West Point and the U.S. Air Force Academy (Honor Concept at the U.S. Naval Academy) are not formal verbal oaths but rather the written and understood policy that each cadet/midshipman is expected to function under and by which his/her actions will be judged. The Honor Concept at the Naval Academy was originated by Midshipman H. Ross Perot and Vice Admiral William P. Lawrence in 1952-53 and has been modified several times in application (not wording) by committees of midshipmen and the academy administration. I know because I took the Oath of Office on July 5, 1960, before spending four years governed by that Honor Concept. I also served as Admiral Lawrence's senior staff officer when he was superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1979-81.

CDR Clifford T. Burgess Jr., USN (Ret.), Linden