The “F” As A Badge Of Honor: Surviving The Class Of ’77 Honor Scandal

Donald Jacobovitz


Don Jacobovitz and his twin Dan grew up in a single parent household with their mother after their father, a WWII vet died when the boys were five. They knew their mother could not afford to send them to college, so the boys looked to the service academies. Don’s solid “F” on the EE-304 (Electrical Engineering) take home quiz protected him from getting caught up in the honor scandal, and he graduated, commissioning into the Engineers. After his time in the military, he became a public engineer where his focus is on bettering people’s lives. In this interview, he talks about his childhood, attending West Point with his twin Dan, the Class of ‘77 Honor Scandal, and orienteering during his Yearling summer at Buckner. He describes his experiences in the military including traveling around the world and interacting with different cultures and peoples, and working with an unscrupulous battalion commander. He discusses transitioning into the civil sector, and his work as an engineer there. Finally, at the end of the interview, he talks about an exercise at the Fulda Gap. As his Soldiers waited in their battle positions, he noticed the remnants of an ancient trench line, and upon closer analysis of his map, he determined that they were Roman ruins, and felt a sense of kinship with the Soldiers who had occupied the same positions centuries earlier.


conflicts Cold War
topics Honor USMA 1977 Spring 1976 Cheating Incident Camaraderie Military Family Life After Military West Point History Leadership
interviewer David Siry
date 05 October 2017


name Donald Jacobovitz
institution USMA
graduation year 1977
service Engineer
unit 317th Engineer Battalion; HHC 52nd Engineer Battalion
specialty Roman Ruins
service dates 1977 1988