Scores of soldiers have had their promotions suspended following allegations of widespread cheating in exams at the world-renowned Sandhurst military academy, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Army chiefs launched an investigation after a whistleblower claimed candidates had been exchanging answers and tips via the messaging service WhatsApp.
Around 75 experienced soldiers from infantry and armoured regiments have been affected – and a possible Royal Military Police probe into the affair could lead to disciplinary charges under Army law.
Passing the exams and the resulting promotion to the rank of captain is a huge step up the career ladder and results in a pay rise – but all those from the Army’s combat branch who sat their tests at the Berkshire base on September 24 and 25 have had their promotions blocked.
During the two-day assessment, known as the Late Entry Commissioning Board, candidates are asked to tackle complicated military planning scenarios, write essays on national security issues, pass tests on problem solving, maths, and English, and navigate tough interviews by officers.
But the whistleblower is understood to have passed on screenshots of WhatsApp conversations that show candidates sharing details of what questions were being asked at the interviews, allowing cheats to prepare in advance.
The total of 36 potential questions include: what is your style of leadership, give examples of when you have solved complex problems and what is the most difficult situation you have found yourself in?