United States Military Service Academies

Today, some of the most notable and most stringent honor codes exist at the U.S. Military Academy (see Cadet Honor Code), Virginia Military Institute, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and the United States Coast Guard Academy. The United States Naval Academy has an "Honor Concept" which is similar in scope to the honor codes at the other academies. The military academy honor codes not only govern the cadets' and midshipmen's lives at the academies, but are deemed essential to the development of military officers who are worthy of the public trust. As such, the codes are not limited merely to academic situations or to conduct on campus; cadets and midshipmen are expected to live by the codes' ethical standards at all times. The codes are as old as the academies themselves, and simply state that cadets and midshipmen do not lie, cheat or steal. The only single-sanction Honor Code in the United States exists at the Virginia Military Institute, where a "drum out" ceremony is still carried out upon a cadet's dismissal.

At three of the service academies and VMI, anyone who learns of an honor code violation is required to report it. Failure to do so is considered "toleration," which is itself a violation of the code. This also holds true at Norwich University,Texas A&M, and The Citadel where their Honor Codes specifically provide that all students, both cadets and civilians, due not tolerate those who do." It is notable that at these three Senior Military Colleges (which enroll both cadets and civilian students) there are 2 Honor Codes: One for cadets and one for civilians, whether on-campus or through distance online programs, etc. The Honor Concept of the Brigade of Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy allows the observer of an honor violation to confront the accused without formally reporting. It was found that this method was more constructive at developing the honor of midshipmen. A non-toleration clause, on the other hand, is believed to make enemies of classmates. Additionally, it is thought that one's true honor, if other than utmost, was not able to be formally remediated when hidden from public view. Under the academies' honor codes, violators can face severe punishment, up to and including being forwarded for expulsion by the secretary of the Army, Navy or Air Force.

Stringent honor codes, however, are not limited to military institutions. The all-male Hampden-Sydney College is reputed for an honor code system on a par with military systems; this code extends to all student activities both on and off campus (off-campus violations can be prosecuted) and, also like the military system, considers tolerance of a violation itself a violation. Like the Naval Academy, though, those who witness a violation are encouraged to confront the violator and convince them to turn themselves in before resorting to reporting the violation. Another school with a very strict honor code is Brigham Young University. The university not only mandates honest behavior, but incorporates various aspects of Mormon religious law: drinking, smoking, drug use, and premarital sex are all banned. Also, the code includes standards for dress and grooming. Men must be clean shaven and men and women cannot wear short shorts or other revealing clothing.