IOWA CITY, Iowa — The commander of a military training program at Iowa State University cancelled an annual formal dinner Friday after news broke that explicit photographs of some male cadets had been posted on Facebook.
Capt. Scott Curtis sent an email to the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps saying he was calling off Saturday’s “Dining In” event in light of publicity about the incident, which a Navy spokesman said involved seven male cadets who were “willing participants” in inappropriate behavior around campus and online.
Curtis said the decision was unfortunate, and he warned students would likely not be refunded the full cost of tickets they bought for the dinner for upperclassmen, alumni and retirees.
“My overarching goal is to ensure that all of you personally, as well as the reputation of the Cyclone Battalion as a whole is protected to the maximum extent possible given the current media situation,” Curtis wrote.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that explicit photos were taken of some cadets around campus on March 4 and posted to the Facebook page of a student group connected to the program. Lt. Sean Brophy, spokesman for the Naval Service Training Command, said other students did the right thing by reporting the photos to program leaders.
The Navy said “appropriate administrative actions” were taken against the midshipmen, who remain with the program. Curtis apologized to Iowa State leaders.
Curtis said the incident doesn’t “reflect on the Character of this Battalion – how we respond and move forward does.” He called the group fantastic and urged members to “dust yourselves off and move on.”
A separate email sent by a student leader instructed students in the battalion to decline comment and inform program leaders of any media inquiries.