[TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE] POINT, to be "strengthened and improved." Borman added, "they've had significant reactions to almost every one of the recommendations."

Hoffmann acknowledged he had give some thought to the possibility of bringing back the ousted cadets immediately, but said he decided it would be unwise to do so.

Borman said he had no quarrel with the secretary's decision.

Askde about the Borman commission's finding of "gross inadequacies" in West Point's honor system, Hoffmann observed that "criticism is never easy to take." He added:

"There is no question that there were contributing failures and short-comings not only on the part of West Point but also the Department of the Army throughout this period."

Hoffman told a Pentagon news conference that he is changing Army regulations to add sanctions other than the current sale penalty of expulsion for violators of the honor code, which states that "a cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do."

In addition, he said he has asked Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to change the requirement for expelled cadets to serve on active duty.

Although the Borman commission declared spurious the notion that no one but cadets could change the honor system, Hoffmann left it to the corps of 4,000 cadets to adopt a commission recommendation on the toleration clause of the honor code.

The cadet honor committee rushed through a referendum on the sanction less than a week before the commission made its final report. The measure, which failed by a narrow margin, said convicted cadets would either be expelled or permitted to stay on without any punishment.

The Borman commission recommended that cadets be permitted to confront suspected honor code violators rather than turning them in as is required now to avoid becoming violators themselves.

Among Hoffmann's decisions was one of beef up the U.S. Military Academy's hierarchy by adding a bridgadier general to the staff as provost, as proposed by Borman's panel.

Hoffmann also said that West Point's superintendent, Lt. Gen. Sidney B. Berry, will leave on schedule in the spring. The new superintendent's authority will be strengtened, Hoffmann said, and he will remain in the post up to eight years, twice the current stint. The Bosman commission had recommended such a move.

The secretary declined to follow a suggestion to cease any prosecutions arising from sworn accusations by the ousted cadets against their classmates.

Only 12 cadets still at West Point are being investigated because of the charges. And the Army said last month that cases against nine graduates who are now officers were being investigated by the Army inspector general.

Hoffmann held his news conference on the day West Point cadets were saying good-bye to their commandant, Brig. Gen. Walter F. Ulmer Jr., who told the Associated Press in an interview last week that his premature reassignment was unfair.

Ulmer, who is subordinate to the superintendent, was critized in a report that was also released on Dec. 15 by the office of the Army's general counsel, which investigated allegations that Army defensee lawyers had been harassed by West Point officials.

Asked to comment on Hoffmann's action, the Rev. Thomas Curley, Roman Catholic chaplain at West Point, said. "These kids continue to be sacrificial lambs, and there's no doubt that they're being given a bum rap . . . It can no longer be justified to continue to punish these persons when it's known a substantial number of even more culpable cadets have gone undetected or unpunished."