Well, I figured I'd add something other than all the valuable insight about these jerks getting what they deserved
For me, the major criticisms I had about this episode had to do with how they dealt with the plot concept of a "Cadet Ship". The existence of a cadet ship itself didn't bother me, but the fact that it was a Defiant-class vessel did. There should have been other vessels more suited to training cadets, but that's relatively minor compared to my major concerns:
They were on a "three month training mission to circumnavigate the Federation". LOL-what? There is no way the Federation is anywhere near circumnavigable in three months. There is no way in hell the Federation can even be CROSSED in three months, depending on your view of the size of the Federation. And if they're on the border of Federation space, how did Nog get there from Earth in a Runabout?
The way the provisional ranks were handed out. Let's allow for Waters being field-commissioned to Captain. And lets allow for the fact that they ignored orders and stayed on the Frontlines to fight the Dominion instead of going home. He's got a very high opinion of some of the other cadets (and a low opinion of the others). Why are some of them granted officer commissions, while the one girl gets a CPO commission? Arguably as a cadet, she's already at a higher grade than a CPO.
In the end, they were all jerks and deserved what they had coming to them. Clearly they were not as mature as the members of Nova Squadron, although that's another bad example of Cadets in action.