Hazing in the Military

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The Florida A&M student who underwent hazing is not the only one. Hazing is common in the military as well. Aside from the link I gave in my previous post to a story about a soldier who was finger raped by his fellow soldiers, the veteran TTB adds this:

Here’s another twisted-in-the-military story for you. One captain I knew was a USAF combat control officer. He told me about the “initiation” his team had planned for him when he was new in the unit and were spending a night in the field. Members of the team would pass an oyster from mouth to mouth, and of course that also included saliva, chewing tobacco, etc. (I hope you didn’t just have lunch.) The plan was to hold him down and force this into his mouth via mouth-on-mouth contact, but because he had been on the Air Force Academy wrestling team, he was able to wiggle out of the hold they had him in and were not successful in getting that mess in his mouth.

Back to the Army… Another guy I knew was in the 2d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Lewis, WA, and because he had not yet attended Ranger School, his roommates in the barracks treated him very badly (of course). For example, just to belittle and humiliate him, they’d force him to carry plastic trash bags out to the dumpster on his back while he crawled on his stomach along the floor and down the stairs. You can imagine what stale beer leaking from bottles and onto him must have smelled like. (Thirty years ago I met a retiring sergeant major who described the same thing happening to him at Fort Campbell, KY, before he was able to earn his jump wings as a member of the long-gone 11th Airborne Division. Apparently this is a “time-honored military tradition.”) His roommates were fond of harassing him in other ways as well, such as sneaking out of the room at night as he slept, throwing in a grenade simulator, and closing the door. Because of this and other actions the guy swore that, had the unit been issued live ammunition and gone into combat, he would have killed his roommates. Luckily for them, he was injured on a parachute jump and sent to another unit.

I can’t go so far as to say these kinds of things happen to everyone, and there’s a lot of difference between working as a clerk in a support unit and being a “grunt” in a combat unit, but the best thing for anyone thinking of joining the military is “don’t do it.”

5:33 pm on May 2, 2012