A "Tradition"?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by murfthesurf, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. murfthesurf

    murfthesurf DS - USNA 2020

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    Never mind
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Ah.... you should have posted it as the cadets were idiots. I'd post it myself but I thought as a moderator I should leave it to someone else.
     
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  3. Day-Tripper

    Day-Tripper Member

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    Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/05/us/at-west-point-annual-pillow-fight-becomes-weaponized.html

    At West Point, Annual Pillow Fight Becomes Weaponized

    By DAVE PHILIPPS SEPT. 4, 2015

    For generations, freshmen cadets at the United States Military Academyhave marked the end of a grueling summer of training with a huge nighttime pillow fight that is billed as a harmless way to blow off steam and build class spirit.

    But this year the fight on the West Point, N.Y., campus turned bloody as some cadets swung pillowcases packed with hard objects, thought to be helmets, that split lips, broke at least one bone, dislocated shoulders and knocked cadets unconscious. The brawl at the publicly funded academy, where many of the Army’s top leaders are trained, left 30 cadets injured, including 24 with concussions, according to West Point.

    In interviews, cadets who asked that their names not be used for fear of repercussions in West Point’s strictly controlled culture, said the fight had left one cadet with a broken leg and dislocated shoulders in others. One cadet was knocked unconscious and taken away in an ambulance and had not returned to school, they said. But a spokesman for the academy, Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker, said all cadets had returned to duty.

    Though talk about the brawl on Aug. 20 had circulated on social media, West Point did not confirm it to The New York Times until Thursday.

    Colonel Kasker said the annual fight is organized by first-year students as a way to build camaraderie after the summer program that prepares them for the rigors of plebe year.

    Upperclassmen overseeing freshmen “allowed the spirit activity to occur out of the desire to enhance the spirit of the class,” Colonel Kasker said, adding that those upperclassmen took “mitigating measures” to prevent injury, including requiring cadets to wear helmets.

    But video shows that many of the cadets did not wear helmets. Cadets said that in at least a few cases helmets became weapons stuffed into pillowcases.

    “West Point applauds the cadets’ desire to build esprit and regrets the injuries to our cadets,” Colonel Kasker said. “We are conducting appropriate investigations into the causes of the injuries.”

    So far no cadets have been punished, and the academy has no plans to end the annual tradition. Colonel Kasker said commanders were not available for comment on Friday.

    Video of the fight posted online showed crowds of cadets, some wearing body armor as well as helmets, surging together in a central quad, their yells echoing off the stone walls of the surrounding barracks.

    As the first-year cadets collided into a boil of white pillows, pummeling one another in the fading light, Army-issued glow sticks flew through the air and an impromptu cavalry of riders in laundry carts dashed in, cushions swinging. At one point, a smoke grenade appeared to go off.

    Photos posted later on Twitter show plebes, as freshmen are called, with bloody faces and bloody pillows, and at least one person being loaded into an ambulance.

    “My plebe was knocked unconscious and immediately began fighting when he came to,” an unnamed upperclassman, who was apparently observing from the sidelines, wrote on the social media forum Yik Yak. “I was so proud I could cry.”



     
  4. Day-Tripper

    Day-Tripper Member

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    30 injured, 24 concussions, broken legs, arms, ribs, etc.......not for necessary training to be combat fit and ready, but for a "pillow fight"?

    This sounds more like what I would expect from a drunken frat house than from West Point.

    What was the point to this madness?

    Heads should roll.

    Adults should take charge and put an end to this nonsense before someone gets killed for nothing.

    I'm old enough to remember blanket parties at Parris Island but it always loosely controlled by the drill instructors so that no serious injuries resulted. Letting the cadets, mostly 18 year olds just months out of high school, run amok like this on their own without some control shows a lack of the leadership which supposed to be taught.

    I've heard the stories about initiations in Rangers & Seals and such, but I've always understood there was someone in charge to step in say "enough".
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
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  5. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    Take everything on the article with a grain of salt... Much of its sources come from yik yak and cadet rumors.
     
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  6. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Both sons spent 4 years each in a Fraternity, Don't remember anything like this happening that resulted in the injuries reported here.

    I think this is a bit more then "Cadet rumors and Yik Yak, that would be a very small grain of salt.
     
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  7. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Sigh. This has gone on for years. Many didn't wear their helmets correctly and were injured from their own helmets. Others fell out of laundry carts (read: chariots). It was 17-19 year olds (mostly) blowing off steam...it was not a vicious, murderous attack. I am sorry cadets were injured, but I would bet money they will love the retelling of the tale for generations to come.
     
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  8. murfthesurf

    murfthesurf DS - USNA 2020

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    How did you all guess??

    My main point was a question asking if they needed to add the Psychopath Screening battery to the DoDMERB to make sure it becomes a *real* pillow fight, once again?
     
  9. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    It's West Point so it's ok??? I have no problem with tradition and such and really none with this but... I saw one statement where a lower classman was told by an upper classman, "if he did not come back with a bloody nose, he did not give it his all." Can this be interpreted as peer hazing...? I am not saying so just asking. And to put a helmet in the pillow case....if you think it was mistake or oversite.. come -on, you are not that gullible are you?

    A certain freshman Corp meeting, with threats from the Commandant, and allegations got quite a few Cadets from The Citadel sent home last year,permanently. My understanding is most incidents involved PT behind closed doors, I think. Oh I know this is kind of different, and cadetss took part, in the pillow brawl. on their on free will, but helmets in pillow cases and 24 concussions. I think most of the knobs involved last year and the expelled cadets were following tradition. And no injuries were involved and home it was to satisfy the PC.

    But it is "The Point" and the media is already playing it off.... so it will slide by IMHO... The media had a frenzy with the Citadel deal...at least in state. Just saying...
     
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  10. BlackKnight89

    BlackKnight89 Member

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    Just don't ever remember this "tradition" when I was there from 1985 to 1989. We raced Barracks Carts and had some crazy snowball fights, but the only time I hit a classmate was in boxing class with a big 16 ounce glove and we had head protection to boot. Whacking a classmate with a kevlar or lockbox or padlock or whatever concealed in a pillowcase isn't what I would classify as cooperate and graduate.
     
  11. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    If I am breaking some kind of rule I am unaware of please delete...

    Looks like nice, traditional, pillow fight, fun to me...

    [​IMG]
     
  12. MomWPgirl

    MomWPgirl Member

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    I truly wonder when the "tradition" did start as I also have heard from many OG's who said it was not included in their years. I do know that stuffing pillowcases is not new....while most do not, my OG said it happens every year. Those that defend this as "fun" and media has blown it out of proportion (which they have)...I have to wonder...if one of those future blows to the head becomes fatal or results in life-altering injuries..would you still defend the fun tradition.
     
  13. BlackKnight89

    BlackKnight89 Member

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    After looking at the pictures and watching the video, it looks like a prison riot from Lord of the Flies. There are many ways to build esprit de corps in a unit. Time for a better tradition. The ones stuffing their bags with heavy metal objects should be dismissed from the academy. With Military Police investigating this will likely go to UCMJ with charges preferred under Article 128 for assault. If the offenders are lucky, they will just be dismissed from the academy. Anytime the superintendent has to take personal responsibility and effectively apologize you can bet someone is going home from the academy.
     
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  14. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    I can tell you that it was not a form of hazing. It was meant sarcastically.
    It's also a reference to something that was said to ancient Greek warriors when they went off to war. My son explained it to me. It was definitely not meant as a directive.
     
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  15. vrs

    vrs Member

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    Just a simple rule, "Only hit torsos, not heads", for example, would have been useful and hopefully, this will happen in the future. It occurs to me that wearing armor and helmets gives the cadets a feeling of invincibility and they may have used their pillows more violently than if they were unprotected.
    It does sound from the video like someone was using a whistle repeatedly. I assume that this was someone exercising oversight and stopping "wild" pillow wielders.
    It's a shame some cadets spoilt what would have been quite a fun event done correctly, and additionally brought bad publicity to the institution. The Superintendent's letter was well received.
     
  16. 18MIDN

    18MIDN Member

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    Well this didn't take long,




    **I did not make this video, nor do I know who did.
     
  17. vrs

    vrs Member

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    Ouch.
     
  18. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I have a feeling they'll get a lot of milage out of this, gotta admit....it was funny
     
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  19. Kanye's Dad's Sock Puppet

    Kanye's Dad's Sock Puppet Banned

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    Yea but what I want to know is what happened the JPJ and the "on a boat" boys.
     
  20. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    It was a very poor shot a being a little facetious. A lot of Cadre members at "The Citadel" did not think they were hazing last year but the PC did. If this pillow brawl had happened at El Cid, with all the eyes they had on them last year, I know what the outcome would be. No Doubt!!! Just saying...
     

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