Hazing and the US Military
Jeff Yang of the Wall Street Journal, writing in the “Arts and Entertainment” section, notes “unsettling parallels” between recent implications of hazing and the 1992 Tom Cruise/Jack Nicholson A Few Good Men.
The wandering article touches on religion, race, discipline, and the recent suicides of servicemembers thought to be related to hazing, as with PVT Danny Chen in Afghanistan.
The article closes in citing the ironic participation in hazing by members of military academies — while simultaneously demanding their subordinates recite “Schofield’s Quote,” which denounces such treatment.
Unmentioned, and probably not understood, is that sometimes what people might consider “hazing” may be the “lesser of two evils” on the parts of the victims. Hypothetically, a Soldier caught in wrongdoing might be given a choice: pay the required official retribution (and get a black mark on your record), or, say, do 1,000 pushups or some other created (but unofficial) punishment. Rather than ruin their career, and acknowledging the fact they were in the wrong, many may choose the “hazing” option.
From an internet source, talking about the very serious issue of falling asleep on guard duty (a crime considered so serious, in some armies death was actually a legitimate punishment, including the American army in the Civil War):
You’re pulling guard. The guy with you takes his shift [while you rest]. A guy you’ve known for a couple a months. Good guy. Good soldier. You pass out, wake up and find him snoozing. Do you report this guy? Take care of it “in house.” Or let it slide?
Cover his a–, then kick his a–.
Illegal? Technically. Common? Likely.