A lot of people don’t realize that some of the military academies’ displays of “spirit” aren’t entirely spontaneous or voluntary. While many enjoy going to their college’s football games, for example, the military academies are probably among the few institutions that require their student body to attend such games (and in uniform). Even the pushups that follow a touchdown in a service academy game are technically required (of the freshman class).
(When military members are essentially forced to participate in what seems to be a voluntary event, they refer to it as being ”volun-told.”) Such displays are just one expression of what some in the military call “mandatory fun.” An otherwise “fun” event has much of the “fun” drained out of it by mandatory attendance and mandatory participation.
When things hit the news, then, of the US Air Force Academy attempting to break the “air guitar world record” with the attendees at a basketball game, you almost feel sorry for the cadets who will be at that game. It was for a good cause, as it turns out, but still a little hokey nonetheless.