Hazing in the Military: A Pilot Study
DEFENSE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY MANAGEMENT INST PATRICK AFB FL Patrick AFB United States
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Hazing is an extraordinary activity that, when it occurs often enough, becomes perversely ordinary as those who engage in it grow desensitized to its inhumanity Newer, 1999. Hazing is an activity typically steeped in tradition, bound by silence, and ritualistic in nature. Hazing is thought to mark a transition, celebrate an achievement, or bring someone into a social or professional circle. However, hazing costs and sometimes kills. The cost of a hazing incident at the U.S. Air Force academy in 2012, for example, amounted to 14,062.50 worth of lost productivity in a single day for the 27 cadets involved. Hazing also kills. In 2012, one Army soldier took his own life in response to alleged hazing. Hazing kills organizations as well as individuals. In the case of the soldier, his entire unit was disbanded as the investigation took place and the Army received an onslaught of negative press. No service is immune to hazing, as all have experienced incidents and repercussions. Hazing takes away from missions as well. For example, in 2009, in the Dhi Qar province of Iraq, U.S. soldiers shot an ancient guard tower. Shooting the tower was an act of inclusion for new members of the team. Unfortunately, the local Iraqis who witnessed this transgression lost respect and goodwill in addition to requiring reparations Rush, 2012. Hazing must be taken seriously lives and missions depend on an environment free from hazing.