Hazing in the U.S. Armed Forces: Recommendations for Hazing Prevention Policy and Practice
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
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Initiation activities have long been part of U.S. military culture as a way to mark significant transitions, status changes, and group membership. However, along with these activities have often come acts of hazing, in which individuals were subjected to abusive and harmful treatment that went beyond sanctioned ceremonies. In recent years, extreme cases of alleged hazing have led to the high-profile deaths of several service members, resulting in renewed interest from the public and Congress in seeing these hazing rituals eliminated from military culture. The Department of Defense DoD asked RAND to examine and provide recommendations on current hazing policy and practices across the services. To do so, the researchers examined current DoD and service-specific policy, practices, and data collection related to hazing reviewed the scientific literature and interviewed leading experts in the field and reviewed existing DoD incident tracking databases. This report addresses ways to improve the armed forces definition of hazing, the effects of and motivations for hazing, how the armed forces can prevent and respond to hazing, and how the armed forces can improve the tracking of hazing incidents.
- Sociology and Law
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations