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The conflict between NAVY traditions and Hazing

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posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 06:56 PM
I know half a dozen people who have experienced hazing in the military. None of their stories are at all horrific, except one. A NAVY friend of mine experienced some of the worst hazing I’ve ever heard of. Drinking out of toilets, being held under water, beatings, and being forced to act like someone’s dog and slave for a day. These were all fairly recent events too; they were hazed or witnessed hazing between 2002 and 2006. The worst of the hazing occurred on ships during the Davy Jones tradition that happens while a naval ship crosses the equator.

I’m against hazing because I don’t think most people in those positions have the self control it takes to haze harmlessly with out getting carried away. There is a huge difference between picking on the lower ranking guys a little and making them perform task that put pressure on them to build character and brutally demeaning people while causing psychological and physical harm. That kind of hazing can risk death and extreme psychological ramifications.

I’m not startled to hear that hazing seems to be still secretly rampant in the military, it does however concern me to hear stories of brutal hazing like the accounts I mentioned; especially when some of my NAVY friends defend these actions as being part of a tradition. Well that may be so, but the sadistic nature involved in the tradition is inappropriate and completely wrong.

I’m curious how people on ATS feel about this issue. If you’ve served have you experienced hazing? Do you think it is a big deal? Do you think those who remain silent should speak out when they see this type of hazing occurring and report it? Do you think being ostracized for reporting it or refusing to take part in it is worse than hazing?

Good article I found on hazing, goes over some of the personal experiences people have had in the NAVY with hazing, including a fatal occurrence in 1987:

If you think hazing is Ok, think again! This is not OK and is an attitude that needs to change … Hazing in any form, under any circumstance, has no place in our Navy by Ken Testorff
A young Navy airman recruit entered service in 1987, excited about completing the Navy's SAR School that candidates must take to become a rescue swimmer. A few months later, though, in what some described as an illegal hazing incident, the Sailor died when he ran out of strength and air, with instructors allegedly holding him underwater. The other members of his class, meanwhile, were ordered to turn around and place their backs to the pool, then sing the national anthem while standing at attention.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 11:23 PM
I've heard about hazing from my friends in the military...nothing this bad though..

I didn't make it through pledge week in college...I decked the upperclassman during hazing when he wanted me to walk across campus with an egg in my ass...

I didn't get to go greek....tear

posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 04:03 AM
reply to post by rapinbatsisaltherage

The Crossing the Line Ceremony is pretty tame these days. Mostly due to women being on ships now. Now some ships don't even do any ceremony at all. I went through it in 1985. And participated in many of them until i retired in 2003. Every one of them had non-participants monitoring to ensure nothing got out of control and that there were no safety issues. Does hazing get out of hand sometimes...yes. If it's properly supervised, it's harmless.

Also there is no requirement to participate. Anyone can quit at anytime during the ceremony, all they have to say is "I quit", and they're immediately dropped from the ceremony, right then and there. Over the years i saw some people quit or not participate, it was no big deal really.

Yes, i drank out of a toilet bowl, it had chocolate pudding mix and corn in it to make it look like sewage. I was also the Wog Dog during the ceremony where i urinated (literally) on the XO's leg when i was told to show him proper It was alot of fun overall.

posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 05:49 AM
Never heard it being called 'hazing' before but it's not just the military that do it. In fact there are more injuries and deaths through bizarre student initiation ceremonies in the UK than via hazing in the military.

BBC News Item

It's human nature to do such a thing - you can ban it, but you'll never be able to stop it.

posted on Dec, 5 2008 @ 12:40 AM

It's human nature to do such a thing - you can ban it, but you'll never be able to stop it.

Never said I could fully stop it, I simply think it is generally a cruel practice that should not be encouraged, if it goes against human decency.

Yes, I'm aware hazing is more common among college students, especially those involved in "secret societies" or fraternities. I'm surprised to see so many of the people I know taking part in hazing in the Military, especially some of the more brutal acts, that's why I made this thread. I'm curious to see how many others on this site who served may have experienced it, and if it was of a brutal nature.

posted on Dec, 5 2008 @ 12:42 AM
reply to post by bg_socalif

I was also the Wog Dog during the ceremony where i urinated (literally) on the XO's leg when i was told to show him proper respect

That’s pretty funny. Glad to know it wasn’t a harmful experience for you.

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