Published: 11/8/2012 4:16:07 PM
Army works to educate Soldiers about cruel, abusive behavior
Hazing has no place in the Army. There is a zero tolerance for hazing, not only because it threatens unit cohesion, undermines readiness, but it deeply scars the Soldiers who are forced to endure it.
The Army has been and continues to be a values-based organization where everyone is encouraged to do what is right by treating others as they should be treated — with dignity and respect,” said Maj. Stephen Platt. “Hazing is fundamentally in opposition to our values and is prohibited.”
To fix the behavior, there has to be an understanding of exactly what constitutes hazing.
Hazing is defined as any conduct whereby one military member or employee, regardless of service or rank, unnecessarily causes another military member or employee, regardless of service or rank, to suffer or be exposed to an activity that is cruel, abusive, oppressive, or harmful.
Hazing includes, but is not limited, to any form of initiation “rite of passage” or congratulatory act that involves: physically striking another in order to inflict pain; piercing another’s skin in any manner; forcing or requiring the consumption of excessive amounts of food, alcohol, drugs, or other substances; or encouraging another to engage in illegal, harmful, demeaning or dangerous acts. Soliciting or coercing another to participate in any such activity is also considered hazing. Hazing need not involve physical contact among or between military members or employees; it can be verbal or psychological in nature.
The Army is very different from other institutions because of the high levels of stress the men and women who serve are trained under can blur the lines of training and hazing.
When authorized by the chain of command and not unnecessarily cruel, abusive, oppressive, or harmful, the following activities do not constitute hazing:
• The physical and mental hardships associated with operations or operational training.
• Administrative corrective measures, including verbal reprimands and a reasonable number of repetitions of authorized physical
• Extra military instruction or training.
• Physical training or remedial physical training.
• Other similar activities.
Even in cases of expressed or implied consent to hazing is not considered a defense to a hazing violation.
Soldiers are encouraged to report any incident which violates any article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice or actions which are not in compliance with the good order and discipline of the U.S. Army, to their chain of command, military police, chaplain, inspector general or equal opportunity representative. Allegations of hazing are thoroughly investigated by the chain of command, IG or law enforcement, and involved Soldiers are held accountable as appropriate.
For more information, visit www.bragg.army.mil/directorates/osja/Pages/default.aspx.
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