Hazing (part 2)

As mentioned in my last post, hazing has made it back in the news. The last post dealt with how the media was reporting this. Now let’s address “hazing” itself.
No, I am not saying returning to, or allowing hazing to be part of our military culture, is going to solve all our services internal problems. What I am saying is:
We have allowed our traditions/rites of passage to be watered down to the point of being meaningless bits of “feel good” paper, vice what they were originally intended to be. We have robbed our current (and future) service members a chance at truly being part of said traditions. Be it crossing the equator, the Arctic circle, advancing in rate, or becoming a Chief Petty Officer vice “an E-7/8/9 (You old time “initiated” Chiefs out there “know” what I mean by that.). By making events no longer meaningful, in ways the human spirit can understand, and remember, as being a true milestone instead of a speedbump. (“I will never forget, and cherish the real meaning of this moment”, vice, “I have a certificate here somewhere”)
The bonding which comes from the “fun” times, the shared apprehension of polliwogs….the camaraderie of being a shellback. These selective, and traditional, rites of passage, go long ways in promoting “esprit de corps”. Handing out a piece of paper during morning quarters is *not* the same thing. The same goes for being a blue nose, or the “tacking on” a “crow” or set of chevrons.
Looking at it on the recruit level. (And those who won’t admit to some form of hazing being part of recruit training, are only lying to themselves.) You were told when you went to boot camp, or basic training, if your recruiter was worth his salt…that they were going to push you hard physically and mentally . Why? If nothing else, it thinned out the ranks of those who could not handle the pressure….better to find this out now, before placing this person in a real life or death situation. On the other side of the coin….once you made it through said crucible, you began to have a much clearer picture of yourself and what you were capable of, perhaps for the first time in your life. If a few harsh words were tossed in your direction, physical demands were placed upon you, that made no sense but were to be carried out because the wrath of your Company Commander/DI was not something you wanted to bring down upon yourself or your shipmates/future Marines. All this could be construed as “hazing”. All of it was part of “the rite of passage” going from “recruit” to Marine, Sailor, Soldier, or Airman. It was needed to produce the best product possible. Producing the largest percentage possible of people able to function when a SHTF moment happened.
Yes, there are some outstanding people in our services now. But from what I have been reading…there is also a lot of deadwood out there…perhaps more then in previous generations. In this day and age of declining numbers of folks willing to serve their country, it is more important then ever we get rid of the deadwood as early as possible. “Hazing”, at least in recruit training, was a tool which helped in this process. “Hazing”, in the fleet, squadron, company, or division, allows for the bonds forged at the beginning of ones time in service to be tempered, to be made even stronger.
I say…enough with the PC/social engineering…bring it back.



Filed under Military

4 responses to “Hazing (part 2)

  1. .. I’ll never forget getting my bloodstrip tacked on.. it was an honor.. truly an honor…

  2. HAzing is even a part of going into a regular ol’ company right? Maybe a little hazing would make you more likely to stay with a particular company.
    I miss the *many* hazing opprotunities that I have endured.

  3. I look at it this way… when they start to talk about hazing in the military – they have run out of stories. There is hazing and there is “hazing” – one form seeks to bind people together through shared experience the other is malicious in nature and meant to hurt and humiliate the recipient.
    Unfortunately, you can’t distinguish between the 2 forms with words and rules – it’s more in the line of “you know the difference when you see it” type thing. This makes liberals just go into a frenzy. They want rules – there MUST be rules – every facet of life must be controlled (for everyone but themselves since “they know the right way to do things”).
    Trying to micro manage every little detail – instead of relying on good people to keep things in order – is the path of true chaos. Even at Abu whatsits… it was good people who reported the incidents and started the investigation – way before the news people even bothered their little pointy heads about it.

  4. The media do not understand the military and shouldn’t try judging it.
    I endured LOTS of hazing in my military career. Quite a lot of it raised sweat. Some of it drew blood. All of it made me a brother in a fraternity that these kids going into service today will not be able to claim….and that’s a damned shame!
    How can a young person be asked to be accountable for the lives of others if there is none but the most superficial conections binding them together? It would be fantastic to expect it. Things were NOT broken. I fail to see what good the “fix” has done.

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