Hazing Is Still a Problem

| February 8, 2021

FILE PHOTO -- A sweeping new Pentagon order addressing harassment prevention in the armed forces includes an important deadline: Dec. 1, 2018 when a first-of-its kind report on hazing in the ranks from all Defense Department components is due. (Army Photo Illustration: David Vergun)

In regard to hazing in the Marine Corps and the other services, there does not seem to be a definition of that word included anywhere in this article. I know that recruits do get a summary of it, but it was not supplied with the article.


From the article:  An annual report on hazing within the military, obtained via a public-records request, shows that the Marine Corps, the smallest Defense Department service by population with the exception of Space Force, owns the lion’s share of hazing complaints and substantiated hazing incidents. The data, from fiscal year 2018, shows that 256 of 291 total hazing complaints that year, more than 88%, were made in the Corps, and 91 of 102 substantiated hazing incidents took place among Marines.

The Navy was a distant second, with 17 complaints and 10 substantiated incidents; then the Army, with 13 complaints, none substantiated; and finally the Air Force, with five complaints, one substantiated. At the time of the reporting, 71 total complaints had been found unsubstantiated, 110 were pending a decision and eight were inconclusive or unknown.

The data, released to Military.com this month, provides what could be a troubling snapshot taken shortly after the Marines faced national scrutiny over hazing episodes at boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. Recruit Raheel Siddiqui reportedly jumped to his own death in 2016 from the third floor of a Parris Island building after abuse at the hands of a drill instructor, who received 10 years for maltreatment and other crimes at a Parris Island court-martial. Other Marines who trained recruits were found to have inflicted chemical burns requiring skin grafts — the result of forced physical training on a bleach-covered floor — and ordered naked trainees to run back and forth, then jam together against the walls of a shower. – article

Whatever reasoning there is, if any, behind making physical attacks on recruits, it makes no sense. However, when you stoop low enough to do something like that shown in the photo, or something that will damage or injure your subject/pupil/recruit, it speaks volumes about you as a trainer or an instructor.

Category: "Teh Stoopid", Dick Stepping

Comments (33)

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  1. Dennis - not chevy says:

    I was taught if I ever got so mad at trainees/students/detainees that I wanted to hit one or all of them, ignore the dress rules, place my hands in my pockets, make fists. The thinking was, one cannot hit someone with one’s hands in one’s pockets. I used to warn my students that if they ever saw my hands go into my pockets, we’d all be better off if they’d shut up.

  2. A Terminal Lance Coolie says:

    “form of harassment that … physically or psychologically injures, or creates a risk of physical or psychological injury … for the purpose of: initiation into, admission into, affiliation with, change in status or position within, or a condition for continued membership in any military or DoD civilian organization.”

    From the article, Ex. Its buried in the second section of it. The article is a rather long one, too.

    Goes on to suggest the problem isn’t that we jarheads haze each other more than everyone else, but that we actually aggressively report it, and that the other branches aren’t aggressively seeking and reporting.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Thanks! Looked for it, missed it. My bad.

    • SFC D says:

      I think that aggressively reporting things in the military is what leads to the perception that more bad things happen in the military. If you beat your spouse in the civilian world, nobody cares, nobody reports. Military communities, nearly everybody reports. It skews the numbers when compared to “the real world”. Doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Human beings suck sometimes.

      • KoB says:

        “Human beings suck some times.” ^Word^ SFC D!

        The more I learn about people, the more I Love my Dogs.

        effing dumbazzes! Grow up! I have motivated people and been motivated and never had to resort or subjected to this kind of behavior. Maybe some high school crap, but as posted above, when I fought back, the BS quit.

    • MI Ranger says:

      But people reporting is a Good Thing. I saw this in Fraternities in College, and surprisingly it was the ex-military members that tended to do the most.
      I was subject to it when I was in College, and in the military and every time I helped organizations to know what is right and what is wrong! The ideas behind the “hazing” often comes from the “risk/reward” principle. If you are challenged to make it in to an elite organization than the mentality is that it will encourage people to strive to do their best to join. Unfortunately it often brings with it some individuals that feel once they obtain the lofty perch that it is not lofty enough! Those individuals instead of striving to be better, want to raise the bar and therefore instead of good natured fun want to punish new members.
      I often found myself having to defend new members and restrain old members because they felt the new members were too soft! What it usually took was a detailed analysis, with these old members, to show that a standard was established, it has been maintained, and the new members are not softer they are just different!

      Rituals have a purpose, to help people to understand they have achieved a goal. When rituals become hazing is when a standard is not established, it is poorly understood, and safety measures to ensure boundaries are not breached are not put in place!

      Marines often accuse the Army of being soft. Well you try maintaining a standard when you are ten times the size and get back to us when you do!! The Army is big, it sets minimal standards…and Soldiers still fail those standards (they are encouraged to meet them or asked to leave), Elite units set higher standards and only a few are allowed to maintain them (Rangers, Special Forces). When those who volunteer to join elite units can not maintain their standards they are told to leave and rejoin the Army, if they cannot maintain even that standard they are asked to leave (sometimes by force).

      • USMC Steve says:

        I get your point, but the army is not close to 10 times larger than the Corps. At this point you are not quite three times our size. And you have Big Army to contend with, which does nothing but fuck the organization up. The army could try to set the same standards the Marines do, and hold to them if they really wanted a better quality product, but even if the rank and file agreed to that, Big Army has to play its games.

        But in this day and age, it mignt be almost impossible to find anyone actually physically and mentally qualified to enlist and be successful.

        BTW, what is going on in the photo is not hazing, it is assault.

  3. penguinman000 says:

    Hazing/wall to wall counseling is one thing and has a place if structured and controlled.

    Mentally breaking someone to the point they attempt suicide or causing physical injury (from chemical burns) isn’t hazing. Its straight up assault. Most importantly it is an ineffective method of training and reinforces the worst possible leadership traits in junior troops.

    • MI Ranger says:

      Agree 100%.
      After seeing and trying to curb hazing in college I joined the Army.
      The best NCO I ever had was a former Marine, who took the time to explain to me (while I was in the elevated front leaning rest position) why he was doing what he was doing! Maybe he took the time to read that I had gone to College, and was older than most new Rangers, or maybe he was just trying to show he was better than a “College Boy”.
      He said to me: “I am going to test you, physically and mentally to determine you fitness level. We are an elite unit and I need to know when you will break. Nothing I do will physically harm you, if you do not do something right I will train you in a manner that will teach you to do that task, while tasking you physically. It will make you stronger. You will learn the task and your muscles will remember the task long after you mind is exhausted.”
      I remembered this as I low crawled across the parade field performing magazine changes on my rifle every three crawls because I had not been quick enough changing my magazines during a live fire.

      When I became an NCO my Soldiers initially thought I was just cruel as we brought our weapons with us for PT every Wednesday. We did lunges around the barracks, changing magazines. We did dive roles with our rifles (man the saw gunners hated me)! We practiced climbing over and through things with our rifles, and every one of these things I demonstrated and performed with them. It seemed basic, and monotonous but so was the PT in Italy (small base). Everyone hated me for it (or at least complained every time we did it), but the first time we were in Graffenwohr and someone fell down during a breaching exercise or CQB, or trench clearing and instead of falling flat on their face they rolled with it and came up like they meant to do it, the other squad leaders looked at me like I had trained Ninjas!

      Bottom line you should never do punishment as a leader, you should always strive to teach, and improve your Soldier (or Marine). Know their boundaries and limits and never take them past it, but always come close. You will be surprised that they will improve! Sometimes, though individuals cannot be taught, and they will refuse your training. Do not be discouraged, and do not try to punish. Simply file the paperwork and encourage them to find their place elsewhere in society because they are not a Soldier (or Marine).

  4. Green Thumb says:

    I got hazed all the fucking time until I hit back.

    Then it went away.

  5. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Training versus Hazing

    CSM McIntosh stated, to paraphrase, that the Army had plenty of suck in training without creating artificial pointless suck.

    Is is actual training, or just calculated ass-hattery?

    PT in shitty weather.
    PT in known hazardous caustic chemicals.

    • MI Ranger says:

      As Army leaders we all became acquainted with the Risk Assessment!

      Bottom line is: Is the Risk worth the Reward!

      Had a Squad Leader that used to say, you have to train hard to be hard. I remember he was really sucking when walking across the Scottish Highlands above the tree line with only one light sleeping bag for the squad! He made sure we moved back down in the tree line the second night…saying something about cover and concealment was better…but we made a small fire (in a pit with a smoke hole). He also learned to check the weather and geography to ensure your equipment matches. Walking in bogs with jungle boots really sucks in the winter (all leather would be better, just drain the boot and put on socks every so often, it keeps the warmth in).

  6. Quartermaster says:

    Hazing is harassment with no training purpose. Everyone gets some of that in basic training, OCS, the academies, etc.

  7. JTB says:

    What is BUDS….LOL..!!!

  8. Hack Stone says:

    Hack Stone’s uncle was an Army Ranger that served in Korea at the tail end of the war, arriving a few weeks before the armistice. He enjoyed poking fun at Hack for going the Marine route instead of Army like him, Poppa Stone (Army in the Pacific), and Grandpa Stone (Army in WWI France). He never wasted an opportunity to send something he found in the newspaper about Marine’s doing bad things. Oe in particular was a Drill Instructor at 3rd Battalion Parris Island back in 1981 or 1982. He was courtmartialed and convicted for shoving an 8″ crescent wrench up a Recruits ass. We never had that problem in 1st Battalion.

  9. President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH B Woodman Domestic Violent Extremist says:

    What? No one ever got their new rank “pinned” on them, never got “blood stripes”? “Welcome to the ranks, noob!”

    • David says:

      “Blood stripes” usedta mean you only got promoted when someone got killed and opened a slot in the TO&E. I suspect the meaning has changed from your phrasing.

      • Penguinman000 says:

        Blood stripes in the USMC are in the forms of knees to the thighs when a Marine pins on corporal. Because they get red piping down the legs of the dress blues as an NCO.

    • Green Thumb says:

      I got my mosquito wings hammered onto my chest.

  10. Sapper3307 says:

    Prop Blast ceremony’s in the 82nd are not hazing according to the division policy (2 star approved).
    A 2-3 day officer only event conducted out of sight of enlisted.

  11. TopGoz says:

    Just do we’re clear… That photo does not show Marines. Them are Sailors.

  12. QMC says:

    I’m just glad this is getting attention after the CPO Season is over, and not during.

  13. Reaperman says:

    Oh gosh, hazing in the ‘Space Force’ is going to suck worst of all. It would start small, leaving people in the centrifuge for a little too long–but would quickly evolve into having people hunt down the airlock guard, because they were told to clean their quarters with the ‘half-vacuum.’

    • Berliner says:

      I imagine a Space Force Guardian hazing will consist of an insertion, either singular or in mass, to Uranus to “plant the flag”.

  14. mmcm(sw)nuc says:

    I remember when…I had just transferred to a new ship. Previous command had a Marine detachment on board. Night of CPO initiation…@0005…loud pounding on CPO mess door…CMC went to see who was there…the door burst open…2 Marine gunny sergeants came bursting in in full dress uniforms and said…”We want…..”…All the cpo’s and my fellow future cpo’s backed off into the corners of the mess…2 hours later…the Marines left…CMC told me to hit the rack…and Said “I don’t know what you did to piss off the corps but you have been through enough…”
    Had a beer with the gunnies the next day after all was over and had a good time.

  15. E4 Mafia '83-'87 says:

    Pink bellies were handed out to those who “didn’t know their place” in terms of departmental hierarchy…until crybaby went to medical and claimed he had ruptured blood vessels in his abdomen.

  16. timactual says:

    The only hazing I can remember getting was being sent by my squad leader to see the Motor Sgt. and get a tire pressure gauge for our M113. Said Motor Sgt. ranted a bit and sent me back to my squad leader with a message.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      Well let’s see, during my days as a joe, I sent fellow Joes looking for Cable Stretching Oil, a left handed Crescent wrench or a box of Ground guides among a few other things…

      • SFC D says:

        I had a crusty old motor sergeant hand me a crescent wrench as he told me he needed a left handed one. I turned it over and handed it back. PFC D wasn’t falling for that shit.

  17. Tallywhagger says:

    Hell, I remember getting yelled at for being late to work. Another time, I was in civilian clothes but had one of those Marlon Brando style motorcycle jackets, with epaulets, and lots of zippers. A bird Colonel accused me of trying to impersonate a general.

    My 1st Sgt knew me and even promoted me, twice… and he didn’t think that I was impersonating a general. Nonetheless, I got yelled at. It was pretty awful.

    Lightheartedness withstanding, there was a fat guy, from New Jersey, in the basic training cycle, that the DIs hounded pretty hard. They called him Big Fat Daddy. I’m not so sure that he really wanted to be in the Army but he sure as hell did not want to not be there.

    BFD had to do the “dying cockroach” routine so much that it looked like abuse, to my very limited experience. On the uptick, BFD was losing weight like a time-lapse movie and had to have new fatigues issued, at least once.

    The DIs kept telling him that he would have to recycle, which he did. Without doubt, he lost at least 60 pounds and probably needed to shed another 30 or 40 lbs just to be able to handle the horizontal ladder.

  18. Timothy J. McCorkle says:

    remember getting My Fish Pinned On. out of 100 or so shipmates That tacked them only one crossed the line( Accidently punched Me in the Nose) The ships corpsman immediately cornered Him, and prescribed percussive therapy…. followed with compozine suppository,( Damn it he forgot to take the foil Off it the first Time.)…rituals such as Taking On crows or awards, or advancement ceremonies Like Chiefs Initiation, used to be tightly controlled to prevent crossing that line into abuse. Failures of the Chain of command are usually the cause of tragedies.