FYI: West Point Cadets’ Annual Pillow Fight Ended in Bloodshed
From the “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” Department: West Point’s annual plebe pillow fight ended in actual bloodshed, broken bones, and 24 concussions.
According to West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, Jr., the majority of the plebes participating in the traditional fight, which took place on August 20, kept to the spirit of the thing—meaning they didn’t arm themselves with the white sale equivalent of a medieval flail.
More from Fox News:
Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker told the newspaper the annual fight is organized by first-year students as a way to build camaraderie after a grueling summer of training to prepare them for plebe life.
He said upperclassmen overseeing the fight required cadets to wear helmets, but video shows many did not. Some cadets swung pillowcases believed to be packed with their helmets.
The Times noted one freshman posted on Twitter: “4 concussions, 1 broken leg, 2 broken arms, 1 dislocated shoulder, and several broken ribs. That’s one hell of a pillow fight. #USMA19.”
Kasker said all cadets have since returned to duty. None of the participants have been punished.
Just watch the video—you know you want to:
This is the sort of thing that will prompt a week-long gaze into the chasm that is America’s navel, but to be fair to those who were involved, not everyone on the ground was exactly thrilled with those who chose to inflict serious injuries on their classmates:
West Point cadets had mixed reactions to the injuries this year. Some saw them as a rite of passage in a school known for being tough; others saw a lack of judgment and restraint.
“At first the body count, people were joking about it,” a female first-year cadet said. “My friends were really excited. And right after, when we learned how many people had gotten hurt, everyone felt totally hard-core. I know it looks weird from the outside, but it really bonds us.”
But when she saw a male cadet being loaded into an ambulance outside her dorm room, she began to have second thoughts.
“If you are an officer, you are supposed to make good decisions and follow the rules. You are supposed to mediate when everyone wants to go out and kill everyone,” she said. “The goal was to have fun, and it ended up some guys just chose to hurt people.”
West Point currently has no plans to nix the tradition. +100 for avoiding a knee-jerk reaction!
Follow Amy on Twitter @ThatAmyMiller
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
Young warriors ACTING like young warriors. We are DOOOOOOOOOOmed…!!!
Pro-tip: you give little boys Barbies to play with, and they WILL “shoot” them at each other and blow them up with fireworks.
Male brains are DIFFERENT. Deal with it. By which I mean, learn to respect, love, and HONOR it.
It could be worse. They could be massaging each other’s feet, leading to a progressive state of confusion.
A bloody nose is a coming of age milestone in a boy’s life, and serves as good preparation for the life of a warrior.
Now, as for nature, and nature’s God. Well, nature only cares about species, not individual, fitness. God has authored a religious/moral philosophy that is much more demanding, but it includes an explicit right to self-defense. So, warriors, put your pillows away, go forth and fight the good fight.
+100 for not nixing the tradition.
-100 for no punishment.
Isn’t this a place where you get demerits for being too slow to recite the fight song when an upperclassman asks you?
I’m not saying people need to be publicly shamed and hated or expelled, but *no* punishment?
Several cadets showed poor judgement, poor sportsmanship, and actual malice towards their classmates. Perhaps a few laps around the quad while upperclassmen yell at them?
…with rifles at “high port”…!!!
back in the day, a couple of laps at high port was not that punishing….today, it would probably kill me….
Any cadet who showed actual malice will be dealt with by his peers.
Hummm, what to do? Next year, provide better inserts for the pillow fight? Or issue better instructions on how to fight, fair? Details, eh!
OTOH: How did Captain Kirk win the Kobayashi Maru Exercise? Or Patton, his battles. Or, Morgan, at Cowpens! They did what they had to do!
Playing fair doesn’t win battles! However, it does keep “play War” participants out of the slammer!
Which doesn’t answer the unasked question: Why this article, on this subject?
Given another 8 years of liberal leadership they will still have the pillow fight, but they will be required to wear high heels.
…and it will STILL end in bloodshed. Beau Gist LIVES…!!!
I shudder to think what kind of damage a cadet could do armed with a pair of stiletto heels attached to his (or her) feet.
new tradition nixed due to large number of broken ankles.
This event turned into a test of judgment, and somebody flunked.
We do not need officers who are too stupid to understand the fundamentals of the mission.
My problem is with the concussions. These guys are the future generals of this country. Generals don’t do much hand to hand combat. We count on them to use their brains to outsmart and defeat our enemies. It doesn’t make sense to beat these brains in the first day of advanced military studies. But what would I know, I’m just a dumb biker with a couple of bullet holes, several stab wounds and several concussions doing biker fun stuff. We once played a tackle football game without equipment against our Milwaukee chapter. We averaged 170 lbs and they averaged about 270 with one guy at 625 who could actually run. Too much cheese, maybe. People got chainbelted in the pileups. And worse. I had the ref fire four shots into the ground 3 inches from my ear when I was at the bottom of a pile up after running a touchdown. I had ringing ears for days, three broken ribs, two broken fingers, a broken bone in my hand, two wrist sprains and black and blue everywhere. But we won so I understand how some of the cadets feel.
My father and I were in the Infantry several wars apart. Both time, and presumably in between, pickup tackle football was banned as it led to too many injuries requiring medical care, profiles to a less stressful MOS, or medical retirement.
So, when my OCS company played flag football, I think there was only one medical retirement, and he was on our opponent’s team.
Combat arms training uses up guys–and approximately nine times as many women–with various ailments including a lot of orthopedic issues. One pillow fight doesn’t make much difference.
Anyone moderately serious about his martial training knows that the essence of combat is not the infliction of damage, it is control—control of your opponent, and control of yourself. Those who can’t limit themselves to the levels of violence appropriate to the immediate contest are not in control. They have failed.
On the other hand, these are just frosh and nobody should expect too much.
You knock someone out or bust their nose so their eyes water and they can’t see and you’re a long way towards controlling your opponent.
I’ve had my nose busted several times. Didn’t kill me. Nobody died sounds like a turn of the Century football game to me. I bet they have better supervision next year.
Any chance alcohol was involved?
One can hope they’re not so neutered as to refuse a drink now and then.
I will quote Governor Ventura, “Bunch of slack-jawed faggots around here. This stuff will make you a god damned sexual Tyrannosaurus, just like me.”
You take a feather pillow jam it down as hard as you can spin the pillow case but not too tight, you need it to be able to swing then go to town. I used to knock the hell out my brothers with that and I was the only one who kept a feather pillow all the rest only remembered when it was time for war. Then they remembered why I kept it. Foreign objects in the pillow is for the ‘slack jawed’ who don’t have a decent swing. We caused plenty of bloody noses and broke both our bedroom lamps once but no broken bones, they had us beat.
My mom confiscated it under the Geneva Convention. She said my brother’s were allergic to feathers after one memorable fight that left no foe standing and I took no prisoners.