Marine Corps Hazing

Have you ever seen or experienced any type of hazing? What are your thoughts about hazing?

  • USMCFormer

    Hazing;harassment, bullying; extra military instruction; cruelty; abuse. I was in the
    Marine Corps long enough to know that there is a very thin line between
    these words and how NCOS like to justify their actions in “disciplining” new ‘boots’ to their unit.

    Having joined Marine Corps Infantry in 1992, I watched the video above with interest, because it was actually the first time I had seen the whole report. I remember reading

    about the Bloodwinging practice in an old copy of the Marine Corps times back in early 1993. But i digress. Since I was in a Infantry unit, then took an indoc to go into a Special Operations Training Group Unit (SOTG), worked around and supported Marine Recon, Force Recon and even a one off time with SEALS, such units had very similar practices in regard to toughening up their new members, or just fucking with their existing members!!

    Being over 40, and having listened to some of the hazing that some active duty Marines describe on Youtube, or on forums,the stories are very similar to what I experienced, but some cases I just shake my head in disbelief about the stupidity and unnecessary cruelty of such practices. To you young people out there, you must realise that the 1990’s were a different time ie people did not walk around with advanced mobile phones with cameras, there was no available Internet , and some cameras still contained film which you had to take to the store to develop. In other words, to make a video like this was a major exercise, and it was likely that the equipment would have been seen, but the people involved would not have to worry about it being seen en mass.

    To put it simply, when you were hazed at Kaneohe MCAS in 1992 you simply had no choice but to put up with it, and you dared not try to fight it. But as a young PFC I displayed the motivation they wanted to see, took my so called punishments, but to be honest they weren’t really as bad as what some Marines currently on active duty have experienced. It may have been a function of the times back then- the first Persian Gulf war had been over for a year, I was trained in CA and assigned to Hawaii ( a good duty station, and people wanted to enjoy their weekends), and the majority of NCOS had had some war time experience ( ie they knew what was BS and what wasn’t).

    To put it simply, when we were hazed it was for a good reason, but there were instances of NCOS going on power trips. When I made Corporal they did not make me run a gauntlet nor did the Blood Stripe ritual, but I never forget one Sergeant we had ( I’ll call him Sgt K) who was an old school asshole who MOST OF THE PLATOON HATED, he came into the barracks drunk on a Friday night,calling my name so he could kick me in the legs. I’ll never forget my roommates- we were drinking lightly and watching a movie- and none of us wanted to be fucked with- so I just told them I’ll hide in the bathroom, and they casually said OK, we’ll just lie to SGT K and say we haven’t seen you ( simply because they hated this prick and were just tired of the Marine Corps bullshit) so they blatantly lied to him when he came storming in, and did their best to make him go away!!

    It was just a function of being in Hawaii and in the barracks- we just got tired of the assholes trying to make our experience more miserable than it needed to be so the majority of the Corporals ( very few of them very lifers) didn’t mess with us any more than they needed to! It was only the SGTS and above who lived away from the barracks who like to storm in and go on power trips, but they met with a hell of a lot of passive resistance!!(Hey -all we had was each other!!)

    So, when I first joined I listened to a lot of crap about the old Corps, and i’m sure all the Marines of 2013 have to listen to same shit. I like to think we were tough, but just had a sense of perspective about what was dumb and what was smart.

    To sum up, in the hazing you are seeing in the video here are my the Pros and Cons:

    Pros- it toughens you up. You know what to expect if you captured and tortured by the enemy (anyone whose gone to SERE school would know this) and it shows you can endure some pain under controlled conditions.
    You are part of an elite group and you have earned something special. Once you pass the test and endured the pain, they won’t make you go through it again and you are part of a special brotherhood.

    I would much rather go to war with Marines who gone through this as opposed to a “weakass” but by that definition that would include me because I couldn’t be bother to take the licks to become a true Corporal. I had already had been beaten before and couldn’t fight back, so didn’t see the point of repeating the experience.

    Most Marines on active duty at the time were trusted to know when this became too excessive. I saw firsthand some NCOS hazing a boot, but they would stop short of seriously injuring him. There would be serious consequences if a junior enlisted was not ready to train because of a injury identified from hazing.

    Cons- the times had changed a lot. Society is far more politically correct and sensitive nowdays, with special considerations given to minorites, faggots and women. People are far more self centred ( the ipod and iphones reflect this) and know they have rights, so are not as willing to take some pain for a team ( yes this is a generalization, but I believe it is true).

    The Marine Corps is far more corporate, and has adopted corporate principles ( ie regulate absolutely everything because if you don’t somebody might sue you) and having worked in civilian corporations I know from experience that even when I raised my voice I was met with a flurry of complaints about a former Marine Officer creating a hostile and insensitive working environment ( this happened in the government department I was in). In short, being a Marine NCO will not prepare you for the real working world because if you do anything like this you will be fired immediately!

    The biggest con is that it hard to know when this is going to beneficial to someone ( to learn discipline,follow orders or not to repeat the same mistake), or whether its going to be the straw that broke the camels back and cause them to commit suicide or go on a shooting rampage.

    As I said, its a fine line….