Report: 27 Cadets Injured in Brawl at U.S. Air Force Academy

By Susan Jones | November 1, 2012 | 6:48am EDT

U.S. Air Force Academy cadets of the Class of 2012 at the start of the commencement ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (AP Photo)

From the Military Times: An Air Force Academy tradition of throwing cadet first sergeants into the season's first snowfall ended in a brawl that left 27 cadets in need of medical treatment for everything from concussions, bitemarks, and cuts, according to an internal academy email obtained by the Air Force Times.

“This ritual has devolved to become increasingly violent, with significant numbers of cadets requiring medical care over the past two years," Dean of Faculty Brigadier Gen. Dana Born wrote in an email sent to Academy department heads.

She said the tradition of throwing cadets into the snow "has turned into a brawl between upperclassmen defending the first sergeant and the four degrees trying to capture the first sergeant."

“Obviously, this has gotten out of hand and cannot be repeated,” Born wrote. “There is no way we can condone or defend this.”

The article noted that the new Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Greg Lengyel also found the brawl unacceptable, although -- as Born noted in her email -- he might be amenable to allowing cadets to keep some version of the tradition if they presented him a proposal for how it could be executed with “good order and discipline and proper risk management.”

The full report can be found here.

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