News: Corps' anti-hazing policy explained
Story by Cpl. Walter D. Marino II
SAN DIEGO - Recruits of Company I, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, attended class Nov. 27, to learn about the Marine Corps’ strong stance against hazing.
Hazing is defined as any conduct whereby one military member or members, regardless of service or rank causes another military member to suffer or be exposed to an activity which is cruel, abusive, humiliating, oppressive, demeaning or harmful.
1st Sgt. Damien R. Coan, Company I first sergeant, explained to recruits the Corps’ zero-tolerance policy on hazing and that all perpetrators will be punished.
“We’re supposed to take the high ground as military forces,” said Coan.
There was no debate from either recruits or drill instructors. All appeared appalled toward hazing. The importance of the class was a no-brainer.
Recruits were shown situations where hazing has been known to occur. Situations such as promotions and graduations from schools.
“Depending on the situation, they may think it’s tradition. But it serves no purpose,” said Sgt. Kenneth G. West, drill instructor, Platoon 3214, Co. I, 3rd RTBn. “It’s important for hazing to be broken-down and for recruits to be given clear guidelines on what is and isn’t acceptable. There is no honor in making someone feel like crap or demeaning them.”
Some recruits encountered hazing before recruit training, and have either been hazing victims or have known someone who became a victim.
Recruit Alberto Espinoza, Plt. 3214, Co. I, 3rd RTBn., said he’s seen fraternities haze individuals by putting sand bags on people’s heads, putting people naked in a tank full of ice and drinking excessive water.
“It’s wrong,” said Espinoza, 22 years old. “I’ve had a few friends die from hazing. It doesn’t prove a point, it’s morally and ethically wrong.”
Although Espinoza says he has received multiple classes on hazing in college, he explained the class he attended in recruit training has made him more aware that hazing can happen anywhere.
“I learned different scenarios to watch out for in the military,” said Espinoza “The military can be like a fraternity, but it has aspects in it that are different.”
During the class recruits were also taught how hazing can taint the image of the Marine Corps. An example was given of a hazing video that was displayed on the news.
“(Hazing) can cause the victim or the public to look down on the military,” said Recruit Dwayne L. Scott, Plt. 3214, Co. I, 3rd RTBn.
With the possibility of hazing occurring at any rank or service, it is vital for Marines to be educated on the issue.