You should be aware of recent allegations of hazing within the ranks of
our Armed Forces, and we want to take this opportunity to clearly
address these troubling reports. We echo the emphasis that Secretary of
Defense Panetta and Chairman Dempsey have placed on this matter. Every
Army professional has a personal obligation to prevent hazing and ensure
that we treat all of our comrades in arms with dignity and respect.
Hazing is not compatible with Army Values. The very foundation of what
we do depends on trust, and trust depends on the treatment of all
Soldiers with dignity and respect by fellow Soldiers and leaders.
Without this, our profession is placed in jeopardy, our readiness
suffers and our mission success is at risk.
Hazing, in any form, has no place in our Army and will not be tolerated.
This applies at all levels to all Active, Guard and Reserve Soldiers,
Civilians and contractors. This is not new.Hazing has been explicitly
prohibited by Army Regulation 600-20 and the Uniform Code of Military
Justice for many years. Individuals who participate in, allow or condone
hazing may be subject to disciplinary action that may include
nonjudicial punishment or court-martial.
We recognize that leaders must enforce standards and exercise strong
leadership and that this may include organizing team-building
activities. This does not, however, allow for any activity that crosses
the line and results in an abuse of power and deliberate humiliation.
Effective leaders must never participate in, allow or condone hazing. We
expect every member of the Army, military and civilian, to vigilantly
guard against any form of hazing and to report any incident of hazing to
the chain of command.
As stated by Secretary Panetta, this has a direct impact on force
readiness. At this point in our Nation's history, the stakes are simply
too high for us to fail. Our professional values are one of the
essential components that make us who we are -- the best Army in the
world and the Strength of the Nation. Army Strong!
Raymond F. Chandler III
Sergeant Major of the Army
Raymond T. Odierno
General, United States Army Chief of Staff
John M. McHugh
Secretary of the Army