Ready and Resilience Campaign: Hazing

Tuesday September 17, 2013

What is it?

Hazing, as defined in the revised Army Regulation 600-20, Army Command Policy, is any conduct whereby one or more military members, family members and civilian members, regardless of service, rank, grade, or position, intentionally or recklessly and unlawfully endangers the mental or physical health or safety of another member or employee, regardless of Service, rank, grade, or position, by any action taken, or situation created, that is cruel, abusive, humiliating, oppressive, demeaning or harmful.

Hazing, includes but is not limited to, any form of initiation, "rite of passage" or congratulatory act, or excessive corrective measures that involve: physically striking another in order to, or resulting in, the infliction of pain or injury, piercing another's skin in any manner, forcing or requiring the consumption of excessive amounts of substances, or encouraging illegal, harmful, demeaning or dangerous acts. Hazing can be verbal or psychological in nature. Participants and conspirators may be prosecuted under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.

What has the Army done

Army leadership has renounced hazing. On Jan. 13, 2012, the Secretary of the Army John McHugh, the Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, and the Sgt. Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, tri-signed a letter echoing emphasis on hazing placed by Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's statements. SMA Chandler has issued a letter to leaders to do the right thing, shape change and review the Army Profession material. The Army has also reported to Congress on hazing in the Army.

Why is this important to the Army?

Hazing has a negative impact on readiness. The physical or mental injury caused by hazing damages the medical readinessof the force. It further destroys trust and cohesion among Soldiers. Hazing erodes the foundation of the Army Values and Warrior Ethos.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

New policy contained in the Rapid Action Revision, will require reporting complaints of hazing using the Equal Opportunity Complaint Processing System and the Equal Opportunity Reporting System.


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