West Point’s annual pillow fight turns violent, report

5 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

US elite military academy annual pillowfight ends in broken bones and concussions.

Staff at America’s elite West Point military academy have launched an investigation after cadets involved in a ritual mass pillow fight hospitalised each other by “spiking” their pillow cases with heavy objects. Held every August to mark the finish of a summer of tough training, the night-time pillow fights are designed as a fun way to instil a sense of team spirit in the young cadets, who are groomed to become the cream of America’s military leadership. That led to at least one cadet being knocked senseless, while others suffered injuries including including split slips, dislocated shoulders, and a broken leg.

In all, 30 cadets were injured, including 24 with concussions, according to West Point, which confirmed details of the brawl to The New York Times on Thursday after reports of it leaked out on social media. A spokesman for the academy, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Kasker, said that the academy had no plans to end the annual pillow fight, but that an inquiry was underway. “West Point applauds the cadets’ desire to build esprit and regrets the injuries to our cadets,” he said. “We are conducting appropriate investigations into the causes of the injuries.” Video of the fight posted online showed that the battling cadets even took body armour into the fight, which took place in a central quad in the academy’s New York State campus. Pillow fights at West Point have been a tradition since at least 1897, and are designed to end a period of seven weeks of basic training in which cadets are not authorised even to speak to one another.

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