What does it say when the people who attend the elite West Point military academy from which the nation’s future military leaders will emerge do not have the sense to not indulge in what can only be described as pointless and dangerous acts of incredible foolishness?
An annual pillow fight by freshmen cadets at the U.S. Military Academy turned bloody this year when cadets swung pillowcases packed with hard objects, injuring 30 cadets, including 24 who suffered concussions.
Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker told the newspaper the annual fight is organized by first-year students as a way to build camaraderie after a grueling summer of training to prepare them for plebe life.
The Times noted one freshman posted on Twitter: “4 concussions, 1 broken leg, 2 broken arms, 1 dislocated shoulder, and several broken ribs. That’s one hell of a pillow fight. #USMA19.”
One first-year cadet told the paper that an upperclassman told him, “If you don’t come back with a bloody nose, you didn’t try hard enough.”
This is a problem of a macho culture in which any cadet who had the good sense and judgment and maturity, the very qualities one would want in a leader, had suggested that this is not a good idea, would have been derided as a wimp and a loser.
This ‘pillow fight’ will be defended as being tradition and thus sacrosanct and those who criticize West Point for indulging this kind of practice will be accused of contributing to the wussification of America and adding fuel to Donald Trump’s claim that America is now led by losers and that we don’t win anything anymore.
This is the world we live in.