Annual West Point Pillow Fight Injured 30 [Updated]

By

On August 20, an annual pillow fight for incoming freshmen at the United States Military Academy at West Point descended into dangerous violence as some participants loaded heavy objects into their pillowcases before proceeding into the fray. The New York Times reports that 30 cadets were injured as a result, including concussions for 24 cadets (one had to be taken away by ambulance) and broken limbs and dislocated shoulders for others. The ritual, a West Point tradition since 1897, is meant to instill feelings of camaraderie and spirit in the cadets following a seven-week basic-training regimen that precedes their first year at the academy. The event was canceled in 2013 after a cadet loaded a lockbox into his pillowcase the previous year, and though the Times notes that so far there have been no consequences following this year’s injuries, the Washington Post is reporting that the brawl is still under investigation:

>

While these spirit events do occur, we never condone any activity that results in intentional harm to a teammate,” said Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, Jr., the superintendent of the academy, in a statement. “Although the vast majority of the class appears to have maintained the spirit of the event; it is apparent that a few did not. A military police investigation that began the night of the incident is ongoing. I assure you that the chain of command will take appropriate action when the investigation is complete.”

BuzzFeed News also points out that many of the cadets who proudly posted images and videos of the fight and injuries on social media are now taking them down as a result of the increasing public scrutiny. Here are a few videos of the fracas that are still online:

BuzzFeed News also points out that many of the cadets who proudly posted images and videos of the fight and injuries on social media are now taking them down as a result of the increasing public scrutiny. Here are a few videos of the fracas that are still online:

This post has been updated to include the response from USMA Superintendent Lieutenant Geneneral Robert L. Caslen Jr. and his confirmation of an ongoing investigation into the fight.

Annual West Point Pillow Fight Injured 30