Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Air Force Academy brawl injures 27 cadets

First Published Oct 31 2012 08:19 pm • Last Updated Oct 31 2012 08:19 pm

Denver • The Air Force Academy said 27 cadets were injured in a brawl during an unofficial ritual marking the first snowfall of the season.

Six cadets were taken to an off-campus hospital after the Oct. 25 ruckus and have been released, the academy said Wednesday. The others were treated at a cadet clinic.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The injuries included concussions, cuts and a human bite, and some cadets required stitches, Brig. Gen. Dana Born wrote in an internal email that was provided to The Associated Press and other media outlets. Academy officials confirmed the email is authentic.

Born is dean of faculty.

Academy officials were treating the incident as a "teachable moment," said Lt. Col. John Bryan, a school spokesman. He said he did not know of any plans to discipline cadets.

Brig. Gen. Gregory Lengyel, the commandant of cadets, said in a statement that the brawl was unacceptable.

Lengyel did not say how many cadets were involved but said it was a "relatively small number."

The ritual is called "First Shirt/First Snow" and involves freshmen trying to throw cadet first sergeants — known as first shirts — into the snow.

"This ritual has devolved to become increasingly violent, with significant numbers of cadets requiring medical care over the past two years," Born wrote in her email.

"What used to be [freshmen] throwing the first shirt into the snow has turned into a brawl between upperclassmen defending the first sergeant and the [freshmen] trying to capture the first sergeant."


story continues below
story continues below

It wasn’t immediately known how many cadets were injured last year.

"Obviously, this has gotten out of hand and cannot be repeated," Born wrote.

Born wrote that Lengyel stopped short of banning the ritual and said cadets could propose keeping it if they found a way to avoid violence.

The academy is located outside Colorado Springs and has about 4,000 students. Upon graduation, they are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Air Force.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.