BANNED: No More Pillow Fights for West Point Cadets After 30 Injured

BANNED: No More Pillow Fights for West Point Cadets After 30 Injured

Somehow, this just feels wrong. How do you get a concussion in a pillow fight? West Point has now banned the annual pillow fight that takes place between first-year students at the end of summer training. They said this last one got particularly bloody, with concussions, broken noses, knocking people out, etc. Again… how do you do that with a pillow? Some cadets were said to be wearing helmets and body armor and were still bleeding from the encounter. But the investigation that was conducted said that no hard objects were put in the pillows. It also said that most of the injuries came from being knocked down. Something just sounds off here to me.

West Point

From MSN News:

U.S. Military Academy officials said Wednesday they have banned the annual pillow fight by first-year cadets after a bloody clash between “plebes” this summer at West Point left 30 injured, including 24 diagnosed with concussions.

Officials said they are also pursuing actions against many of those involved in the Aug. 20 fracas.

First-year students, or “plebes,” organize the annual fight to help the group bond after a summer of intense training.

The event, which appears to have been held almost every year since 2001, was particularly violent this time. In one case, a cadet was hit from behind and knocked unconscious, according to a West Report report of the incident. He was given first aid by a cadet who was a certified Emergency Medical Technician.

Other injuries included a broken nose and a fractured cheek. A photograph posted on Twitter showed a cadet wearing a helmet and body armor with blood pouring from his nose and mouth.

Col. Karl Meyer, who led an investigation into the incident, noted that the pillow fight has not been an officially sanctioned event nor was it based on any recorded tradition. It was held in the campus’ Central Area around 8 p.m.

Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen said the probe showed that such “unprofessional spirit events” have “no place in the future of the academy or in the development of the Army’s next generation of leaders.” He warned that any recurrence would not be tolerated.

He said the probe showed “ineffective communication” between cadet leadership and senior military personnel before the fight.

The investigation also found that, contrary to rumor, no hard objects had been placed in the pillows before the brawl.

“Many injuries were the result of cadets having been hit by elbows or other body parts during the scuffle of the pillow fight or from simply falling or being knocked to the ground,” the report said.

The pillow fight is supposed to be a good-natured way of letting off steam between the cadets. It may not have been sanctioned by the Academy, but it has been in place since 2001 and it certainly is a tradition. This sounds like more of Obama’s political correctness in play. The Academy has now officially banned the annual pillow fight after 30 were injured – 24 had concussions. It does sound like it got out of hand and I suppose if so, you cannot blame the military for putting a halt to it. Fighting among cadets is not tolerated and this sounds more like a giant bar fight than a pillow fight. It’s a shame so many traditions are disappearing like this one. It’s part of what makes the military great. No more pillow fights at West Point, but snappy dressing is encouraged.

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is an editor and writer for Right Wing News. She owns and blogs at She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political and national issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - She also does research at You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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