A graphic and heartbreaking video (above) is making its way around the Internet and on the news of a young Army Soldier being hit in the chest with a mallet as part of a hazing ritual.
The young man, Phillip Roach, is shown falling to the ground and hitting his head. The blow created a medical condition called commotio curtis, which is fatal in about half the instances. Fortunately, Roach survived but suffered a seizure and needed staples to the head as a result of the fall. SFC Carpenter, who delivered the blow, has been reprimanded, but Roach’s father wants more—to see SFC Carpenter demoted in rank.
Many people, however, say that SFC Carpenter is just a part of a bigger system of hazing in the military that puts our enlisted men and women in danger.
Just last week a soldier at Fort Bragg was sentenced in the hazing of another young man who killed himself reportedly after hazing incidents. WITN.com explained the situation as, “Another soldier is being punished for his role in the suicide of an Army private, who authorities say killed himself because he was hazed over his Chinese ancestry.”
If hazing is a normal part of military culture, we have to ask ourselves whether true harassment and assault are sometimes being excused based upon the excuse that hazing is normal, or if all hazing is inappropriate and dangerous.
What do you think should happen to SFC Carpenter?
How can we prevent these things from happening again?