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Hazing

The Army is a values-based organization where everyone is encouraged to do what is right by treating others as they should be treated-with dignity and respect. Hazing is in opposition to our values and is prohibited. Hazing is any conduct whereby one military member or employee, regardless of service or rank, unnecessarily causes another military member or employee, regardless of service or rank, to suffer or be exposed to an activity which is cruel, abusive, oppressive or harmful.

Hazing includes, but is not limited to any form of initiation, “rite of passage” or congratulatory act that involves inflicting pain or encouraging others to engage in illegal, harmful, demeaning or dangerous acts. Physically striking another in order to inflict pain; piercing another’s skin in any manner; forcing or requiring the consumption of excessive amounts of food, alcohol, drugs, or other substances can be considered hazing. Simply telling another soldier to participate in any such activity is also considered hazing. Hazing need not involve physical contact among or between military members or employees; it can be verbal or psychological in nature.

Hazing is not limited to superior-subordinate relationships. It may occur between peers or even, under certain circumstances, may involve actions directed towards senior military personnel by those juniors in rank or grade to them. Hazing has at times occurred during graduation ceremonies or similar military “rites of passage.” However, it may also happen in day-to-day military settings. It is prohibited in all cases, to include off duty or “unofficial” celebrations or unit functions. Express or implied consent to hazing is not a defense to violation of AR 600-20.


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