30 Cadets Injured in All-Out 'Brawl'
Sergeant-tossing ritual leaves 6 hospitalized
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2012 4:10 PM CDT
U.S. Air Force Academy Cadets of the Class of 2012, lower their heads during the Invocation at the start of the commencement ceremony, Wednesday, May 23, 2012, in Colorado Springs, Colo.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – An Air Force ritual devolved into an all-out melee last week that left 30 cadets injured and six hospitalized—with concussions, cuts, and an arm bite, NBC News reports. It was all part of the unauthorized "First Shirt/First Snow" ritual, in which cadets toss a sergeant into a snow bank at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. Not too surprisingly, the rite has led to melees and injuries the past couple of years. "Obviously, this has gotten out of hand and cannot be repeated," wrote Brig. Gen. Dana Born to school administrators.

Just how does the ritual turn into a massive melee? When "upperclassmen defending the first sergeant" begin brawling with "the four degrees trying to capture the first sergeant," wrote Born, according to the Air Force Times. But a new commander at the school says he may allow the sergeant-tossing to continue if cadets can do it nicely. "Our Air Force expects better," says Brig. Gen. Greg Lengyel. "I expect better, and I’m confident the cadets will learn and grow from this."

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Showing 3 of 37 comments
Nov 5, 2012 12:36 AM CST
Ah yes, the lost art of sergeant-tossing. I remember reading about it in history books.
Nov 3, 2012 1:05 PM CDT
learn and grow! what is this a grade school yard! this is the us air force top school! it is not very hard to see why the us has gone to hell if we have school kids and a dumbazz teacher saying learn and grow! crap staff=crap cadets=flush!
Nov 3, 2012 12:32 PM CDT
This is so stupid.