While the US Army and Marine infantry branches have implemented harsh punishments for even gentle hazing in order to accommodate the integration of women into their ranks, many foreign militaries are keeping such traditions alive and well- often with dangerous results.
In the Mexican infantry, for example, Academy students graduating on to their new assignments are wrapped in blankets and smack around eight to ten times with aluminium poles, often bending the improvised bludgeons.
“Farewell tradition in the infantry companies in the Mexican Military Academy the third year cadets give to the fourth year before departing to their new battalions,” Redditor mi17up wrote on Reddit’s military page. “If they didn’t haze you, you hit them with pillows.”
In the UK, some units have rather disgusting traditions, including jumping naked into nasty water filled with all sorts of unimaginable horrors.
Such as an incident in 2019, where a soldier was forced to jump into a bin full of horse feces, dead rats and gasoline as part of a ritual.
In Russia, hazing takes on a more sinister meaning.
Known as “Dedovshchina,” or “Reign of Grandfathers,” the practice is more a cultural right of passage than a single incident, as the bullying of conscripts often doesn’t end until the soldiers rank up.
Dedovshchina is not exclusive to the Russian army, as gendarmerie and border guards also partake in the culture.
Many young men are killed or commit suicide every year because of Dedovshchina, and in 2006, it was revealed by the New York Times that nearly 300 Russian troops were killed by the practice.
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