The word to the readers: the military world slaps a slap on hazing

(To David Rossi)

The writer - like all readers who participated in this article - asked himself a question: can not hazing be defined as an authentic element of a healthy body spirit? Without taking anything away from the "grandparents", that is to the older and experienced soldiers and as such carriers of an "educational" mission towards the recruits, we must be serious and not hide behind a finger: it was and is only a remnant of archaic tribal rites that, in some cases, hide behind a finger the failure to turn soldiers, airmen or sailors into a team. Often he was tolerated with selective motivations, with the excuse of serving to "drive away the femmucce" or "femminielli" from the Armed Forces, potential cowards in case of clashes with the enemy. Those who practiced it, on balance, have often been sexual repressed or real criminals looking for easy satisfaction.

Beyond the hazing, as a pathological and criminal phenomenon, a real cancer of the high dignity of the Armed Forces, there are initiation rites that at the beginning of the twenty-first century perhaps should be rethought, when they put the image at risk and, as a result, freedom and the strategic role of the military world. In short, in a context, the Italian, in which the media and a good part of the political class split the hair in four to harm men and women in uniform, it would be appropriate to be cautious, yes, for body spirit.

While waiting for the self-management to be taught in the schools for officers and non-commissioned officers, we like to hear, below, what the readers think of it, none of which, frankly, felt like taking the part of grandparents " "(That is, those who commit abuses, not those who are so for the experience in the military world). And it did not come out a single author of true acts of hazing that, even after some time and behind anonymity, had the p..le to talk about it. Evidently, they were brave only when they were raiding in a group: taken in person, they are ... um ... of frightened children.

Franco: a slap in the face of hazing

I believe that hazing, which is the correct term and is very different from the camaraderie and much more like bullying, has always existed in the military. I also believe that it does not add anything to the spirit of the body. If you go through such unpleasant experiences, you can evaluate what your temper is and the ability to occupy a dignified role that some bully would like to question. I remember that, as a sailor, a small group of bullets wandered in the Maridepocar's quarters. One night they came to my cot and asked me to show them my feet. I got up to sit on the bed (I was on the second floor) and I gave a backhand to the capomanipolo (a Sardinian). The others roared but I told him that there was something for them too. They came back muttering to their cots and no longer bothered me. With this I do not want to invite everyone to fist fight but just to make people think that the job of a soldier is rough, fraught with danger. It is not for everyone.

Marco: the testimonies of an alpine

I'm proudly an alpine, better, an alpine transmitter. My naja began the 12 of April 1983 in Salerno at the 86 esimo btg. infantry Salerno. The only episode of psychological / physical violence was only a few days before arriving in Salerno, when we 8 Alpine did not know why we were there; a corporal threatened me trying to make me foam in bed. Of all my naja is the only episode that I remember with anguish because I saw evil in his eyes. Fortunately my corporal instructor (alpine Brunico) came from the license, after a few days, and besides educating us, he also protected us.

Then I did 4 months of course in Naples at the SCUST, and when I arrived at my destination, I already had almost six months of naja on my shoulders, so the elderly did not consider me too much. In addition, my department consisted of a few elements, almost always on a mission to support the other departments for which the hazing was a superfluous thing. The only thing that appeal with tenderness is a mission to the 106 mortars of the then Btg. Saluzzo (now according to the alpine regiment). I slept in a dormitory with only members of the 7 ° / 83 my fathers, I was the only child. The night as soon as I left, a senior Caporal told me: "you take the plate because you are a child, I bring the radio". When we got to the point where the march was heavy because of the climb, he told me: "Better than I bring the plate, you are too much child". I took it as a signal of protection. Keep in mind that they were almost on leave.

Finally, I would point out that, in the face of seniority, I have been watching 15 days from my leave at the Busson logistics base in early March of the 1984 at - 25 ° and in the worst turn of the 4 at the 5 in the morning. It was not "track" the guard was all of the 3 ° 83 echelon we have drawn lots on the rounds.

Andrea G: a serene military life

I served the country in the Navy: a month in Maricentro, La Spezia then 60 gg. of radar and telecommunications training at the CEMM schools in C. San Vito (Taranto) and finally the destination: Carabiniere ship. 18 months of absolute experience during which I have never seen any mention of episodes of hazing but always and only camaraderie, loyalty and fairness on the part of everyone and towards everyone.

Certainly I had the opportunity to live unpleasant moments often due to my young age and the resulting exuberance and arrogance but, I repeat, never ever lived or saw episodes of hazing.

Most likely the not easy life on board (many weeks at sea, little water for washing, little personal space, eating that was what it was) helped a lot the cohesion between the elements of the crew and was realized in a sense of solidarity and uncommon camaraderie.

Sorry to read that even today there are some elegant episodes. Once the responsibilities have been ascertained, the first to answer for them will surely be the School Commander who was not allowed to tolerate or tolerate certain practices; now certain initiation rites are part of the past and must remain confined there; it is useless to recall tradition; you no longer have to put your hands on anyone if not consenting and if a colleague says "NO" is "NO" and you must stop.

Andrea S .: an in-depth analysis

If we are still here to write about hazing etc., still trying to contextualize it, according to my humble opinion it means that more than something is lacking both conceptually and sociologically in the organization of what professionalism should foresee and mean, in any sphere of the disciplines work and teaching, and especially in the meaning of the military context. This (and it saddens me a lot to have to write) is certified by those who demonstrate not only not to know and have not understood, and perhaps not wanting to understand, what the term PROFESSIONISMO means, in its various forms. And that leaves me frankly puzzled because more than others, some should know what a professional of "Craft of Arms".

There is no more representative context than TEAM WORKING CONCEPT than MILITARY. This is a fact. In this context the result of the work carried out often determines life and / or death of one's own and others. There is no more specific proof of this. The road to the construction of what today we tend to define Team Working, is given by what are defined as "The Path of the Four Pillars" which are: HIERARCHY, DISCIPLINE, TRAINING, MOTIVATION.

They represent a path, and are the fulcrum of every human structure that sees the TEAMWORK as the sharing of people united, amalgamated, cohesive in order to achieve a common purpose, which in this case is represented by a mission (large or small, tactical or strategic makes no difference) that sees soldiers of every order, from platoons to companies, from divisions to armies, to armies and entire nations, in projection, as the best examples to follow in what it means really BEING (one) AND DOING (one) TEAM.

But unfortunately this concept is undermined and challenged and threatened by everything that does not come from the creation of ethical conscience, I emphasize ETHICS, of every single element of the team itself, even of every order and degree. The single human being is, must be a precious and essential component of a cohesive, structural whole, which bases its commitment on the concept of multiplication of force (THE UNION FA and IS STRENGTH) given by every member of the team, from its valorization and his profound understanding of the concept of INSIEME, which will form a homogeneous structure, similar to a metallic bond, a web of fibers, a solid and inseparable union. This is the secret of winning teams, from the smallest to the biggest. Anywhere and in any area, and especially among soldiers.

The rituals, the goliardic tests, the initiations ... They have never made anyone a more trustworthy friend, and do not serve to create any concept of team, indeed. There are very few and somewhat questionable access to "club of initiates" who always see the single individual, usually a presumed leader, as the hub of the structure, not the group. Membership is based on a concept of bond that has nothing to do with psycho-physical preparation, nothing professional, and is often used for corporate purposes and for the protection of questionable private interests. There are very wide SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE that certify deviations and distortions of the psyche in the short, medium and long term caused by this behavior, at the individual and group level, as well as facts of painful judicial reporting.

A soldier, by professional and human right, has (and I would like to point out that, by law, these things should ALWAYS have them, even when conscription was in force):

- the right / duty to know from the first moment in which enters a barracks who has LEGAL AUTHORITY (and not for seniority or tradition) to command it, train it and instruct it to its duty of service (which means never bullying or mistreating it). On the contrary, this authority provides consequently RESPONSIBILITY (within the limits set by the laws in force) of its personal safety (given that it will have to deal with weapons and armed persons), in addition to protecting its rights as a citizen. The barracks are not places of legal extra-territoriality: it is indeed true if the exact opposite. We need to take a reason.

- the right / duty to know WRITTEN RULES in appropriate MANUALS (and not those of the "tradition" handed down by "grandparents" and "relatives" various and possible) that determine and determine his work and living with other soldiers, and will be the legal reference base as in any work context. And those who do not respect the rules leave and respond in front of a judge. One must do with it (2).

- the right / duty to train to the best of its physical, intellectual and psychological possibilities, in a professional manner and with the most suitable means available, and to be followed in the didactic and training path by instructors and staff prepared and possibly certified (and not from ANZIANI still various and possible that NO LEGAL LAW and DIDACTICO have to instruct, to train and to form somebody.Could be able, yes, to support and to advise amicably the comrades).

The professional soldier must always be aware that I will be subjected to constant tests of validation of his abilities, which may foresee his exclusion from the military profession and not, but never to those that someone still, and I stress again and unfortunately, try to describe as "evidence of passage, various initiation rituals, etc.", to which I warmly recommend expatriation to some prepared fourth-world tribe. I would also like to specify that it is also the right / duty of the military, in training and during any operational service, to resign if deemed appropriate and motivated, precisely in order to protect himself and above all others from his possible problems.

This right / duty must not provide for various dishonor or punishment or forcing to remain or to resist (useless, harmful, dangerous things) and must not be a stain of any kind in anyone's CV. This too is part of the Team Working concept. You have to do with it (3)

If this path is carried out professionally and correctly, the military professional will find himself in the best conditions to obtain what has always been the key to success in all areas of TEAMWORK: we are talking about the point of arrival, the MOTIVATION .

A soldier placed in a precise, structured, disciplined hierarchical context, who will be well trained and hopefully well equipped, will be highly motivated. It is and will be a READY AND MICROWAL ARMS, a STRATEGIC ASSET, as well as a PRECIOUS PERSON and an INESTIMABLE HUMAN VALUE DURING and AFTER its service, in what is called NATION (which for those who had not yet noticed it is different from a tribe).

We leave the grandmother to grandparents and great-grandparents, in fact, and deliver it to history (often not at all glorious) definitely. We turn once and for all page.

Luca: the grandfather as an educator, not the prevaricator

Hazing ... The first brick of the military hierarchy, what should create the first "being" of a soldier. Unfortunately, a misused training tool, in the total hysteria of a mad world; personally I would repress it instantly. It's too easy to slip, to get rid of your frustrations about the poor newcomers. The soldiers are still men, when they come out of the barracks are in an exasperated world that changes too quickly, this society can no longer handle the hazing at least as it once was, you can no longer humiliate lives because it is worse off. Nocturism can no longer exist as we know it, it should turn into a motivational tool, where the grandfather must "raise" the recruiter in the true sense of the word, the grandfather must do in the paternal sense of the term; to squeeze it must think about the non-commissioned officers and to "sharpen" the officers, utopia or dream of the past? Surely I have never seen stoned become phenomena thanks to the ignorant arrogance of grandparents; on the contrary, load, help and support a stoned avoid at least that you do not shoot at him.

Photo: US Air Force