Cadet pillow fights like the bloody one that left 30 injured this summer will be banned and actions are being pursued against many of those involved, U.S. Military Academy officials said Wednesday.
First-year students, known as “plebes,” organize the annual pillow fight as a way to build camaraderie after a grueling summer of training. But the pillow fight on Aug. 20 escalated into a free-for-all with plebes being hit from behind and knocked to the ground. Injuries included a broken nose, a fractured cheek and 24 diagnosed concussions. One cadet was found unconscious, according to a report released Wednesday.
“While never officially sanctioned, it is now officially banned, and we will take appropriate action to ensure that all faculty, staff, leaders, the Corps of Cadets and everyone at West Point knows that it will not be tolerated,” West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen said in a statement.
Though the pillow fight is cited as a tradition, the report suggests it dates back no further than 2001. There was no pillow fight in 2013.