It’s an annual tradition said to date back to at least 1897. At the end of summer training at West Point military academy, where many of the nation’s top military leaders are educated, cadets and more senior military members engage in huge pillow fights.
What sounds innocent enough, left 30 soldiers wounded at the latest such event in August of this year. 24 cadets were left unconscious, having been hit by pillows that were stuffed with hard objects, likely helmets. Some cadets were said to have worn body armor to the fights.
After a previous investigation, where one cadet’s nose had been broken in a pillow fight in 2001, the academy defended the practice as a ritual designed to build “esprit de corps”.
Now it seems things have gone too far and the academy is determined “to send a clear message that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated”.