Cadets participated in an unauthorized, unofficial practice known as "First Shirt/First Snow" recently that resulted in injuries.
The practice occurs after the first snow of the season when freshmen cadets try to throw their cadet first sergeant in the snow. The incident, which occurred on Oct. 25, resulted in 27 cadets sustaining injuries. Six cadets were taken to a local hospital and have since been released. The 21 other cadets received medical attention for bruises and/or lacerations at the cadet clinic. Most cadets did not participate.
Brig. Gen. Gregory Lengyel, Commandant of Cadets, upon learning of the incident, immediately disseminated information to the cadets and spoke with all cadets about the incident at two Commandant's Calls on Oct. 28.
"A relatively small number of cadets chose to take part in this unsafe activity. This incident was unacceptable," Lengyel said. "Our Air Force expects better. I expect better and I'm confident the cadets will learn and grow from this."
Lengyel also emphasized with the entire Cadet Wing:
Good military units set and enforce high standards and maintain good order and discipline
Incidents of this kind are not in accordance with good order and discipline and they are not condoned in the Air Force
The academy teaches and practices risk management where we analyze the risk for all activities and activities like this are not worth the risk of injury or other serious consequences.
Academy officials are investigating the incident and appropriate measures will be taken.