LC — Cohesion or Abuse

The senior drill sergeant for a Basic Combat Training company observes another drill sergeant striking a trainee who is duct-taped to a chair. The drill sergeant says it is part of a birthday observance for the trainee. The senior drill sergeant tries to engage the drill sergeant about the incident, but the other drill sergeant has no interest in discussing it any further. What would you do?

Topics covered:

  • Hazing

  • Unit rites of passage

  • Loyalty to peers vs. loyalty to the unit

  • Role-modeling behavior

What’s the Situation?

  • You are the senior drill sergeant for a Basic Combat Training company.
  • You observe another drill sergeant striking a trainee who is duct-taped to a chair. The drill sergeant says it is part of a birthday observance for the trainee.
  • You try to engage the drill sergeant about the incident, but the other drill sergeant has no interest in discussing it further.
  • You worry that reporting the incident will end the career of the drill sergeant, who is a friend and close companion.
  • The company is severely short of drill sergeants. Losing this drill sergeant will put the company at 50% manning for drill sergeants, with the first sergeant gone as well.
  • The incident was observed by a number of trainees, who may report it.

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