A traditional West Point end-of-training pillow fight got a little out of control and resulted in multiple injuries, including broken legs, dislocated shoulders and concussions.
But while some outsiders were appalled by the violence, the cadets took pride in their injuries.
The pillow fight is a tradition that follows a seven-week training period in which cadets are not allowed to even speak to each other.
Some participants stuffed helmets and body armor into their pillows to inflict as much damage as possible, according to the New York Times.
Video of the melee shows smoke bombs and glow sticks being thrown and cadets in shopping carts being pushed into other brawlers.
West Point spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker told the Times that the upperclassmen overseeing the event ““allowed the spirit activity to occur out of the desire to enhance the spirit of the class.”
West Point applauds the cadets’ desire to build esprit and regrets the injuries to our cadets,” he said. “We are conducting appropriate investigations into the causes of the injuries.”
Kasker added that there were no plans to stop the annual tradition.
But because this is a military academy training the finest fighting force the world has ever known, and not a knitting class in a senior citizens center, the cadets were downright gleeful about the fight, posting pictures of their bloody noses and blood-soaked pillows on social media while liberals expressed outrage.
Watch video here:
Here are just a few highlights from tonight’s spirit dinner and plebe pillow fight ft. my company! ? #GoIronhorse pic.twitter.com/iYD9nuXEiF
— Brian Alegre (@El_Machismo) August 21, 2015
The Plebe Pillow fight claimed more than a few victims tonight… check out my Facebook page for a video sample. pic.twitter.com/Q5syI1pmZm
— Urban Koala (@a_weyy) August 22, 2014
Bloodiest pillow fight I’ve ever been in pic.twitter.com/5ISoQitCma
— KENDO (@KendallTuua) August 21, 2015
Only at West Point does a pillow fight put 13 kids in the hospital pic.twitter.com/PXDnRwz5fW
— Matthew Brooks (@brooksmatthew1) August 21, 2015
Most intense pillow fight of my life! Plebe Pillow Fight 2015, one crazy tradition here. #USMA19 pic.twitter.com/am1x3MCPkX
— Nicholas Alonso (@nnniiico) August 21, 2015
@sonofamitch30 craziest pillow fight ever pic.twitter.com/4sFWtnh0ib
— Mitchell McCormick (@sonofamitch30) August 21, 2015
During the pillow fight pic.twitter.com/gz1tkH47YA
— Brandon Badillo (@brandonbadillo5) August 21, 2015
You know its a West Point “pillow” fight when you see this after its over pic.twitter.com/21zSZ6htBL
— Aaron McIver (@AirMcIver) August 21, 2015
@nytimes Heads are going to roll for this one… Our #military‘s elite should have much higher standards than this asinine behavior. #Hazing
— Nathanael Saint-Cyr (@NathanaelStCyr) September 5, 2015
@nytimes We are a violent country. 24 concussions. Wow!
— Gail Pascaris (@Gail_in_VA) September 5, 2015
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