VIDEO Two dozen West Point cadets injured in massive pillow fight

Massive Pillow Fight Two

A massive pillow fight at the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point very nearly ended in tragedy when over two dozen cadets required evaluation by medical personnel. All told, 24 young soldiers were treated for injuries suffered in the huge pillow fight–fought with standard-issue pillows, plus some augmentation–though no cadets have been dismissed over the incident.

A massive pillow fight is an annual induction ritual at West Point; in that regard, the August 20th event was no different from those of previous years. According to West Point brass, a massive pillow fight is a good way to blow off steam following a month of intense summer training, while at the same time introducing a slew of new cadets to the West Point way.

However, as Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen, Jr., said in a statement, this year’s edition of the huge pillow fight quickly became a pillow debacle. Injuries included a broken nose; at least one dislocated shoulder; a cheekbone fracture (hairline); and assorted cases of minor cranial trauma.

What on earth caused such destruction? Caslen reported that, this year, cadets included more than just pillows in their pillowcases: some of those involved stuffed helmets into their pillowcases, and swung with vigor.

Footage of the massive pillow fight has found its way onto the internet. Check out a clip:

A New York Times report on the incident claimed that one participant was forced to the ground with a broken leg, which then had to be treated at off-campus medical facilities. The Times said that that cadet had yet to return to school. However, a follow-up with NBC News said that all students were back on campus, and that classes were proceeding normally.

“Although the vast majority of the class appears to have maintained the spirit of the [massive pillow fight]; it is apparent that a few did not,” said Caslen. “A military police investigation that began the night of the incident is ongoing. I assure you that the chain of command will take appropriate action when the investigation is complete.”


(Photo credits: West Point cadets, massive pillow fight one, two via Flickr)

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