27 Air Force Academy cadets injured in ‘unauthorized’ incident

Air Force Adacemy

The United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.

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U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — More than two dozen cadets were injured when they participated in an unauthorized, unofficial “ritual” at the Air Force Academy.

It’s known as “First Shirt/First Snow” and the school said Wednesday the ruckus happened on Thursday, Oct. 25.

“The practice occurs after the first snow of the season, when freshmen cadets try to throw their cadet first sergeant in the snow,” says AFA spokesman John Van Winkle.  “The incident resulted in 27 cadets sustaining injuries. Six of these cadets were taken to a local hospital, and have since been released.”

An internal email said injuries included cuts, concussions and a human bite. 21 cadets were treated at the cadet clinic on the grounds of the Air Force Academy.

Van Winkle says most cadets did not participate in the ruckus.

“A relatively small number of cadets chose to take part in this unsafe activity.  This incident was unacceptable,” says Commandant of Cadets, Brig. Gen. Gregory Lengyel.  “Our Air Force expects better. I expect better, and I’m confident the cadets will learn and grow from this.”

Van Winkle says this was not a hazing incident. He says the Academy has a zero-tolerance policy regarding hazing.

Academy officials are investigating what happened, and intend to take appropriate action.

The video below shows First Shirt/First Snow. It is from six years ago and it is not video of the incident a few days ago that injured the cadets.


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