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A Short History of Hazing

“I expect to lose half of you before I’m finished. I will use every means necessary — fair and unfair — to trip you up, to expose your weaknesses.”

This line sets the tone for Louis Gossett, Jr.’s, Academy Award winning role as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in An Officer and a Gentlemen. It’s also a fairly accurate depiction of the drill sergeants address military recruits — especially those training for elite corps.

The philosophy is simple. An army is a team. Every soldier’s life depends on his ability and the ability of his comrades to carry out orders. There is no room for hesitation in battle, no latitude for second-guessing orders, no accommodation for individual objectives or priorities.

In other words, there is no allowance for ego.


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