A 27-man brawl between Air Force cadets last week is being treated as a “teachable moment” by the Academy, but because this isn’t the first time it’s happened, they are also taking it seriously.
The fight broke out during what cadets call “First Shirt/First Snow”, an annual ritual which involves freshmen throwing–or trying to throw–first sergeants (also called “first shirts”) into the snow. Unfortunately, it often ends up getting vicious as some take it more seriously than others, and has led to cadets seeking medical treatment for the past two years. This year, the injuries included a bite and several concussions; six cadets had to be taken to an off-campus hospital.
“What used to be (freshmen) throwing the first shirt into the snow has turned into a brawl between upperclassmen defending the first sergeant and the (freshmen) trying to capture the first sergeant. Obviously, this has gotten out of hand and cannot be repeated,” Brig. Gen. Dana Born said.
The Colorado Springs Academy is looking into the incident and officials say the ritual may be banned if the cadets can’t control themselves. For now, no disciplinary action is being taken.