11 Marines punished in 1991 'blood-winging' hazing incident
March 27, 1997
From Military Affairs Correspondent Jamie McIntyre
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two Marines videotaped taking part in a gruesome 1991 hazing ritual known as "blood-winging" will be discharged from the corps, and nine others received administrative punishments or reprimands, sources told CNN Thursday.(2.3M/30 sec. QuickTime movie) - Warning: This contains images that may be offensive to some viewers
The investigation began after a videotape surfaced showing a group of about 35 Marines taking part in the banned rite. In "blood-winging," Marines who have successfully completed paratrooper jump school have their jump wings pinned -- not onto their uniforms -- but into the skin of their chests.
The videotape, first broadcast by CNN on January 30, shows the Marines' tormentors deliberately twisting the pins to increase the pain, in some cases using their fists to pound them into the chests of the victims.
Such initiation rituals are prohibited by the Marine Corps, and those found guilty of hazing or improper initiation rituals are subject to court-martial and explusion.
Pentagon sources said the Marines being disciplined for the incident faced only discharge or administrative punishment, because a five-year statute of limitations barred their prosecution on criminal charges.
One of the Marines to be discharged is an officer, the sources said. He was a lieutenant at the time of the incident but is now a captain.
Of the 35 Marines who could be seen in the 1991 amateur videotape, 27 were indentified by the Marine Corps, and only 11 were still on active duty.
The Marine Corps is still investigating a similar 1993 incident that also was captured on videotape.
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