WASHINGTON — Military officials testified Thursday that hazing is not and will not be tolerated by the services, but lawmakers questioned whether recent high-profile incidents of abuse indicate deteriorating leadership in overtaxed, war-weary units.
Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., whose nephew committed suicide last April after being hazed by members of his Marine Corps unit, pleaded for an end to the culture of hazing.
“Although the military has policies in place, they’re not being enforced,” she said during a hearing held by the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel. “While people on the outside are horrified by these stories, usually the rank and file say that hazing is a necessary tool … to ensure everyone’s safety.”
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