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Netherlands Airmobile Brigade cancels drunken hazing fest

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The good news is that this one is stopped. The bad news is that these misguided initiation rituals have the government’s blessing

Excerpt

The Netherlands’ Airmobile Brigade canceled a controversial hazing ritual last week after questions from Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld and State Secretary Barbara Visser, the Telegraaf reports

While visiting the Brigade on Wednesday last week, Visser asked about the so-called ‘tiger test’ that was planned for that night. The tiger test is a hazing ritual for the Charlie- or Tiger company that involves the consumption of alcohol to turn ‘cubs’ into ‘tigers’, according to the newspaper.

The Brigade then decided to cancel the ritual at the last moment. According to the newspaper, this was “because the timing was unfortunate”. A spokesperson for the Royal Netherlands Armed Forces told the Telegraaf that the most experienced corporal who usually supervises the event, was off sick.

The Airmobile Brigade was previously under fire due to out-of-control hazing rituals, according to NOS. Last week the Koninklijke Marechaussee – a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military – arrested three people for suspected involvement in assault, sexual assault, and threats during one such ritual in 2013.

Visser previously said that she wants admission rituals to continue to exist among military personnel. According to her, these rituals are intended to strengthen team spirit and are designed in a fun way. She added though, that it must be ensured that these rituals go smoothly.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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