Hazing News

This is a story more common in Russian military: US troops accused of hazing man until he committed suicide

U.S. troops charged with soldier cruelty
Soldiers accused of hazing Ohio teen who committed suicide, military says
NBC News and news services
updated 4:52 p.m. ET Aug. 21, 2009
WASHINGTON – Four American soldiers have been charged with cruelty and maltreatment of an 19-year-old soldier who committed suicide after being in Iraq for 10 days, the U.S. military told NBC News Friday.
The four Multi-National Division-South soldiers are accused of hazing Private Keiffer P. Wilhelm of Ohio. They abused Wilhelm with excessive physical fitness, said Lt. Col. Kevin Olson, a military spokesman.
One defense official told NBC News that Wilhelm eventually stopped going to public areas to avoid being harassed repeatedly for being overweig
The Fort Bliss soldier locked himself inside a portable toilet and shot himself with a rifle on Aug. 4 in Maysan Province, military officials told NBC. They spoke on condition of anonymity.
Military officials identified the charged officers as Sgt. Enoch Chatman, Staff Sgt. Bob Clements, Sgt. Jarrett Taylor and Spc. Daniel Weber, all of B Troop, 2nd Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment from Fort Bliss, Texas.
The four soldiers also are accused of abusing other male soldiers, Olson said.
The accused are part of the first brigade to deploy to Iraq for the new Advise and Assist mission, whose job is to train Iraqi security forces to be better soldiers.
Chatman, of West Covina, Calif., was charged with four counts of cruelty and maltreatment, one count of making a false statement and one count of reckless endangerment. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 10 years in prison, a dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of pay, the military said.
Clements, of Eastland, Texas, faces four counts of cruelty and maltreatment, three counts of making a false statement, one count of impeding an investigation and one count of reckless endangerment. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 25 years in prison and a dishonorable discharge, the military said.

Taylor, of Edmond, Okla., was charged with two counts of cruelty and maltreatment, one count of making false statement and one count of reckless endangerment. He faces up to eight years in prison, if convicted on all charges.
Weber, of Frankenmuth, Mich., has been charged with three counts of cruelty and maltreatment, one count of reckless endangerment and one count of impeding an investigation. The charges together carry a nine-year maximum sentence upon conviction.
Multi-National Division-South has headquarters in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.
NBC News Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube contributed to

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. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

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-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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