U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo., — On Thursday evening, Oct. 25, 2012, cadets participated in an unauthorized, unofficial practice known as “First Shirt/First Snow.” The practice occurs after the first snow of the season, when freshmen cadets try to throw their cadet first sergeant in the snow. The incident resulted in 27 cadets sustaining injuries. Six of these cadets were taken to a local hospital, and have since been released. The 21 other cadets received medical attention for bruises and/or lacerations at the cadet clinic. Most cadets did not participate. Brig. Gen. Gregory Lengyel, Commandant of Cadets, upon learning of the incident, immediately disseminated information to the cadets and spoke with all cadets about the incident at two Commandant’s Calls on Saturday. “A relatively small number of cadets chose to take part in this unsafe activity. This incident was unacceptable,” said General Lengyel. “Our Air Force expects better. I expect better, and I’m confident the cadets will learn and grow from this.”
General Lengyel also emphasized with the entire Cadet Wing:
* Good military units set and enforce high standards and maintain good order and discipline; * Incidents of this kind are not in accordance with good order and discipline and they are not condoned in the Air Force; * We teach and practice Risk Management, where we analyze the risk for all activities, and activities like this are not worth the risk of injury or other serious consequences.
Academy officials are investigating the incident, and appropriate measures will be taken.