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Cadets Disciplined For Bloody Pin Ritual

About 50 West Point seniors were punished for taking part in a “blood branching,” in which pins designating their branches in the Army were pushed through their uniforms into their chests.

Calling it a “stupid rite of passage,” Lt. Col. Rick Machamer, director of public affairs for the military academy, said Monday the cadets face demerits, extra duty or restrictions in the Nov. 13 ritual.

Such rituals at West Point were barred before Marine Corps “blood pinnings” were made infamous by gory videotapes broadcast on television earlier this year.

“The reason why there’s disciplinary action was that the senior class was told that they weren’t to participate in any such activity as that,” Machamer said.

There were no serious injuries, he said. Most of the disciplined seniors out of a class of 1,000 came forward to admit what they did.

The pins denote which part of the Army - infantry, armor, artillery, for example - a cadet will serve.

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