Have you ever horsed around? I have never know 18-24 year old (typical 1st enlistment age) males not to. In fact, in some cases "Horsing around" actually serves a purpose. It can be part of establishing a social pecking order, a stress reliever, or even a way to excise certain disputes. To be clear Male methods of resolving interpersonal conflict are quite different than Female methods. The benefits for males is that when its over its over, you gave it your best, and that's that. Much like a release valve on a pressure cooker or a water heater, it prevents larger explosions (as seen on Mythbusers).
The Navy in all its wisdom has a zero tolerance policy for hazing. That's fine. Sounds good. But exactly what does that mean? well apparently it means: Don't Rough house. Ever. Some sailors on the USS Bon Homme Richard (the "Good Man Richard" named after a ship the French gave to the Americans during the Revolutionary War, and later an Essex Class Carrier) were caught Horsing around. Essentially they were having little mini MMA fights (minus striking) and ending it when one sailor would tap out. Apparently this is "hazing". Which begs the question: Why are you training these people to fight at all?
Seriously. Think about it. You're training these kids to go to war, then sticking them on a ship for months at a time. Did you expect that they would be robots? Young men go stir crazy. Quickly. Do you expect these men to form a bond with each other without ever testing themselves? Have we really gone so far, that we've forgotten that Males actually do the War Fighting, and that as such Males need to be able to have something to actually struggle against or they simply won't function in a high stress environment.
I wonder what the Navy might say about a platoon of Army Troops literally choking the shit out of each other for like half an hour? Probably the lot of us would be strung up on charges. But in 2007 the Army couldn't afford a whole platoon, or even really even a few of the key senior NCOs. We were there to fight. What we did with our off time, so long as we didn't kill anybody or break (not bend) the rules who cares?
The Navy has not had to fight a serious battle since the end of WWII. How many times have they shot, and been shot back at? At best a handful of times. Indeed US Carriers since they were *finally* armored with the USS Midway (CV-41) have never come under direct attack. So our brothers and sisters in the Navy may have forgotten what its like to fight an actual, ya know, war.
This decision sets a very dangerous precedent. If you are not willing to fight, or if you punish those that show the Warrior Spirit, you will soon find yourself with little more than button pushers, and pansies with no real steel in their spines. But since we're living with the Kinder Gentler DoD, that may be all well and good. I'm sure before long, Sailors will have to wear flowers on their uniforms, and absolutely not think about so much as harming a fly. While we're at it being Gay is all the rage. Let's make sure Sailors are sensitive by instructing them how to have a "proper" Gay Encounter.
And you wonder why the Army and Marines give the Navy so much shit?