Author Topic: Hazing thrives in organizations obsessed with conformity... - CBC Opinion  (Read 4958 times)

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Offline Chief Engineer

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Well, maybe this is just your choice of words, it since the line ceremony is now voluntary, were you to "make" someone go through it, then yes, it would be hazing (although having now graduated to shellback, I can say the ceremony wouldn't be much of a bad experience to be forced through).

Pretty tame now, the majority goes through with it although peer pressure plays a part in some cases. The last ship I saw paint the bullring, they were even clothed so it is getting civilized and a far cry from what I did in 92.
"When your draught exceeds your depth, you are most assuredly aground"

All opinions stated are not official policy of the CF and of a private individual

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Offline Furniture

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Pretty tame now, the majority goes through with it although peer pressure plays a part in some cases. The last ship I saw paint the bullring, they were even clothed so it is getting civilized and a far cry from what I did in 92.

Are you referring to the actual "crossing the line" or the weird Halifax custom of calling crossing the Arctic Circle "crossing the line"? One(the actual crossing the line) is internationally recognized buy the term "crossing the line", the other is only an East coast thing... The red and white lines are really cute though...  ;)

Offline Brad Sallows

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If ethical leadership is weak or absent, cohesive groups can develop bad habits.

The Darker Side of the Force: The Negative Influence of Cohesion (in Military Review, Mar-Apr 2001).

The key is leadership.  Without leadership (the full chain - not just the one guy nominally in charge), a group sets its own values.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Offline FSTO

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Are you referring to the actual "crossing the line" or the weird Halifax custom of calling crossing the Arctic Circle "crossing the line"? One(the actual crossing the line) is internationally recognized buy the term "crossing the line", the other is only an East coast thing... The red and white lines are really cute though...  ;)

The red and white lines? Are you talking about the red and white lines around the mast base?
Canadian Naval group

The famous Barber Pole Group was originally a group of 120 Flower-class corvettes built in Canada during World War II, and charged primarily with protecting freighter convoys. The original group was Escort Group C-3. This group of ships, with its red and white barber pole stripes painted on the funnel, is still represented in the current Royal Canadian Navy: all Atlantic fleet ships wear this insignia. HMCS Sackville is the last remaining Flower-class corvette.

As for crossing the Arctic circle, that usually involves the youngest pair of officers proceeding to the focsle and painting the bull ring blue. The current base commander of Halifax did that when he was a subbie in HMCS FRASER. I wasn't there but I heard that him and the other officer did it (the painting) naked.
Now the subbies wear a bathing suit.



Offline Underway

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Are you referring to the actual "crossing the line" or the weird Halifax custom of calling crossing the Arctic Circle "crossing the line"? One(the actual crossing the line) is internationally recognized buy the term "crossing the line", the other is only an East coast thing... The red and white lines are really cute though...  ;)

Not an East Coast thing.  Crossing the arctic circle is an important event in many navies worldwide.  Joining the "Loyal Order of the Polar Bear" goes back to at least WW2 as the RCN Ceremonial Flagship has a half blue bullring (other half is red).  I expect when the West Coast gets the AOPS you're going to get that tradition cropping up there as well. 

And even if it isn't the original crossing the line, traditions are allowed to evolve.

And its the youngest officer and youngest NCM who paints the bullring IIRC.

Offline Furniture

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Not an East Coast thing.  Crossing the arctic circle is an important event in many navies worldwide.  Joining the "Loyal Order of the Polar Bear" goes back to at least WW2 as the RCN Ceremonial Flagship has a half blue bullring (other half is red).  I expect when the West Coast gets the AOPS you're going to get that tradition cropping up there as well. 

And even if it isn't the original crossing the line, traditions are allowed to evolve.

And its the youngest officer and youngest NCM who paints the bullring IIRC.

My post as a playful poke at the other coast, as someone that sailed Best Coast.

I'm well aware that crossing the Arctic Circle is a recognized maritime tradition around the world, and it has a fairly long history. That said, "crossing the line" or "line crossing" is mostly recognized internationally as crossing the equator. I've only ever heard people that have sailed on the other coast refer to themselves as Shellbacks for crossing the Arctic Circle.

Seriously though, the candy-cane strip is very nice...


Offline FSTO

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My post as a playful poke at the other coast, as someone that sailed Best Coast.

I'm well aware that crossing the Arctic Circle is a recognized maritime tradition around the world, and it has a fairly long history. That said, "crossing the line" or "line crossing" is mostly recognized internationally as crossing the equator. I've only ever heard people that have sailed on the other coast refer to themselves as Shellbacks for crossing the Arctic Circle.

Seriously though, the candy-cane strip is very nice...

Are the bathtub sailors really saying that they are shellbacks because they crossed the Arctic Circle? Pretentious buggers those least coasters are!

Offline MARS

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Seen the "seven days" at sea in 1992 when I was sailing in HMCS Terra Nova, usually you were duct-taped up in the mess and threatened. Fast forward to present day and you are accused of hazing for making sailors go through the crossing the line ceremony. ::)

My experience was in HMCS Saskatchewan in '91.  I was an OSBN. This was just prior to women being allowed to serve at sea in the RegF.  The 'threat' was sodomy with a marlin spike.  Nothing ever came of it, at least for me, except a lot of a sweating bullets for 7 days and a lot of relief on the 8th day when the Deck Department laughed at us newbies once we realized it wasn't actually going to happen.  But I didn't sleep at all on the 7th night. I just assumed that was the point - the fear factor - and hadn't actually seen or heard of the ritual since.

I'm of the opinion that a voluntary crossing the line ceremony is entirely appropriate.  My first one was not in any way voluntary but it did have the desired effect of bonding the crew together.  But there was bleeding and bruising...I was struck in the head with a sap - there were stiches after the ceremony - as were a bunch of other tadpoles.  I was personally no worse for wear from it, but I obviously still remember it viscerally, and I can easily imagine folks who were there who suffered more than I did and who would harbour feelings opposite my own on the matter even today.  The video footage that was anonymously sent to the CBC in the midst of the Somalia Affair in the mid-90s, when the CAR's own hazing rituals were all over the news - that footage was taken from the TG I was apart of in '91. The ceremony was more brutal than Crossing the Line ceremony I have seen since - again, there were no women in 3 of the 4 ships in the TG at that time.

ERC recalls the situation from a different perspective than I do - an NDHQ perspective , but I believe is was VAdm Murray at the time who, when confronted with the accusation that Crossing the Line was simply just another hazing ritual that needed to be stopped immediately, properly responded that no, it was nothing like what was happening in the CAR and that it deserved to be a ceremony that remained part of the Navy experience. I really think, at that time, we came very close to losing the ability to perform this ceremony ever again.  The ceremony shouldn't be as pointlessly brutal and abusive as my first one, but I do agree that it is a valuable bonding experience, if executed correctly.

"Managers do things right; Leaders do the right thing"

Offline Jarnhamar

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Quote
Australia

In 1995, a notorious line-crossing ceremony took place on a Royal Australian Navysubmarine, HMAS Onslow. Sailors undergoing the ceremony were physically and verbally abused before being subjected to an act called "sump on the rump", where a dark liquid was daubed over each sailor's anus and genitalia. One sailor was then sexually assaulted with a long stick before all sailors undergoing the ceremony were forced to jump overboard until permitted to climb back aboard the submarine. A videotape of the ceremony was obtained by the Nine Networkand aired on Australian television. The television coverage provoked widespread criticism, especially when the videotape showed some of the submarine's officers watching the entire proceedings from the conning tower.


Navy has some weird traditions.
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Offline Chief Engineer

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My experience was in HMCS Saskatchewan in '91.  I was an OSBN. This was just prior to women being allowed to serve at sea in the RegF.  The 'threat' was sodomy with a marlin spike.  Nothing ever came of it, at least for me, except a lot of a sweating bullets for 7 days and a lot of relief on the 8th day when the Deck Department laughed at us newbies once we realized it wasn't actually going to happen.  But I didn't sleep at all on the 7th night. I just assumed that was the point - the fear factor - and hadn't actually seen or heard of the ritual since.

I'm of the opinion that a voluntary crossing the line ceremony is entirely appropriate.  My first one was not in any way voluntary but it did have the desired effect of bonding the crew together.  But there was bleeding and bruising...I was struck in the head with a sap - there were stiches after the ceremony - as were a bunch of other tadpoles.  I was personally no worse for wear from it, but I obviously still remember it viscerally, and I can easily imagine folks who were there who suffered more than I did and who would harbour feelings opposite my own on the matter even today.  The video footage that was anonymously sent to the CBC in the midst of the Somalia Affair in the mid-90s, when the CAR's own hazing rituals were all over the news - that footage was taken from the TG I was apart of in '91. The ceremony was more brutal than Crossing the Line ceremony I have seen since - again, there were no women in 3 of the 4 ships in the TG at that time.

ERC recalls the situation from a different perspective than I do - an NDHQ perspective , but I believe is was VAdm Murray at the time who, when confronted with the accusation that Crossing the Line was simply just another hazing ritual that needed to be stopped immediately, properly responded that no, it was nothing like what was happening in the CAR and that it deserved to be a ceremony that remained part of the Navy experience. I really think, at that time, we came very close to losing the ability to perform this ceremony ever again.  The ceremony shouldn't be as pointlessly brutal and abusive as my first one, but I do agree that it is a valuable bonding experience, if executed correctly.

As I recall we did have to come get you during one crossing the line and you did struggle a bit. I believe I have a picture of that as well.
"When your draught exceeds your depth, you are most assuredly aground"

All opinions stated are not official policy of the CF and of a private individual

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Offline MARS

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As I recall we did have to come get you during one crossing the line and you did struggle a bit. I believe I have a picture of that as well.

 ;D  Yeah, because I believed the bullshit from you and the Cox'n  that "yeah, the CO is always a tadpole, no matter how many times they've crossed the line".  Can't believe I fell for that.  Was much more fun the next year when I was King Neptune though...but yeah, you might recall that we had sailors on each trip who refused to participate. I had hoped they would reconsider after watching the ceremony, but we were also careful to ensure that they were in no way ostracised for not participating.
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Offline Journeyman

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Navy has some weird traditions.
In keeping with another thread where they're 'bragging' about constantly fighting fires aboard ship..... but can't understand personnel shortages.....   ;D
There’s nothing more maddening than debating someone who doesn’t know history, doesn’t read books, and frames their myopia as virtue. The level of unapologetic conjecture I’ve encountered lately isn’t just frustrating, it’s retrogressive, unprecedented, and absolutely terrifying.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Navy has some weird traditions.

They're submariners, not Navy :)
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Tcm621

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Navy has some weird traditions.

The fact that are Australian was also a factor. I recently learned of another Australian tradition known as a Cracky which involved pouring beer down the crack of a man's *** and into someones mouth. Aussies have been known to be a little less..ahem.. polite than is normal in Canada.

Offline Lumber

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Are the bathtub sailors really saying that they are shellbacks because they crossed the Arctic Circle? Pretentious buggers those least coasters are!

You take that back you training coast nancy!
"Aboard his ship, there is nothing outside a captain's control." - Captain Sir Edward Pellew

“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”
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Offline FSTO

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My experience was in HMCS Saskatchewan in '91.  I was an OSBN. This was just prior to women being allowed to serve at sea in the RegF.  The 'threat' was sodomy with a marlin spike.  Nothing ever came of it, at least for me, except a lot of a sweating bullets for 7 days and a lot of relief on the 8th day when the Deck Department laughed at us newbies once we realized it wasn't actually going to happen.  But I didn't sleep at all on the 7th night. I just assumed that was the point - the fear factor - and hadn't actually seen or heard of the ritual since.

I'm of the opinion that a voluntary crossing the line ceremony is entirely appropriate.  My first one was not in any way voluntary but it did have the desired effect of bonding the crew together.  But there was bleeding and bruising...I was struck in the head with a sap - there were stiches after the ceremony - as were a bunch of other tadpoles.  I was personally no worse for wear from it, but I obviously still remember it viscerally, and I can easily imagine folks who were there who suffered more than I did and who would harbour feelings opposite my own on the matter even today.  The video footage that was anonymously sent to the CBC in the midst of the Somalia Affair in the mid-90s, when the CAR's own hazing rituals were all over the news - that footage was taken from the TG I was apart of in '91. The ceremony was more brutal than Crossing the Line ceremony I have seen since - again, there were no women in 3 of the 4 ships in the TG at that time.

I was in Qu'Appelle in 91 on MARS II and we heard the same thing about the 7th day at sea. We just laughed it off as empty threats.

As for the Crossing the Line Ceremony that got on CBC. Well I was the 2OOW in HMCS YUKON during the time of the video. We were on our way back to Canada from a trip to NZ/AUS. On the way down the Tadpoles outnumbered the Shellbacks by a large measure so the craziness of the bears was quite reduced. There was one particular bear who took quite the relish in harassing the Tadpoles. All in all it was an okay evolution but there was one young fella who hid so well we had to close up the bomb threat organization to find him!!!

On the way back is when things got a little out of hand. The previously mentioned bear was found out to have never crossed the equator before so he became the focus of the retribution. The Hull Techs made the "Blocks" and the unfortunate MS Bosn was placed in them and then he was the subject of much verbal abuse and the pouring of various amounts of food stuffs over his head. And no, none of it was vomit as breathlessly opined by Peter Mansbridge.
When the video surfaced the Navy got ahead of the story by having MARPAC (Snake Davidson I believe), YUKON's Coxn and the "victim" now a PO2 do a Q&A with the media and the entire story died a quick death.

Offline FSTO

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You take that back you training coast nancy!

Why don't you come west to a real ocean NATO Knee!!! ;)

Offline MARS

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I was in Qu'Appelle in 91 on MARS II and we heard the same thing about the 7th day at sea. We just laughed it off as empty threats.

As for the Crossing the Line Ceremony that got on CBC. Well I was the 2OOW in HMCS YUKON during the time of the video.

I was on watch in Provider at the time.  Heard about the blocks, and the poor fella (sea cadet?) who caused the Bomb Threat org to be closed up.  Im not suggesting that it was anything close to what the CBC was reporting on it, but I still think we have lost nothing by taming down that Ceremony and making it voluntary.  Heck, maybe it was voluntary back then...if so, that info was never shared with me and as an Ordinary Seaman, I doubt I would have felt comfortable 'not' participating in it.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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I'm in a quandry:

As the 'new guy' on a week long patrol in Injun' country I once had to carry the sh*tbag out of the OP. They made me do it, well, more like a strong suggestion, because I was the new guy.

Should I go to the press, or just publish my story in German sheisse mags and make some money? :)
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Lumber

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Why don't you come west to a real ocean NATO Knee!!! ;)

It's not the size of the ocean, it's the motion in the... Err Uhh.. Ocean... Yea! Like you would know, Rimpac back!  ;D
"Aboard his ship, there is nothing outside a captain's control." - Captain Sir Edward Pellew

“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”
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Death before dishonour! Nothing before coffee!

Offline FSTO

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I was on watch in Provider at the time.  Heard about the blocks, and the poor fella (sea cadet?) who caused the Bomb Threat org to be closed up.  Im not suggesting that it was anything close to what the CBC was reporting on it, but I still think we have lost nothing by taming down that Ceremony and making it voluntary.  Heck, maybe it was voluntary back then...if so, that info was never shared with me and as an Ordinary Seaman, I doubt I would have felt comfortable 'not' participating in it.

I was in KOOTENAY in 95 when we sailed to South America. The Crossing the line ceremony on that trip was really toned down compared to my previous experience.

Offline Furniture

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It's not the size of the ocean, it's the motion in the... Err Uhh.. Ocean... Yea! Like you would know, Rimpac back!  ;D

Having sailed both oceans, it really is about the size...

I guess 7 days at sea isn't a thing out on the least coast I suppose because they never spend that much time at sea. Guam is about 12 days from Pearl which is 5 days at best from Esquimalt. How far is London from Halifax?

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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How far is London from Halifax?

Three weeks if you are escorting an Ocean Safari or Reforger convoy! And with only about 3 1/2 to 4 hours of sleep a day.

Oh, wait! You meant if you don't do anything on the way and steam straight like they do in the Yacht Club.  ;D

Go East, Go !!! ;)
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Offline FSTO

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Three weeks if you are escorting an Ocean Safari or Reforger convoy! And with only about 3 1/2 to 4 hours of sleep a day.

Oh, wait! You meant if you don't do anything on the way and steam straight like they do in the Yacht Club.  ;D

Go East, Go !!! ;)

I think you're showing your age OGBD! #cruelsea

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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I think you're showing your age OGBD! #cruelsea

That's my point.  ;D

But, what's old could be new again faster than you may think:

https://www.businessinsider.com/russian-submarine-activity-increasing-around-uk-and-in-north-atlantic-2018-5