Blood-stained concrete and the sounds of metal clashing have become new and permanent features of the renovated Quad.
During outfit activity last week, Company E-2 introduced dueling, using sabers found on the Quad in order to rekindle their connection with the Spirit of Old Army. Their effort to regain some of their reputation as a “hard” outfit has instead translated to a policy across all outfits. Giving every unit in the Corps a chance to brag about how “Old Army” their unit is, the actions of the revivalists in E-2 have let cadets defend the honor of their Corps unit in person rather than online.
Replacing the traditional pranks and passive aggressive actions, saber dueling has become the new norm in settling Corps Rivalries. “Insult my honor? Have at thee,” introduced as a new campusology, has become the phrase to initiate a dance of steel. Beyond memorizing the new campusology, freshmen cadets are barred from participating in duels and instead are responsible for cleaning up the resulting blood.
While popular with cadets at large for resolving conflict both within a unit and against other units, not all cadets are happy with the new policy. “I can’t make it across the Quad without being forced to duel three or four cadets,” said Brad Sauer, Commander of the Cadet Corps, in his blood-soaked uniform. “I have to spend hundreds of dollars every month on dry cleaning alone, not to mention constantly sharpening my saber.”
The Cadet Commander and most of Corps Staff have found themselves frequently under the blade, since any policy issued is taken as a direct insult by the average cadet. “I can’t make it fifty freaking feet without some cadet bringing up a personal vendetta against me, for some rule the Office of the Commandant told me to create,” said Sean Dixon, the Corps Discipline Officer.
Unexpectedly, there has been nothing but praise from the Office of the Commandant over the cadets’ rekindling of old traditions. Complaints from parents and cadets alike have been reduced, as honor is now held as a sacred value. Rather than turning to the Commandant for every issue that arises, cadets are now dealing with their problems themselves.
Colonel Hawes, of the Corps Recruiting Office, has started streaming duels on Facebook Live to help with recruiting efforts. There is now discussion of including a dueling coliseum as part of the E.V. Adams Band Hall reconstruction project.
—Hazed and Confused & Netflix and Drill