In 2011, Private Danny Chen’s death was caused by racialized bullying inflicted by his eight superior officers. This incident and other similar instances in the Armed Forces where individuals were led to suicide as a result of hazing and bullying caused an upwelling of support for a revised approach to these issues. OCA has remained committed to creating a uniform database to track hazing incidents inclusive of a victim’s race, sex, religion, and sexual orientation. Those who serve our country must be protected when they are with their troops and not in active combat.
OCA is happy to say that our advocacy efforts have resulted in multiple rounds of legislative amendments that have continued to shed more light on the nature and culture of hazing and bullying within the military. Efforts have also led to an update of the Department of Defense’s memo on hazing, which had not been updated since 1997.