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Air Force Academy brawl injures 27 cadets

AFA First Shirt First Snow tradition injures 27 cadets

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force Academy says 27 cadets were injured in a brawl during an unofficial ritual marking the first snowfall of the season.

In a press release sent Wednesday, Air Force Academy officials said that cadets participated in an unauthorized, unofficial practice known as "First Shirt/First Snow" on Thursday, Oct. 25.

The practice occurs after the first snow of the season, officials said.  Freshmen cadets try to throw their cadet first sergeant in the snow.  The incident resulted in 27 cadets sustaining injuries. Six of these cadets were taken to a local hospital, and have since been released, Academy officials said.  The 21 other cadets received medical attention for bruises and/or lacerations at the cadet clinic.

It wasn't immediately known if any cadets were disciplined.  The Academy says they are investigating the incident and will take the appropriate measures.
The Air Force Academy stresses that a very small number of first year cadets and upperclassmen were involved in the ritual and even fewer brawled.

"A relatively small number of cadets chose to take part in this unsafe activity.  This incident was unacceptable," said Brigadier General Gregory Lengyel.  "Our Air Force expects better. I expect better, and I'm confident the cadets will learn and grow from this."

KRDO NewsChannel 13 has a crew working on the story and will bring you updates as they become available.

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