8 U.S. sailors discharged for hazing

Feb. 4, 2012 at 5:58 PM

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Eight sailors were dismissed from the U.S. Navy for choking one of their comrades in a hazing ritual, an official said Saturday.

All eight involved in the Jan. 17 incident served on the USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault ship based in San Diego. They were given general discharges after a "captain's mast," a hearing held by the vessel's commander, Capt. J.L. Harnden, a Navy spokesman said.

None has elected to appeal Harnden's decision, the Los Angeles Times reported. The spokesman said Harnden heard testimony and enforced a "zero-tolerance" policy for hazing, the newspaper said.

U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., called for congressional hearings on hazing in the military after her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Harry Lew of Santa Clara, Calif., killed himself in Afghanistan. Lew was reportedly subjected to informal punishment by three Marines who were angry because he had fallen asleep on duty.

One of the three was sentenced to 30 days incarceration after pleading guilty.

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