Hazing is defined as:
Any conduct whereby a service member or DoD employee knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally and without proper authority but with a nexus to military service causes a service member or members, regardless of service or rank, to suffer physically or psychologically or be exposed to any activity which is cruel, abusive, humiliating, oppressive, demeaning, harmful, or creates a risk of physical or psychological injury. Hazing need not involve physical contact among or between military members; it can be verbal or psychological in nature, and may occur in person or through other forms of communication, including online and through social media. Because no person can consent to hazing, actual or implied consent to acts of hazing is not relevant, and may not be considered in determining whether hazing occurred. Hazing is evaluated by a reasonable person standard.
While hazing can occur during unauthorized initiations, “congratulatory acts,” or “rites of passage,” those types of events are not prerequisites for hazing. Hazing can include, but is not limited to: physically striking another to inflict pain; piercing another’s skin in any manner (such as “pinning” or “tacking on” of rank insignia or “blood winging”); verbally berating another; encouraging another to excessively consume alcohol or encouraging another to engage in illegal, harmful, demeaning, or dangerous acts; threatening or offering violence or bodily harm to another; branding; taping; tattooing; shaving; creasing; painting; requiring excessive physical exercise beyond what is required to meet standards; or, the forced consumption of food, alcohol, drugs, or any other substance.
Hazing does not include: properly directed command and organizational activities, or the training required to prepare for such activities (e.g., administrative corrective measures; Extra Military Instruction; command-authorized physical training); proper verbal and written counseling addressing performance or:
Conduct deficiencies; authorized incentive training permitted exclusively at the Marine Corps Recruit Depots; or similar activities properly authorized by the chain of command.