Boxing Still Required For Cadets In Spite Of Concussions

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Photo via U.S. Army

An article by The New York Times shows that in spite of concussions caused by boxing, military academies are loathe to cut the requirement. Boxing has been a staple at military academies since the early 1900s when it was incorporated into the curriculum at West Point and is used to teach cadets courage and composure under stress. However, the concussions students sustain while training may have the opposite effect.


“Whatever benefit a cadet gains from boxing, the cost of missing studies, of missing training, of becoming more vulnerable to injury down range, are detrimental to military readiness,” said Brenda Sue Fulton, a West Point graduate and chairwoman of West Point’s Board of Visitors. “It’s possible by trying to prepare our cadets, we are making them less ready.”

One out of every five concussions at West Point and one in four at the Air Force Academy are a result of boxing, and this school year, a quarter of all concussions at the Naval Academy were caused by boxing, more than twice as many as football. In the last three academic years, West Point has had 97 documented concussions among students, the Air Force Academy reported 72, and the Naval Academy had 29.

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