The German Bundeswehr (military) has a reputation for professionalism, one I experienced first hand when I was briefly detained by them in Kurdistan. Unfortunately, a report in Der Spiegel has brought to light a scandal at the German Special Operations Training Center located in Pfullendorf. The outrage stems from what apparently took place during first responder medical training. Both male and female soldiers were filmed naked, placed tampons in each other’s anuses, and other students were apparently tied up and hosed with cold water.
A certain amount of horseplay is of course expected in the military, but as I explained in a previous article there is a difference between soldiers goofing off with each other and sadistic criminal behavior. Seven German soldiers have already been discharged from the military over what happened during the first responder training according to the German press.
The training center, which also hosts NATO forces, trains soldiers in parachuting, SERE, medical training, urban warfare, and other special skills.
What was happening during the first responder course first came to light when a female lieutenant reported the abuse to her superiors and an investigation was initiated last year. When the full scope of the abuse was revealed, the German Ministry of Defense was shocked. The scandal comes at a time when the Bundeswehr would seek to further professionalize and promote a positive image.
Image courtesy of Getty