The pillow fight held on August 20 led to 24 cadets suffering from concussions and others suffering injuries including a broken nose, a dislocated shoulder and a broken cheekbone, US Army authorities said in a statement Saturday.
“We never condone any activity that results in intentional harm to a team-mate,” said the statement. “Although the vast majority of the class appears to have maintained the spirit of the event, it is apparent that a few did not.”
While the statement said a military police investigation was underway, it did not explain why the academy kept secret the brawl till now.
Details of the violence at the century-long West Point traditional event was first reported by the New York Times on Friday, which said a group of cadets stuff pillowcases with hard objects.
Though few report of similar melee at West Point in the past could be found, the New York Times said a cadet put a lockbox in a pillowcase and injured others in 2012.
Citing a male cadet who spoke on condition of anonymity, the Times reported that an upperclassman told first-year cadets that if they did not come back with a bloody nose, they did not try hard enough.
Dating back to at least 1897, the annual pillow fight is designed to help freshmen build class spirit and blow off steam after a tough training session.