Title: Blood Stripe
Informant info: Michael Rodriguez. Informant attends Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH as a United States Army Veteran. Informant enlisted in the Army in 2003 and was a member of the 1st Battalion 8th Marines Bravo Company, which is an infantry military unit. He was stationed out of camp Lejeune North Carolina. Informant served in Iraq from June 2004 to December 2004. He was awarded a Purple Heart. He was from a military family, as well. Informant is 31 years old.
Type of lore: Customary Lore, Tradition
Country of Origin: USA
Social / Cultural Context: When a soldier in the military gets promoted to the level of Non-commisisoned officer they are given a ceremony and pants with a red stripe on the side. This stripe is called a “Blood Stripe”. During the ceremony, other NCO traditionally go up to the person being promoted and punch him in the thigh along the red stripe to give him a blood stripe on his leg.
Associated file: Blood Stripe
Transcript: “There’s also when you become like a corporal and a Non-Commissioned Officer, you get these things called a blood stripe,you see it like, next time you see a Marine Corps uniform ya its like blue pants that have a red stripe that go right down the side. They call it the blood stripe. You get that when you become a non-commissioned officer. Or an officer. So um back in the day, they’d used to uh you’d get… you’d become an NCO like and maybe they still in some places they still do it i don’t think they do it too much anymore but uh you buddies would pull you aside if you were a sergeant or corporal already they would like pound and just like beat the shit out of you. And you’d have these bruises that run up and down the side of your legs. You’d have your ‘blood stripe’.”
Informant’s comments: Informant thought this was a funny tradition. He mentioned that a lot of the traditions are dying down.
Collector’s comments: I thought this was an interesting tradition that was similar to hazing at our school.
Tags/Keywords: Blood Stripe, Customary, Military, Tradition