Title: Pin Hitting
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, Ceremony
Country of Origin: USA
Social / Cultural Context: Informant was asked if there were any traditions or celebrations related to the military. He claimed that during promotion ceremonies after the person being promoted was given a pin there would not be a stopper on the back to prevent the pin from stabbing the person. While this was happening the close friends also in the military would come up to the person and hit on top of the pin to stab the person. By the end of the night the person would have “snake bites” on his chest.
Associated file: Pin Hitting
Transcript: “They used to, you know, we used to get promoted they would uh…like corporal or something like that they don’t.. there’s these little stoppers that go on the back of the pin so obviously you don’t stab yourself, ummm, for your ring. But when you do the promotion, you don’t put those stoppers on and so like what used to happen back in the day is like you’d get them pinned on and like everyone afterwards would like very quickly would come up and like (makes hitting motion on chest) ‘How you doin’ Mike? How you don’ Rodriguez’ and so your constantly by the end you get these two little stab wounds.. these two little snake bites on either side of your neck and your chest.”
Informant’s comments: This tradition has been dying down as well because of the connection to hazing.
Collector’s Comments: During the interview he banged his chest to indicate what it looked like.