This 6 April 2010 video from Schaarsbergen in the Netherlands shows the Dutch Airmobile Brigade marching behind the Dutch Military Pipes and Drums.
Unfortunately, not everything about this military unit is as musical and innocent as on the video.
He does his best to lead his life, but very much has been broken. Former soldier Mike was systematically maltreated and abused as a soldier of the Airmobile Brigade in the Oranje barracks in Schaarsbergen.
“We were forced to stand with our hands against the vehicle and lower our pants. At that time, two of our colleagues put latex gloves on and stood behind us, then they abused me anally with their fingers, while the corporal told a story about manliness, group bonding, and belonging. That because of that we were hazed and that we had to undergo that ritual.” …
One of the soldiers has repeatedly been raped. He subsequently attempted suicide. …
“The goals with which I went into the army, those dreams were smashed to bits, like happened to many others. There are many boys who have immediately resigned, who were bullied, humiliated. There have been cases that boys had spoons turned around in their anuses until they bled. There were rapes, boys were forced to use drugs“. …
But the Sergeant Major – who was also the army ombudsman – damaged the trust of the boys. “I can remember that I was at the coffee machine with my colleague. And that same person was laughing in the bar with our senior officer telling him what we had written and what had happened.”
“At that moment, you’re afraid, you’re no longer sure whom you can trust and who you are. You’re already damaged, but at that moment your trust is damaged even more.”
Eventually there was a hearing. “At that moment, we also had to sign a form that what happened at that hearing, that we would not tell third parties [like police or media] about it and that it had to be confidential. That scared the three of us. I slowly started drinking, big quantities.” …
“The boys who are now 17, who are now training, who are now in good spirits to start the training, the boys now aiming to get these berets, first of all I want to remind them that all is not well and that you will always see things that are hard.”
Four non-commissioned officers involved in the incidents were released from their duties after the hearing and were transferred to other units.
Where they might start all over again, like pedophile priests transferred by bishops to other parishes.
Ban hazing, Dutch military trade unions say.
Abuse in Dutch military ‘a structural problem’: here.