I don’t know where the idea of “blood rank” and “blood wings” came from, but the older I get, the more stupid it seems.
Here’s the deal. At promotion (before the current velcro field uniforms), soldiers would have metal rank insignia put on their collars. The rank usually was held in place by two straight metal pins. The fasteners were left off, exposing the sharp metal pins toward the skin. Then, noncommissioned officers and fellow soldiers would walk by and hit the rank, causing the pins to pierce the skin. The same practice was similarly followed when someone earned the Parachutist Badge (Airborne wings) or other insignia.
Several of my peers in Airborne School in 1994 went behind a building at Ft. Benning, GA to get their “blood wings” from the Airborne instructors after graduation. They were extremely proud. I did not, I was proud enough of the ones I earned, sans blood.
The practice has, technically, been outlawed for several decades, but I saw it happen numerous times, at numerous places.
Now, there are no more metal rank pins, only velcro. So, it seems a unit at Ft. Bragg decided to make up the difference with a hammer. A big wooden one.
I wonder who stood off-camera. I wonder what rank they are. I wonder how many other soldiers face the same “ceremony.” While Ft. Bragg is in the news today, you can bet there are many other installations and units that, today, are breathing a sigh of relief that nobody taped their “ceremonies.”
According to the video, the hammerer received a reprimand.