VMI Cadets Punished for Nazi, Drag Costumes

Twelve cadets at the Virginia Military Institute (search) have been punished for dressing up as Nazis and drag queens and wearing other costumes deemed inappropriate at a Halloween party in the barracks.

The punishments included confinement to quarters and the writing of essays on the incident.

Photographs of the costumed cadets were posted on the Internet. The pictures showed three men dressed as saluting Nazis; two men in underpants, tiaras and eye shadow, with tank tops that read, "I (heart) a man in uniform"; a man in a loincloth and makeup; and a man with a bull's-eye on the seat of his pants.

The college announced the penalties Thursday.

Five upperclassmen received punishments that included two weeks of confinement to their barracks, 1,000-word essays on the incident's repercussions and extra marching duty. Seven freshman received lectures from cadet leaders.

All VMI freshman also had to undergo civility training.

"We are taking advantage of this opportunity to reinforce the principles of respect and civility that our cadets must learn if they are to become truly effective leaders," VMI's superintendent, Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III (search), said in a statement.

VMI spokesman Stewart MacInnis said the adult officer in charge of barracks the night of the party saw the Nazi uniforms and ordered them removed immediately, but did not see the other costumes.