The new hot YouTube trend: naughty military cadets

Fire up your YouTube searches: there are plenty of prank videos from the U.S. Military Academy making the rounds. According to the Times Herald-Record, all you have to do is type in "West Point." But don't call them practical jokes--they're a tradition known as "spirit missions," and they've been going on since General Custer's days as a cadet.

Unfortunately, now that video documentation of "spirit missions" has made it to YouTube and MySpace, some West Point officials are worried that the tradition will seem less venerable and more like MTV's "Jackass." After all, many of the pranks do include streakers, water balloons, Porta Potties, or all of the above.

Given the popularity of viral videos, however, this might do wonders for West Point's application numbers, and consequently, military enlistment. Donald Rumsfeld ought to take note.

Tech Culture
About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.


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