Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is condemning hazing as intolerable in the military. But he says such problems appear to be isolated incidents.
Dempsey's comments come after eight soldiers in Afghanistan were charged in the death of a New York City private who officials say was subjected to hazing and appears to have committed suicide.
In a message to troops posted on Facebook and Twitter, Dempsey says hazing undermines the military's values, tarnishes its reputation and "erodes the trust that bonds us."
He says hazing, or even just observing hazing without reporting it, is wrong.
The soldiers face charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to dereliction of duty in the death of 19-year-old Army Pvt. Daniel Chen.