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Weekly Spotlight: The Army’s Struggle to Root Out Extremism

We recently got our hands on an audit that revealed a troubling gap in Army personnel’s awareness of anti-extremism rules.  

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We recently got our hands on an audit that revealed a troubling gap in Army personnel’s awareness of anti-extremism rules.

In a survey of several hundred Army personnel, including uniformed service members and civilian federal employees, 1 in 10 respondents didn’t identify violating an individual’s constitutional rights as a prohibited behavior, and 2 in 10 respondents didn’t identify donating money to groups advocating the superiority of one racial group as prohibited.

The results of this survey are just a glimpse into the Army’s decades-long struggle to define, identify, and effectively root out extremism in its ranks.

As the investigation explains:

The report found that many Army commands had taken action to address concerns about extremism in the ranks. “Four groups said their commanders held open-ended conversations and training after the events of 6 January 2021 at the U.S. Capitol,” according to the report. But commanders were in the dark about training tools the Defense Department had developed. “Commanders we interviewed weren’t aware of this instruction and training or that they could use training materials from military equal opportunity professionals to educate Soldiers proactively on extremism,” the report says. “For this reason, commanders developed their own extremism training.”

Read our latest investigation now: Army Struggling to Spot and Report Extremism, Audit Shows


INVESTIGATION

Army Struggling to Spot and Report Extremism, Audit Shows

A troubling percentage of those surveyed can’t say whether extremism directives prohibit service members from violating people’s constitutional rights or donating to racist groups.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“These internal Army findings show that the need to address extremism inside the military remains urgent, there continues to be a lack of basic awareness of what extremist acts are and how to report them. This is unacceptable.”

Liz Hempowicz, Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs, in USA Today


OVERHEARD