In presenting its new guidance to the military, the Pentagon said Monday that about 100 US military personnel have engaged in some form of “prohibited extremist activity” over the past year.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a review of the Pentagon’s policies to combat extremism in its ranks last February.
The announcement came after dozens of ex-militaries were revealed in the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill, in which thousands of Donald Trump supporters rushed to Congress to prevent elected US officials from certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
“The vast majority of the men and women in the Department of Defense serve this country with honor and integrity,” the newspaper quoted Lloyd Austin, in a statement accompanying the Counter Extremism Task Force report.
“They honor their oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” he added. We believe that very few people are violating this section by engaging in extremist activity.”
France Press agency
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said “about 100” US military personnel on active or reserve duty have engaged in prohibited extremist activity over the past year.
He did not specify what type of activity they had undertaken, but cited calls for the overthrow of the government or “internal terrorism” as examples of prohibited practices.
In its new guidance, the task force did not mention specific extremist groups.
Among its recommendations is to increase the military’s training in what constitutes prohibited extremist activity.
“This includes things like social media guidelines regarding what’s allowed and what’s not,” Kirby said.
“Evil thinker. Music scholar. Hipster-friendly communicator. Bacon geek. Amateur internet enthusiast. Introvert.”