Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III speaks to service members on the USS Nimitz, Feb. 25, 2021. (DoD Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders)

Defense Dept. Releases Stand-Down Training Material to Address Extremism in the Ranks

The Department of Defense released the stand-down training materials to address extremism as one of the initial steps in support of the memo directing commanding officers and supervisors at all levels to conduct a one-day “stand-down”. The training materials provide services and components information on training and facilitated discussions to address the issues of extremist ideology within the ranks.

Last month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin directed the department to have a one-day “stand-down” within the next two months to address extremism in the military and ensure “service members, DoD civilian employees, and all those who support our mission” work in an “environment free of discrimination, hate, and harassment.”

Some extremists across ideologies who have launched attacks were utilizing skills they learned or honed in the military, and extremist movements have recruited active-duty service members and veterans. More than a third of those polled in a 2019 Military Times survey said they had personally witnessed examples of white nationalism or ideological-driven racism within the ranks.

With current and former service members among those under investigation for the Capitol riot, a senior defense official recently told reporters that “we clearly recognize the threat from domestic extremists, particularly those who espouse white supremacist or white nationalist ideologies,” and “know that some groups actively attempt to recruit our personnel into their cause, or actually encourage their members to join the military for [the] purpose of acquiring skills and experience.”

The training material can be found here.

Read more at the Defense Department

Daylong Defense Department ‘Stand-Down’ Ordered to Address Extremism in the Ranks

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