A recently released Pentagon report has highlighted how extremism has begun infiltrating the military. Most notably, the report outlines an instance in which a national guardsman was a part of a dangerous neo-Nazi group. In another instance, a Florida national guardsman "bragged about sharing his white supremacist views while in the military." The guardsman also co-founded a neo-Nazi group called the Atomwaffen Division. When asked in a chatroom about his ideologies may impact his work, he was open about how he's handled it.
"I was 100% open about everything with the friends I made at training. They know about it all," he stated.
"I'd say the craziest ---- and get away with it."
Despite the report, the government maintains that extremist views were not prominent within the military. However, the Pentagon claims that it will work to underscore the problem of white supremacy within their ranks and beyond.
"Individuals with extremist affiliations and military experience are a concern to U.S. national security because of their proven ability to execute high-impact events.," the report states.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has publicly stated that he and his team are committed to addressing white extremist groups. Recently, he facilitated a military-wide standdown so that service members could have "needed discussions" about extremism.
"There's never been an acknowledgment from the top ranks that this has to be handled, so the fact that we now have that and there is an effort underway to do something is actually quite encouraging," Global Project Against Hate and Extremism Co-Founder Heidi Beirich told CNN.
"Now, how well that's done and executed and all the pieces are put in place, that's a different question that we'll have to wait and see what the results are."
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