Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday signed a memo ordering several “immediate actions” to weed out so-called ‘extremism’ in the ranks.
Austin signed this memo after he ordered military-wide “stand downs” to “address white nationalism” and rid the military of “extremists and racists.”
“The vast majority of those who serve in uniform and their civilian colleagues do so with great honor and integrity, but any extremist behavior in the force can have an outsized impact,” Austin wrote.
Austin outlined a series of actions the department will take to get rid of extremism:
- Review and update the DoD’s definition of extremism.
- Update servicemember checklists to include “training on potential targeting of service members by extremist groups and work with other federal departments agencies to create a mechanism by which veterans have the opportunity to report any potential contact with an extremist group should they chose to do so.”
- Review and standardization of screening questionnaire: “To solicit specific information about current or previous extremist behavior. 1) To gather actionable information in the short term to ensure that only the best qualified recruits are selected for services, and 2) to clarify that any demonstrably false answers provided in response could form the basis for punitive action for fraudulent enlistment.”
- Commission an Extremism Study: “The Department will commission a study on extremist behavior within our Total Force, to include gaining greater fidelity on the scope of the problem.”
Defense officials last Wednesday said the Pentagon is reversing Trump-era policies that banned transgender people from serving in the military.
The Pentagon will also issue new rules that will broaden transgender people’s access to medical care and gender transition surgery.