From the Background: "Government agencies and other experts have warned of an increasing threat of domestic violent extremism [hyperlink] in the United States, efforts by supremacist and anti-government extremist groups to recruit those with military experience, and evidence of military-affiliated personnel membership and participation [hyperlink] in these groups' activities. Extremist [hyperlink] and supremacist [hyperlink] activity among military-affiliated personnel has been the subject of several congressional hearings and legislative proposals over the past few years. This issue received further attention following revelations [hyperlink] that several alleged perpetrators of crimes at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, had military backgrounds. In response, the Department of Defense (DOD) increased efforts to address these issues. In February 2021, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III issued an order [hyperlink] for a 60-day DOD-wide stand down to address and discuss issues related to extremism followed on April 9 by the establishment of a working group to counter extremism. DOD released the Countering Extremist Activity Working Group [hyperlink] (CEAWG) report in December 2021, along with an updated DOD instruction on 'Handling Protest, Extremist, and Criminal Gang Activities Among Members of the Armed Forces [hyperlink]' that defines both 'extremist activities' and 'active participation.' Other federal government initiatives are detailed in the National Security Council's June 2021 'National Strategy for Combatting Domestic Terrorism [hyperlink].' Several provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY2022 NDAA), enacted on December 27, 2021, seek to enhance oversight, awareness, and disciplinary authorities related to servicemember support for or participation in extremist activities[.]"
CRS Insight, IN11779
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/