US military trying to purge rank and file racism

Less than a month after the January 6, 2021, assault on the US Capitol, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin took the extraordinary step of pausing all operations for 24 hours to “address extremism in the ranks.” Pentagon officials had been shaken by service members’ prominent role in the events of January 6.

Of the 884 criminal defendants charged to date with taking part in the insurrection, more than 80 were veterans. That’s almost 10% of those charged.

More remarkable, at least five of the rioters were serving in the military at the time of the assault: an active-duty Marine officer and four reservists.

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