Right Again!

Right Again!

The RAND Corporation recently released a report on a nationally representative survey of the U.S. veteran community entitled Prevalence of Veteran Support for Extremist Groups and Extremist Beliefs. The report concluded that

[t]here was no evidence to support the notion that the veteran community, as a whole, manifests higher rates of support for violent extremist groups or extremist beliefs than the American public.”

Imagine that.

This survey arose out of

“[c]oncern that the veteran community is at increased risk of radicalization to violent extremism has increased since reports that a significant proportion of the people who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, were currently or had been affiliated with the U.S. military.”

Do you know who else came to the same conclusion over two years ago? Yep! The Digression Podcast Guys! In episode 48, Extremely Unserious, released on April 5, 2021, we discussed the DoD 60-day stand-down to combat extremism in the military. We noted that the percentage of the U.S. population that served is about 7 percent, and the number of people with military service who were arrested for their “involvement” on Jan 6th was about 8 percent. Eight percent is not a “significant portion of people” as RAND contends, but rather a reflection of the percentage of people within our society who have served. And keep in mind many of these folks were arrested simply for being on the Capitol grounds. Take a listen…


Of course, what the DoD and its illustrious Secretary, Lloyd Austin (the Raytheon Representative to the DoD) see as the only form of extremism is white supremacy. At least the RAND Corp looked at all forms of extremist groups, including Antifa, black nationalists, and others. (which, incidentally, The Digression Podcast Guys also noted.)

The most troubling statement comes in the report’s Conclusions and Recommendations section, which says, “It seems clear that veterans, in comparison with nonveterans, bring a unique and dangerous set of capabilities and advantages to extremist groups. These include weapons, operational and logistical training, and leadership experience and, for some, combat experience. It may also be that veterans who support such groups may be more inclined to actually join them or participate in their activities than nonveteran counterparts. Hence, even a smaller prevalence rate of extremist attitudes among veterans could still represent an outsized security threat to the United States.”

This is fear-mongering! I can almost hear Liam Neeson,

“But what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.” (from Taken, 2008)

To combat this fear, the report recommends research “aimed at gaining further understanding of veterans who endorse the need for political violence but are not currently supportive of specific extremist groups. It is possible that these individuals are vulnerable to recruitment and that early interventions might mitigate this potential risk.”

You want to understand the majority of vets in America? Read their oath of enlistment or oath of office. Both state, that we will “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”

Vets take this seriously. And more and more they’re feeling the enemy isn’t a foreign one. You want to piss off a vet? Step on the flag! You want to see ’em fight? Let the government step on it!


Press Release: Support for Extremism Among U.S. Military Veterans Is Similar to Public at Large

Full Report: Prevalence of Veteran Support for Extremist Groups and Extremist Beliefs


Chris and Jody are Air Force vets who enjoy military history and folklore. They have a podcast. They tell stories. They digress. A lot.

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