In the days after the January 6 attack on the Capitol, the U.S. military woke up to the fact that it had an extremism problem.

As the FBI and Justice Department began to hunt for those responsible for the events of that day, it became increasingly evident that many of the rioters were members of the military or veterans.

The Pentagon was so concerned about the spread of extremism within its ranks that it ordered a “stand down,” directing commanders to sit down with their troops and talk about extremism.

Soon thereafter, President Joe Biden declared domestic extremism a national security threat and issued a strategy for combatting it.

The overwhelming majority of conventional and special-operations troops oppose radicals within their ranks, but those radicals do exist.


Radicalized servicemembers

Samuel Lazar, Capitol riot
Accused Capitol rioters have been charged with federal crimes, including assaulting officers. (Department of Justice)

Several current and former military service members, including active-duty officers and special-operations veterans, participated in the sad events of January 6.

A special-operations Psychological Operations officer — who had resigned her commission before the events — led 100 people from North Carolina to DC but, according to reports, didn’t participate in any violence.