On February 3, 2021, Secretary Austin directed a one-day stand down at all levels to hold an in-depth conversation on the values underpinning national service, the oath of office, and the importance of unit cohesion, as well as to gain a better understanding of the scope of the problem of extremist activity within the ranks.
On April 9, 2021, Secretary Austin issued a memorandum announcing immediate actions to counter extremist activity in the Department and establishing the Countering Extremist Activity Working Group (CEAWG), which build upon the lessons learned through unit stand downs.
The CEAWG was directed to oversee implementation of the immediate actions, including reviewing and updating the definition of prohibited activities in DoD Instruction 1325.06 (“Handling Protest, Extremist, and Criminal Gang Activities Among Members of the Armed Forces”). Per the Secretary’s approval as of 20 December, 2021, the revised policy is effective immediately.
The CEAWG also developed six recommendations and associated actions across four lines of effort: Military Justice and Policy, Support and Oversight of the Insider Threat Program, Investigative Processes and Screening Capability, and Education and Training. With the publication of the report, the Secretary directed implementation of the six recommendations and associated actions.
The CEAWG’s work concludes with the delivery of the report and recommendations.
The Secretary of Defense Memorandum on Countering Extremist Activities within the Department of Defense can be found here.
The Report on Countering Extremist Activity Within the Department of Defense can be found here.
The Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 1325.06: Handling Protest, Extremist, and Criminal Gang Activities Among Members of the Armed Forces can be found here.