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Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021

Rep. Aguilar sponsors bill to prevent white supremacists, domestic terrorists from enlisting in military

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Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) introduced legislation that seeks to prevent white supremacists and other domestic extremists from enlisting in the U.S. Military.

His bill – the Shielding Our Military from Extremists Act – comes after a Department of Defense (DoD) report that said white supremacist organizations have actively worked to infiltrate the US military in recent years. The report said the infiltration was done to gain combat and tactical training, identify recruits, and use the presence of active duty service members to bring recognition to their organizations.

“This report confirms that white supremacist extremists are attempting to use our military to acquire training, new recruits, and validity for their hateful and violent causes. I’m introducing the Shielding Our Military from Extremists Act to codify the recommendations laid out by the Department of Defense so that we can prevent these extremists from putting our service members in harm’s way for their own gain. It’s clear that we need cooperation across our government to solve this problem, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress, the Department of Defense, and the Biden Administration to get it done,” Aguilar said.

The Shielding Our Military from Extremists Act would codify seven recommendations contained in the report in the DoD report. Those recommendations call for:

• Coordinating with the FBI to use the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP) to evaluate questioning/concerning tattoos;
• Coordinating with the FBI’s Cryptology and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU) to interpret tattoo meaning and significance where appropriate;
• Collaborating with the FBI to develop an unclassified version of the FBI’s Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism training;
• Collaborating with “pertinent government stakeholders” to develop a consistent definition of Domestic Extremist (DE) ideologies;
• Collaborating with the Office of the Under Secretary for Defense for Personnel and Readiness and Office of the Under Secretary for Defense for Intelligence and Security to gain further insights into capabilities that will help DoD meet recruiting needs;
• Engaging with the Office of the Under Secretary for Defense for Intelligence and Security should engage in an interagency review of Standard Form 86 (Questionnaire for National Security Positions) to make questions on the form “more precise, easily understood and well-defined;
• Working with the Office of the Under Secretary for Defense for Personnel and Readiness and Office of the Under Secretary for Defense for Intelligence and Security to add a designator to Defense Form 214 (discharge papers) due to DE.

Aguilar serves as the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus and as a Member of the House Appropriations Committee.