The violent mob that swarmed into the Capitol on Jan. 6 contained people from many backgrounds and with varied affiliations. But as federal authorities have accused more people, and their back stories have circulated, it’s been clear now for two weeks that among the insurrectionists were military veterans, along with at least two people who remain in active or part-time military service.
After years of downplaying prompts and warnings that the armed forces were harboring (and training) white supremacists and other far-right extremists, the Pentagon said this week that it was intensifying efforts to identify radicalized service members in the ranks.
For friends and relatives of veterans, and for most people with a Facebook account, the radicalization of a sizable fraction of veterans, and the embrace by veterans of conspiracy theories, is hardly news. It has been plainly visible in social media feeds for years. Similarly, extremists and bigots in uniform have long been outing themselves on social media with supportive references to conspiracy theories and the posting of neo-Nazi symbols and coded and not-so-coded references to hate.
What’s been harder to see, and to document, is what happens in military units on land and at sea. For this reason, The New York Times invites you to share your stories or tips about extremism in the armed forces. Please see the form below. We will not use your submissions without your explicit consent.