About 100 members of the US military have taken part in some form of "prohibited extremist activity" during the past year, the Pentagon said on Monday in presenting its new guidelines for the military.

US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin ordered a review of Pentagon policies on countering extremism in its ranks last February.

The announcement came after the revelation of dozens of former military personnel in the assault on Capitol Hill on January 6, in which thousands of Donald Trump supporters rushed to Congress to prevent elected U.S. officials from to certify the victory of Joe Biden in the presidential election.

Increased military training recommended

"The overwhelming majority of men and women in the Department of Defense serve this country with honor and integrity," said Lloyd Austin, quoted in a statement accompanying the report of a task force on countering extremism.

"They respect the oath they have taken to support and defend the Constitution of the United States," he added.

“We believe that only a very small number of people violate this oath by taking part in extremist activity.


"About 100" members of the US military on active or reserve duty have engaged in prohibited extremist activity over the past year, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

He did not specify the type of activity they had engaged in but cited advocating the overthrow of the government or "internal terrorism" as examples of prohibited practices.

In its new guidelines, the task force does not mention specific extremist groups.

Among its recommendations is increased training of the military on what constitutes prohibited extremist activity.

“That includes things like social media guidelines as to what is allowed and what is not,” Kirby said.


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