Military investigating whether service members participated in US Capitol assault

A Fort Bragg Army officer’s participation is under investigation.

January 12, 2021, 7:10 PM

• 7 min read

The military services are looking into whether any active-duty military personnel may have participated in the assault on the U.S. Capitol last week.

Fort Bragg officials are reviewing an Army officer’s claims that she only participated in the rally prior to the violence at the Capitol building and are also trying to determine if other base personnel joined her as part of a group that came to Washington, said a defense official. The psychological operations officer has acknowledged leading a group of 100 North Carolina residents to the rally.

U.S. military personnel are allowed to participate in political events as long as they do so on their own time and are not in military uniform.

A service member’s participation in the rally or march that preceded the assault on the U.S. Capitol would fall into that category. However, the military services will look at whether any military personnel played a role in the security breach at the Capitol building and any of the violent events, which could result in disciplinary action.

On Monday, Senator Tammy Duckworth, D- Ill., sent a letter to acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller requesting that Defense Department’s criminal investigative organizations work with the FBI and Capitol Police to investigate current and retired military who may have participated in the assault. And if any service members did participate in the events at the Capitol, she urged Miller “to take appropriate action to hold individuals accountable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”

“Upholding good order and discipline demands that the U.S. Armed Forces root out extremists that infiltrate the military and threaten our national security,” wrote Duckworth.

Jonathan Hoffman, the Pentagon’s top spokesman, said on Monday that the Pentagon’s stance has always been to not tolerate extremists in the ranks.

“Any effort, any opportunity we have to identify individuals that have extremist behavior issues, tendencies they will be addressed,” said Hoffman. “They will be referred to appropriate authorities for addressing that.

Contacted by ABC News, the four military services said they were already cooperating with law enforcement or preparing to do so to determine if any of their service members were at the Capitol.

“NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) is coordinating closely with our federal law enforcement partners to determine if any DON-affiliated personnel participated in criminal activity at the Capitol Jan. 6, 2021,” said a statement provided to ABC News by the Navy and the Marine Corps.

The Air Force said its Office of Special Investigations is “ready to assist civilian law enforcement in any investigations into suspected violators of the law.”

“There is no place for extremism in our ranks.

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