SecArmy Guidance on Training for Extremist Organizations

We posted yesterday about allegations that predeployment training at Ft. Hood labelled membership or support of organizations such as the Tea Party or Evangelical Christian groups would be considered support of extremist organizations, and punishable under the UCMJ. There is a prohibition against supporting or being a member of an extremist organization. The concern is that politicization of the services has lead to membership in mainstream organizations and even churches suddenly being judged as forbidden.

The Army has denied that this is the policy, and has blamed individuals for poor judgment in preparing course material.  And in response, the Secretary of the Army has taken steps to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

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First, this is probably a good idea overall, even though we’re loathe to support centralization of training. But we are not entirely mollified. If, under this guidance, SecArmy is directing the training plans to be based on guidance from DEOMI, that raises the issue that DEOMI itself has been using the Southern Poverty Law Center as its subject matter expert on extremist groups.

SPLC has moved so far left politically over the past decades that virtually any organization more conservative than the Democratic National Committee is labeled as a hate group.

As an aside, this type of  training is the bane of commander’s existence.  One suspects strongly that much of this type of training, as well as Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention (SHARP) and similar lectures are mandatory not because of any actual training benefit to the soldier or the command, but rather to show the Army is addressing the cries of outrage from the critics of the day about the crisis of the day. No one ever got better at killing the enemy by listening to a pogue drone on about ethics for an hour.