Chief Personnel Specialist Jennifer Johnston conducts an extremism stand down March 19 aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford. The Pentagon ordered all service branches to conduct the stand downs after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
Angel Thuy Jaskuloski / U.S. Navy

After A Military-Wide Stand Down To Address Extremism, What's The Pentagon's Next Step?

After the January 6 Capitol insurrection, the Pentagon ordered all service branches to discuss extremism with the troops. But observers say that's only a first step toward eliminating extremist behavior.

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Former servicemember Stephen Kennedy, pictured with his wife Catherine and four children, sued after he received an other-than-honorable discharge from the Army.
Courtesy Stephen Kennedy

If approved by a federal court, the legal settlement will force the Army to review the discharges of recent veterans with mental health issues.

A monument on the West Point campus states the military academy's honor code. More than 70 cadets were accused last year of cheating on an exam; most will be allowed to stay at West Point.
U.S. Military Academy

The scandal is the largest at West Point in 40 years, and it has raised questions about honor among the men and women who will become the Army's future leaders.

In a "Shark Tank" style event, 34 soldiers in the 18th Airborne Corps submitted proposals to improve the Army program that responds to sexual harassment and assault. The Corps has committed to implementing the concepts of seven finalists.
Marygian D. Barnes / U.S. Army

Army leaders concede that a program designed to eliminate sexual harassment and abuse has not achieved its goal. So the 18th Airborne Corps held a "Shark Tank" type event for soldiers to present ideas to fix it.

Romeo Pactores, Jr.'s 18 year military career is in jeopardy after a DUI that he said was prompted by service-related mental health issues.
Steve Walsh / American Homefront

The Marine Corps established Wounded Warrior Battalions to aid troops with the worst mental and physical injuries. But Marines in the battalions who are suicidal or suffer from PTSD can still be discharged for misconduct. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin talks with Army Maj. Gen. William J. Walker of District of Columbia National Guard outside the U.S. Capitol Jan. 29.
Erica Jaros / U.S. Army National Guard

Pentagon leaders were concerned about extremism in the military even before the Jan. 6 insurrection. But new Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he wants everyone in the ranks to understand it's a priority.

President Biden signs a Jan. 25 order repealing the military transgender ban, as Vice President Harris, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley (left), and Defense Secretary Llyod Austin watch.
Adam Schultz / White House Photo

Though President Biden signed an executive order allowing transgender people to serve in the military, would-be recruits are waiting for the Pentagon to develop policies before they can enlist.

Veteran entrepreneurs take part in a 2019 class at Action Zone in Tampa. The non-profit organization moved online in 2020 to continue its classes in entrepreneurship for veterans.
Rosie Lee / Action Zone

The pandemic has forced some veteran-owned businesses to close. But other veteran entrepreneurs say their military experience has helped them withstand hardship.

Kristen Christy poses with her husband Don in a 2005 photo. Don, an Air Force lieutenant colonel, died by suicide in 2008.
Kristen Christy

New federal laws seek to improve mental health care for veterans and their families. But advocates say it will take time for local communities to feel the effects.

At a drive-through vaccination site in Elizabeth City, N.C., Tech Sgt. Steven Simpson of the North Carolina National Guard administers a COVID-19 vaccination as Maj. Hollis Guenther gives the next recipient instructions about the vaccine.
Jay Price / American Homefront

More than a dozen states have called up the National Guard to help at vaccination sites, and Joe Biden may mobilize Guard units nationally.

Veteran Marc Session points to some of his Navy mementos on display in his Chula Vista, California home.
Steve Walsh / American Homefront

A VA Inspector General's report has found that the agency improperly denied benefits to thousands of veterans who couldn't see a doctor during the pandemic.

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