US Military’s ‘Extremist Briefing’: An Inside Take

 

My daughter is active-duty Air Force and she is currently deployed overseas. She works in a direct mission career field which requires a top-secret clearance. Her work schedule on deployment is much more intense than it is when she is stateside. She works with all sorts of people: ages 19-50, all races, all genders, officers, NCOs, and enlisted. Her field is highly technical and competencies are more important in some aspects than how many stripes you may have. Her unit was tapped for the required “Extremist Briefing” recently and this is her report.

There was about 90 personnel in attendance. The briefing was two hours in length, despite their tight mission schedule. The briefing room required masks and chairs were positioned two feet apart. The briefing started with a video on the big screen with speeches from the SecDef, a four-star, the Chief MstSgt of the USAF, Commander of Air Combat Command, and on down the command structure until the video featured my daughter’s immediate command. She said that the way it drilled down to a face she knows made it feel very personal. The talking heads kept using the term “extremists” and “extremism” but the terms were not specifically defined, and that the terms were used very generally. (Kind of a “we all know it when we see it” kind of way). She said the video was creepy and made her feel uncomfortable. As a “Hunger Games” book fan in middle school, she said that she felt like it was a scene out of a Hunger Games book where the “Capital District” was telling everyone in other districts what the reality was, but that the ones out of touch with reality were on the screen.

After the video and some PowerPoint slides (can you have a briefing in the military without PP slides?), my daughter said they were broken up into smaller groups and a “facilitator” (another military person) then asked questions of the group members such as “Tell me about a time in your military career that you saw or experienced extremism.” The groups were told that the facilitators were required to write down their responses and would be sending them back into the SecDef. One group member tried to pin down the facilitator about what did they mean by “extremism?” (Still no clear definition.) One group member, a black airman, stated that he may have experienced a couple of jerks during his AF career who were racist, but when were they going to be asked about the thousand other incidents of his colleagues going out of their way to support him professionally and personally? Another group member wondered why they were not talking about extremism in the context of Antifa and Portland. Another black female airman said that the AF was a melting pot and, although she came from an all-black neighborhood, she had met and worked with great people of all walks of life. No one in the group offered any examples of “extremism” despite the lack of definition.

At the end of it, my daughter said that she had previously ignored all the talk of this and focused on her job and her life. She said this briefing crystalized to her that, in her words, s&*t just got real. She said that she felt like the term “extremist” was being used as a euphemism for “conservative” or “libertarian” but they couldn’t come right out and say that. She is not a big user of social media but she said that she “likes” and “follows” several conservative voices so, even though she doesn’t say anything herself, she’s worried about her “follows” being used against her. My daughter said that no one had ever had any issues with “extremism” that she is aware of, but she said that her job/unit is very mission-centric and she wondered about other areas of the service that were not so primary-mission focused such as finance/dining services/medical which would harbor disgruntled airman with a laundry list of extremism examples to share. No doubt we will later see a “report” issued by SecDef about all the problems with extremism as reported from these active-duty wide briefings since they were taking all these answers down.

My daughter’s conclusion is that it was very poorly focused, creepy, and a waste of time. But yet, illuminating as to the direction of the service branches. She said that she will be even more mindful of herself in her workplace and even out of the workplace due to this.

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  1. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    The politicization of the Military by the Biden admin is in full gear.

    We haven’t seen anything yet.

    • #1
  2. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    I’d be very interested in knowing the AFSC of those “facilitators”.  It appears they were picked very carefully for their political views.  Future unit “commissars” perhaps?

    Very instructive post.  Thanks.

    • #2
  3. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    If you are in the military it is time to back out of and shut down social media.  It may be time for all of us too.

    • #3
  4. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    I’d be very interested in knowing the AFSC of those “facilitators”. It appears they were picked very carefully for their political views. Future unit “commissars” perhaps?

    Very instructive post. Thanks.

    Is there still a Social Actions office like in the old days? Because that’s where they would have come from in my day.  Probably all 702’s.

    • #4
  5. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Wow.

    Here we go…

    • #5
  6. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    I’d be very interested in knowing the AFSC of those “facilitators”. It appears they were picked very carefully for their political views. Future unit “commissars” perhaps?

    Very instructive post. Thanks.

    I’m a civilian and my branch chief was asked yesterday to provide a volunteer for the facilitator by Friday. He sent it to the two team leads and copied two of us civilians. Here’s what the division sent to him.

    “It would be preferred that you solicit a volunteer who will devote the time to making all the preparations and doing the training necessary to successfully meet the goals of this event.  If you do not get a volunteer, please be judicious in appointing someone as expectations will remain the same.

    To assist you in making a selection, I suggest you peruse the attachment.  This duty may not be the best option for our most junior people.”

    “so we’re hopefully looking for facilitators/leads that would be open/interested in discussing these topics (voluntarily) in leading each breakout group”

    The attachment contains the same information that the post author’s daughter saw. I’ve glanced through it. No mention of antifa or BLM but also no direct mention of conservative. It does focus a lot on the 6 January Capitol riots with a couple of pictures from that day.

    Our down day is at the end of the month.

    • #6
  7. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    I wonder if the left is starting to fashion the military into a force that can be used against “domestic extremists”.    Communism only ever comes and survives at the point of a gun.  Maybe this is the first step in the next act. 

    • #7
  8. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    I wonder if the left is starting to fashion the military into a force that can be used against “domestic extremists”. Communism only ever comes and survives at the point of a gun. Maybe this is the first step in the next act.

    Yes,  30k military put Biden in office on a corrupt election.  30K of them is keeping him there.  30NG went to visit GOP congress person because they did not like what she said.  And we are in the beginning.  

    • #8
  9. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    I wonder if the left is starting to fashion the military into a force that can be used against “domestic extremists”. Communism only ever comes and survives at the point of a gun. Maybe this is the first step in the next act.

    Of course they are.  They need time for the Zampolit Kommisars to instill the proper attitude in the troops.

    • #9
  10. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    This is an outrage.  Do they believe that they can cower our military, courageous souls who volunteer to sacrifice themselves in defense of our country?  They underestimate our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.

    What they have politicized is our military leadership, but not all of our leadership.  They underestimate our resolve and unity.  This will be interesting to watch.  It will also be very easy to reverse.

    • #10
  11. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Kozak (View Comment):

    The politicization of the Military by the Biden admin is in full gear.

    We haven’t seen anything yet.

    It didn’t start with Biden. But this administration is a breeding ground for total infestation.

    • #11
  12. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Dominique Prynne: and a “facilitator” (another military person) then asked questions of the group members such as “Tell me about a time in your military career that you saw or experienced extremism.”

    Without clear definitions, I would think it appropriate to cite as “extremism” some examples of heroism in the battlefield or taking extreme action to save either a fellow member of the US military or a civilian caught in battle mayhem. 

    • #12
  13. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    I wonder if the left is starting to fashion the military into a force that can be used against “domestic extremists”. Communism only ever comes and survives at the point of a gun. Maybe this is the first step in the next act.

    Yes, 30k military put Biden in office on a corrupt election. 30K of them is keeping him there. 30NG went to visit GOP congress person because they did not like what she said. And we are in the beginning.

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    I wonder if the left is starting to fashion the military into a force that can be used against “domestic extremists”. Communism only ever comes and survives at the point of a gun. Maybe this is the first step in the next act.

    Of course they are. They need time for the Zampolit Kommisars to instill the proper attitude in the troops.

    The problem is the Democrats often do things out of silliness and for performative value that are not part of their plan, so this could just be that as well.   I am inclined to agree with you both though.  It has actually progressed far further than I had thought, which means we are closer to the end game than I had expected.

    • #13
  14. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):
    Do they believe that they can cower our military, courageous souls who volunteer to sacrifice themselves in defense of our country?

    Of course they can. Case in point:

    Dominique Prynne: My daughter’s conclusion is that it was very poorly focused, creepy, and a waste of time. But yet, illuminating as to the direction of the service branches. She said that she will be even more mindful of herself in her workplace and even out of the workplace due to this.

    There are different kinds of courage. There are also different risk assessments and different priorities. A person who will risk his very life on a battlefield might not risk his career, especially when speaking up seems to offer little hope of justice.

    Most soldiers will remain publicly silent, just like most civilians. Those who are silent might not be bullied into being actively unjust. But morale will suffer. And perhaps our partisan generals will be better able to recruit the partisan footsoldiers they prefer.

    • #14
  15. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    This is an outrage. Do they believe that they can cower our military, courageous souls who volunteer to sacrifice themselves in defense of our country? They underestimate our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.

    What they have politicized is our military leadership, but not all of our leadership. They underestimate our resolve and unity. This will be interesting to watch. It will also be very easy to reverse.

    I hope so

    • #15
  16. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    I’d be very interested in knowing the AFSC of those “facilitators”. It appears they were picked very carefully for their political views. Future unit “commissars” perhaps?

    Very instructive post. Thanks.

    Is there still a Social Actions office like in the old days? Because that’s where they would have come from in my day. Probably all 702’s.

    You may be right.  I was thinking that they may have gotten to the point where there will be an “additional duty” down at the squadron level to make sure that all members get an “extremist briefing” at regular intervals.  In my squadron there were between 30 and 40 of these additional duties; CPR instructor, security monitor, etc..  I think that every member of the squadron got stuck with one or more of these functions; either as primary or secondary.

     

    • #16
  17. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    I’d be very interested in knowing the AFSC of those “facilitators”. It appears they were picked very carefully for their political views. Future unit “commissars” perhaps?

    Very instructive post. Thanks.

    I’m a civilian and my branch chief was asked yesterday to provide a volunteer for the facilitator by Friday. He sent it to the two team leads and copied two of us civilians. Here’s what the division sent to him.

    “It would be preferred that you solicit a volunteer who will devote the time to making all the preparations and doing the training necessary to successfully meet the goals of this event. If you do not get a volunteer, please be judicious in appointing someone as expectations will remain the same.

    To assist you in making a selection, I suggest you peruse the attachment. This duty may not be the best option for our most junior people.”

    “so we’re hopefully looking for facilitators/leads that would be open/interested in discussing these topics (voluntarily) in leading each breakout group”

    The attachment contains the same information that the post author’s daughter saw. I’ve glanced through it. No mention of antifa or BLM but also no direct mention of conservative. It does focus a lot on the 6 January Capitol riots with a couple of pictures from that day.

    Our down day is at the end of the month.

    Please take good notes for everyone…

    • #17
  18. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    I am in a quandary.  While I do not have children I do have friends and family with children that mean much to me.  These children are nieces, nephews, cousins, god children.  I help these children and they will inherit from me when we pass.  Currently one of my god daughters is considering the marines or other military.  Her father and I have discussed it.  In the past I would be all for either the military or law enforcement as a start for a young person, maybe even a career.  Now not so much.  As much as it pains me I feel I need to discourage her from joining.  I just do not believe in the country, government, military like I used to.  I do not think they will have her back or her best interest in mind.  Much less the possibility I will have to defend myself from them / her.  

    • #18
  19. Flicker Member
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    I don’t think a report is going to come of SecDef.  I think every incident that any service member mentions is going to be investigated privately and appropriate action taken.

    • #19
  20. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I don’t think a report is going to come of SecDef. I think every incident that any service member mentions is going to be investigated privately and appropriate action taken.

    No doubt,  removal of anybody that is even remotely right leaning.   It will be good.  The Right needs to understand that their country hates them and act accordingly.   

    • #20
  21. navyjag Lincoln
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Hard for me to believe the enlisted ranks, especially the junior ones, and junior officers paying much attention to this [REDACTED]. The paper pushing career types, officer and enlisted, probably have their fingers in the wind trying to see how this is going to turn out.  I am hopeful the front line troops get through this.  But the Sec of Def is a real piece of work. Did not see too many affirmative action black senior officers in the Navy 50 years ago. Guess times have changed. 

    • #21
  22. Dominique Prynne Member
    Dominique Prynne
    @DominiquePrynne

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I don’t think a report is going to come of SecDef. I think every incident that any service member mentions is going to be investigated privately and appropriate action taken.

    You may be right about the investigations etc but don’t underestimate the PR value of a compilation of thousands of instances of “extremism” documented and waved around for the cameras and an expose’ in the NYT.  Whether the incidents are true or not, it will be good fodder for even more “crackdowns”. 

    • #22
  23. Dominique Prynne Member
    Dominique Prynne
    @DominiquePrynne

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    I am in a quandary. While I do not have children I do have friends and family with children that mean much to me. These children are nieces, nephews, cousins, god children. I help these children and they will inherit from me when we pass. Currently one of my god daughters is considering the marines or other military. Her father and I have discussed it. In the past I would be all for either the military or law enforcement as a start for a young person, maybe even a career. Now not so much. As much as it pains me I feel I need to discourage her from joining. I just do not believe in the country, government, military like I used to. I do not think they will have her back or her best interest in mind. Much less the possibility I will have to defend myself from them / her.

    My nephew is a 2ndLt. in the USMC.  He is just the kind of all-American kid you want in the role.  Smart, patriotic and full enough of himself to take on the world.  Plenty of those in the service.  Where else does a young person inclined toward service go?  College? Big Business?  Non-profits?  They are super-woke. 

    • #23
  24. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    I’m a civilian and my branch chief was asked yesterday to provide a volunteer for the facilitator by Friday. He sent it to the two team leads and copied two of us civilians. Here’s what the division sent to him.

    I’m a civilian employee now, I do the Training Manager duties for my unit. I am on leave this week, so I haven’t yet seen what they intend to do.

    However, if the training focuses on Jan 6 and does not include, say, the Ft Hood shooting, then I will certainly bring that up as my go-to example.

    If they try to dumb it down from that point, I’ll let you know.

    • #24
  25. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    I did some googling – you can a professional wokester on active duty in the USAF.  This stuff was there when I was enlisted 40 years ago but it appears much worse now.  Back in the late 70’s and then early 80’s (when I was a junior officer) everyone knew just to keep your head down during this training and to avoid the sort of people who did this for a living.

    link;  https://www.thebalancecareers.com/air-force-enlisted-job-descriptions-3344343

    • #25
  26. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Hard for me to believe the enlisted ranks, especially the junior ones, and junior officers paying much attention to this [REDACTED]. The paper pushing career types, officer and enlisted, probably have their fingers in the wind trying to see how this is going to turn out. I am hopeful the front line troops get through this. But the Sec of Def is a real piece of work. Did not see too many affirmative action black senior officers in the Navy 50 years ago. Guess times have changed.

    The kids coming into the military are getting the same brainwashing as their peers.  They see the same social media.

    I was shocked at the amount of progressive, attitudes I saw working at Ft Bragg several years ago.  Despite being a base with a lot of elite troops stationed there like Special Forces and 82nd Airborne.  

    Don’t kid yourself that the military is immune from the rot in the rest of our culture.

    • #26
  27. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    I am in a quandary. While I do not have children I do have friends and family with children that mean much to me. These children are nieces, nephews, cousins, god children. I help these children and they will inherit from me when we pass. Currently one of my god daughters is considering the marines or other military. Her father and I have discussed it. In the past I would be all for either the military or law enforcement as a start for a young person, maybe even a career. Now not so much. As much as it pains me I feel I need to discourage her from joining. I just do not believe in the country, government, military like I used to. I do not think they will have her back or her best interest in mind. Much less the possibility I will have to defend myself from them / her.

    While I don’t agree as a strategic response, I understand all too well the concerns which prompted it.

    • #27
  28. Dominique Prynne Member
    Dominique Prynne
    @DominiquePrynne

    Instugator (View Comment):
    However, if the training focuses on Jan 6 and does not include, say, the Ft Hood shooting, then I will certainly bring that up as my go-to example.

    I asked my daughter that exact question re: did they reference Ft. Hood.  Her response was no, they did not.  

    Obama told me that was workplace violence right? <sarc off>

    • #28
  29. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    @dominiqueprynne

    I hate to ask this, but is it safe for your daughter’s career to use your real name in this context?  The Woke are a petty bunch, in or out of the military, and I’m unsure whether this is technically classified information at this time.

    • #29
  30. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Dominique Prynne (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):
    However, if the training focuses on Jan 6 and does not include, say, the Ft Hood shooting, then I will certainly bring that up as my go-to example.

    I asked my daughter that exact question re: did they reference Ft. Hood. Her response was no, they did not.

    Obama told me that was workplace violence right? <sarc off>

    General Casey  Army Chief of Staff on the FT Hood shooting

    CASEY: Again, I think that’s something else we need to be very careful about, and I think the speculation could potentially heighten backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers. And what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here. And it’s not just about Muslims. We have a very diverse army. We have a very diverse society.

    And that gives us all strength. So again, we need to be very careful with that.

    Diversity Uber Alles.

     

    • #30