Today, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III signed a memo directing commanding officers and supervisors at all levels to select a date within the next 60 days to conduct a one-day “stand-down” to discuss extremism in the ranks with their personnel.
The Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 1325.06, ” Handling Dissident and Protest Activities Among Members of the Armed Forces” provides the core tenets to support such discussions. Leaders have the discretion to tailor discussions with their personnel as appropriate, but such discussions should include the importance of our oath of office; a description of impermissible behaviors; and procedures for reporting suspected, or actual, extremist behaviors in accordance with the DoDI.
The memo can be found here.
[NOTE: Austin sounded serious: after all, he spoke less than a month after the Jan. 6 coup attempt, when dozens of veterans and active duty military were in the invasion of the Capitol, leaving several dead and more than 150 wounded, disrupting the electoral count, sending members of Congress running and hiding for their lives, and chants of “Hang Mike Pence!” echoing in the supposedly hallowed hallways.
But that was then.
This is now. Or more precisely, about a week ago, May 20, 2023]: