Gangs in the Military

Gang recruitment of active duty military personnel “constitutes a significant criminal threat to the US military,” according to the FBI’s 2011 national gang threat assessment. “Members of nearly every major street gang, as well as some prison gangs and [outlaw motorcycle gangs], have been reported on both domestic and international military installations,” states the report. “Through transfers and deployments, military-affiliated gang members expand their culture and operations to new regions nationwide and worldwide, undermining security and law enforcement efforts to combat crime.” The FBI has identified 53 US gangs with ties to the US military. While gang members have been in every military branch, they are most prevalent in the Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve, according to the report. Five of the 53 gangs have members who have served in, or been affiliated with, the Air Force, according to the assessment.