Extremist Activities

Participation in extremist organizations and activities by Army employees (both appropriated and non-appropriated fund personnel) is inconsistent with Army values and the responsibilities of employment in the federal government. Army policy guidance on extremist organizations and activities is found in
AR 600-20, Chapter 4-12.

EXTREMISM: Extremist organizations and activities are ones that: a) advocate racial, gender, or ethnic hatred or intolerance; b) advocate, create or engage in illegal discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, physical/mental disability, age, national origin; or c) advocate the use of or use force or violence or unlawful means to deprive individuals of their rights under the United States Constitution or the laws of the United States, or any state, by unlawful means.

All civilian appropriated fund employees take the following oath of office upon entering Government service:

"I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

Involvement with or in an extremist organization or activity, such as membership or presence at an event, could threaten an employee's ability to successfully perform his or her duties. Moreover, when connected with government employment, participation in extremist organizations and activities by Army employees is inconsistent with the above oath of office.

Respect is one of our cornerstone values shared by all of the Army. Respect relates to appreciation and support of the rich diversity among the work force and recognition of the dignity of all individuals. Treating all individuals with dignity and tolerance best shows that respect. Actions or expressions espousing extremist philosophies or causes, including statements or non-verbal expressions, clothing or tattoos that suggest or convey extremist views, have no place at work. They diminish work unit cohesion, create an atmosphere of intimidation and hostility, and interfere with productivity, morale, and esprit de corps.

The guidance below should be helpful for supervisors when dealing with civilians (both appropriated and non-appropriated funds) who are members of extremist groups or who demonstrate actions or voice views at the work place consistent with those extremist beliefs. The following activities on behalf of extremist groups are prohibited while on Government property and/or during official duty time; (1) Sponsoring or publicizing an extremist demonstration or rally; (2) Knowingly attending a meeting or activity while on duty or otherwise appearing to represent the Army or the Government; (3) Conducting fund-raising activities; (4) Recruiting or training members of an extremist group; (5) Organizing or leading such a group; (6) Distributing or posting literature; (7) Participating in any activity that is in violation of regulations, constitutes a breach of law and order, or is likely to result in violence.

Supervisors should take some of the following positive actions when they learn that they have a civilian employee who is a member of an extremist group or when there is credible evidence of employee involvement with or in an extremist organization or activity, to include receipt of literature, or presence at an event.

(1) Educating employees about the Army's policy of fair and equitable treatment for all.

(2) Advising employees of the incompatibility of such organizations with Government service.

(3) Evaluating the subject employee's access to classified information, where appropriate.

(4) Considering involuntary separation for unsatisfactory performance or misconduct, when there is a nexus between performance/conduct and the employee's official duties.

If formal or informal disciplinary action is considered necessary, it must be appropriate to the specific facts surrounding any incident. Supervisors may not take formal disciplinary actions without coordinating with the servicing Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC), who will effect necessary legal coordination. Supervisors are also encouraged to discuss less than formal disciplinary actions with the CPAC staff. Additional information is available on CPOL pages relating to disciplinary and adverse actions for appropriated fund employees, including AR 690-700, Chapter 751, Discipline. One of the items in this AR is a table of suggested penalties. Although there is no specific offense identified as extremism, there are offenses that may be committed by those participating in extremist activities. These may include such offenses as creating a disturbance; discourtesy; misuse or abuse of Government property; failure to observe written regulations, orders, rules, or procedures; discrimination because of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, political affiliation or disability, or marital status; Constitutional violation; conduct unbecoming a Federal employee. Offenses and guidance for non-appropriated fund employees is contained in AR 215-3, Chapter 7 and Table 7-1.

One of the manifestations of extremist activity is tension and possibly violence in the workplace. Guidance for dealing with violence in the workplace may be found in the Army pamphlet titled "Commander's Guide to Violence Prevention".

Content last reviewed: 1/12/2006-ADC

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This page was last revised: 1/24/2011