Gangs In the Military

In October 2007, a soldier from Baltimore was arrested by Army authorities for the gang related shooting of five people. Local police believed the soldier was a member of the Bloods Street gang. Three of his alleged victims had ties to our arrival gaining. The soldier allegedly joined the Bloods before joining the Army. He enlisted eight days after being charged with a trespassing violation. Sad to say that the Army was never informed that the soldier had been arrested or involved with the criminal street gang.

Such events are unfortunately part of a larger trend: gang activity in the US military is dramatically on the rise. In the Army alone, there were 79 suspected gang incidences reported in 2007 alone. These incidents included acts of homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, theft, and narcotic dealing. It was primarily enlisted men below the rank of Sgt. that committed most of these offenses, but a growing number of civilians and military dependents have been suspects as well. A gang-based culture and mentality appears to be raging throughout our armed services.

GangsA collection of data was presented by the Bureau of Prisons, National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) law enforcement partners State Correctional Facilities, and the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) through the National Drug Threat Survey. This report was called the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment (NGTA). This report showed that there is a significant criminal threat due to gang infiltration of the military. There have been at least 53 gangs identified as being on both domestic and international military bases. In addition, the advanced combat training and weaponry skills taught to these soldiers are put to use on the street when they return home. While it used to be that the military was a way for people to avoid gang membership in their neighborhoods, it is now being used as a way to enhance these skills to help their home gangs.

There are actually different kinds of gangs that are both on the military bases and on the streets. The table below from the 2011 National Gang Threat shows these different types and their definitions.

Type of Gang Definition
Street Street gangs are criminal organizations formed on the street operating throughout the United States.
Prison Prison gangs are criminal organizations that originated within the penal system and operate within correctional facilities throughout the United States, although released members may be operating on the street. Prison gangs are also self-perpetuating criminal entities that can continue their criminal operations outside the confines of the penal system.
Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs) OMGs are organizations whose members use their motorcycle clubs as conduits for criminal enterprises. Although some law enforcement agencies regard only One Percenters as OMGs, the NGIC, for the purpose of this assessment, covers all OMG criminal organizations, including OMG support and puppet clubs.
One Percenter OMGs ATF defines One Percenters as any group of motorcyclists who have voluntarily made a commitment to band together to abide by their organization’s rules enforced by violence and who engage in activities that bring them and their club into repeated and serious conflict with society and the law. The group must be an ongoing organization, association of three (3) or more persons which have a common interest and/or activity characterized by the commission of or involvement in a pattern of criminal or delinquent conduct. ATF estimates there are approximately 300 One Percenter OMGs in the United States.
Neighborhood/Local Neighborhood or Local street gangs are confined to specific neighborhoods and jurisdictions and often imitate larger, more powerful national gangs. The primary purpose for many neighborhood gangs is drug distribution and sales.


If you suspect anyone of being in a gang, report the situation to your officials but make sure that you do nothing yourself or approach these people.

When I was in the military, the most we had to worry about were prior gang members fleeing their neighborhoods. It is amazing to me that there isn’t a way to check people prior to enlistment.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Teresa Agostino

Originally from Canada, Terri moved to the US at 16 and joined the Army Reserves at 17. She went active Army in 1991, and spent almost 2 years in Iraq as a program analyst for the Army Corps of Engineers. She currently works for the VA as an Accounts Management Supervisor. Terri has her MBA in HR management.
Teresa Agostino

Latest posts by Teresa Agostino (see all)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *