Veterans for Responsible Leadership Speaks Out Against Violent Extremism in the Ranks

DENVER, Feb. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Veterans for Responsible Leadership (VFRL), a nonpartisan organization representing veterans from many eras, today condemned the behavior of current and former military personnel who were reported to make up a disproportionate number of those arrested for participation in the deadly events at the US Capitol on January 6th.  The 14% of reported arrests who are military members or veterans included a member of the so-called “Proud Boys” and Army veteran Joseph Randall Briggs, retired Air Force officer Larry Brock, former Marine and current national guardsman Jacob Fracker, and Timothy Louis Hale-Cusanelli, an Army reserve NCO, all of whom are reported to have actively participated in the violent extremism demonstrated at the nation’s Capitol on January 6. 

“Participation in the insurrection on January 6 by any current or former service member was a violation of their oath.  This includes anyone who actively encouraged this horrendous attack on our democracy,” said Dr. Daniel Barkhuff, VFRL president and former Navy SEAL. “None of these actions reflect US military values.  We urge our fellow veterans to remember their oath and steer clear of this dark road.” 

According to widespread news reports and court documents, all four men entered the Capitol in violation of federal law.  Images appear to show Brock breaching the Senate Chambers wearing a combat helmet and carrying zip ties. Briggs is reported to have encouraged “Proud Boy” participation before and during the insurrection. 

“This is a stain on the entire military community.  We need to do more to confront the forces and pull of extremism that plague our ranks,” Dr. Barkhuff said. 

VFRL’s members believe that the vast majority of veterans value and cherish our democratic process. However, VFRL will continue to call out veterans whose behavior harms the United States, while organizing veterans to continue to be of service nationwide as civilians.

Veterans for Responsible Leadership (VFRL),,  is a fully inclusive, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to preserve the integrity of American democracy against those who seek to undermine and subvert its institutions, the rule of law, and electoral system for personal or political advantage.  Its members believe that service to the country shouldn’t end when they take off the uniform , and all are asked to sign the Veteran Code,, to keep faith with their oath, their country, and their fellow veterans.

Media Contact: Jonathan Bernstein or Ellen Gustafson,
, (720) 449-2310

SOURCE Veterans for Responsible Leadership

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