Data from START’s Radicalization and Disengagement (RaD) team feature prominently in the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs majority staff report entitled, "Report on the Importance of Peer Support in Preventing Domestic Violent Extremism,” released in October.
This data come from the RaD team’s recent publication on “Radicalization in the Ranks.”
In March, START Director William Braniff testified before the Committee, raising awareness about the importance of a collaborative, cross-industry approach to building on the strengths of veterans and military families to crowd out vulnerabilities to violent extremism and polarizing misinformation.
This testimony is also included among the other panelists from the hearing, which was the second in a series of investigative hearings examining the growing threat of domestic violent extremism within the United States veteran community.
"START data demonstrate that this is a numerically small but still significant issue, and that the best solution is to build on the strengths of veterans and military family members to further push these issues to the margins," Braniff said.
During the hearing Braniff, an Army veteran himself, spoke on behalf of veteran service organization We the Veterans, a nonpartisan, nonprofit, solutions-oriented organization created in summer 2021 by veterans and military family members seeking to focus specifically on civic engagement.
In his testimony, Braniff highlighted what at the time was a new initiative called Vet the Vote, an effort to mobilize veterans and military family members to serve as election judges during the midterms and beyond. To date, the Vet the Vote coalition has recruited approximately 63,000 poll workers to help staff polling sites in all 50 states plus Washington, DC.