Gangs in the Military Term Paper

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Gangs in the Military

In the present era the gang problem is all encompassing and intimidating in a greater measure compared to any other period in history. In the bygone 20 years, gang associations have transcended all socioeconomic, ethnic and racial limits and currently pervade American society. Gangs by way of increased dreadfulness, felony and economic costs influence society. Now we are confronted with the outcome of the gang subculture's startling intensification over the past two decades: diminishing public safety, community image and quality of life. Gangs have the capability of upsetting military discipline and organization.

The attraction of a gang in military is being an element of some entity, security, social status, and an individual enjoying nice things in life, inclusive of wealth, authority and respect. Several gang members are very isolated being the nastiest ones. They are known as lieutenants, keeping themselves in the background always. These lieutenants wields the maximum power and were the people always taking things from the members from the lower rung, profiting from selling it and thus having their own share. Military setups represent changeable way of life and interests. This combination can bring a lot of advantages to the Soldiers on Front Bragg, but also can draw certain unlawful activities. Gang activities within and surrounding any military station has a harmful effect on the local population. (Knox, 1993)

Nearly every day there are reports of fresh events concerning gangs or terrorist groups making everybody in the society a victim despite whether the person responsible for the act or the victim belongs to the military or not. Since several gang members or associates of gang members belong to the military, it brings the problems on post. As per the XVIII Airborne Corps Office of the Provost Marshal's beginner's brief, the state of North Carolina is fourth in the country for terrorist and hate-crime activity, and 21 identified terrorist groups are present only in North Carolina. The gang members and associates of the terrorists groups kill generally military dependents and newly recruited Soldiers in the region. It has been stated that the largest, most dangerous and the best-equipped gangs in the globe are the America's 19,000 police forces. (Sheley; Zhang; Brody; Wright, 1995)

In totality they consist of a type of great structured-crime consortium; the official police mafia. Pennsylvania itself takes pride in possessing 1,298 state and local-Mafia gangs adding up almost 30,000 dangerously well equipped police at the command of their bosses. In these are not included the 14,000 Pennsylvania jail staff hoodlums and the 25,000 formal state military and para-military gangs; all funded out of tax money. America is regarded as an exact police state, a victim with its feet securely sheathed in solid. The Federal Government accepts that during 1996 there were 18,769 gangs of state and local policemen in the country, of 921,728 ruffians; added to that the several thousands of federal agents of nearly 400 different ranks make a mammoth force. (Mitchell; Rush, 1996)

Military posts are a miniature representation of the society in its totality, therefore it was a merely a matter of time before the gangs started to permeate the military communities. Military dependents constitute a high-risk group in themselves, since their families shift frequently and are rather secluded from other families. Dependent children often seek assistance from groups, which inducts them willingly. Gangs see the military communities as cause of secure income through peddling of narcotics or as a reserve of prospective victims. The gang members target the military personnel who remain actively on duty due to their possession and access to arms and ammunition. Gangs even employ service members on duty to dispense their drugs. (Sheley; Zhang; Brody; Wright, 1995)

With the prospective drug market abroad, gang rapidly employs on-duty members as messengers and for easy admittance to military post offices and transportation. Enlistment standards nowadays are on an increased level than earlier. Most gang members become unsuccessful to qualify for the service, as background verification could bring to light criminal activity. But, gang members and others with non-criminal reports have, earlier, been permitted to serve in the armed services. The Navy has declared that since November, 1991, four sailors have been shot at, eight stabbed, twenty-four robbed and forty-eight beaten up. In the last one and half year, four sailors have been shot and murdered in Long Beach. All these events were determined as gang-related. In November and December of 1989, Air Force Office of Special Investigations found a ladies gang on a base in Washington branded as the Fly Girl Posse gang. The gang consisted of Navy and Air Force, Caucasian, Black and Asian dependents. (Mitchell; Rush, 1996)

During 1991, fifteen USAF dependents on an Albama base were recognized as associated Crips gang members. During October, 1991, the front gate guard of a California USAF base reported that he was at the receiving end of a drive-by shooting by local gang members. During August 1991, nine people got killed at a Buddhist Temple. Civilian gang members from Tucson, Arizona were held but freed in absence of evidence. Two USAF dependents were alleged to be involved in the killings. They were members of the 'After Midnight' gang, which owes allegiance with the Mexican Mafia. The Army testified that a man held by the Minneapolis Police Department had a Military ID Card. The man told that he got the on-duty ID card from the member of the Vice Lords. (Mitchell; Rush, 1996)

During 1992, an on-duty soldier, posted in Germany, was caught up in a drive-by shooting in his home when he was on leave from duty in Aurora, Illinois. The soldier was the unsuspecting driver of the vehicle wherein some members of the Latin Kings gang were traveling. The person shot at was a member of the Maniac Latin Disciples, a rival gang. On Dec. 9, 1995, three soldiers posted at the Fort Bragg, N.C. were accused with an ethnically provoked murder of Fayetteville, N.C. Although the Soldiers do not belong to any formal terrorist group, the misfortune was an alarm bell for Fort Bragg's leadership and the Army regarding the mode of fighting the enemy who is an insider: terrorists outfits, recognized in Army regulations as security threat groups. (Jackson, 1998)

It is easy to get entangled in gangs and terrorist groups, but can be very difficult to escape from their clutches, and people attempting to disengage themselves from certain groups might be troubled by other members. A unit can perform a lot of things to prevent a Soldier from getting embroiled in gang-connected activity. Responsiveness is the answer to the issue concerning gangs in military. People come from varied backgrounds and their upbringings were different. Responsiveness should be present that association with gangs is not good to peaceful living and means endangering one's life. It also requires an understanding that professionally it is bad. It is not possible to be front ranking Soldiers and connive with a terrorist group or gang. At the time when a new Soldier joins the post, the entire unit must ensure that the Soldier is fully aware of the pitfalls involved in getting entangled with gangs. (Mitchell; Rush, 1996)

The extremisms of behavioral realms must be kept handy and openly available to any Soldier in a unit and must be discussed at the time of safety meetings. Constructive persuasion will prevent gangs from taking birth. Though, each Soldier is accountable for his or her activities, deterring actions can be imposed by team leaders, squad leaders, section sergeants and commanders. Even if no regulations are in vogue forbidding indirect involvement in insurgent gangs and terrorist groups, it is downrightly dejected. Company commanders have the authority to order Soldiers not to get involved in these activities that are divergent to harmony and discipline or self-esteem of the unit or endanger the health, safety and security of military personnel or military equipment. The families of service members have constantly struggled with the consequences of operation. (Knox, 1993) periodic living quarter investigations of on-post as well as off-post personnel is required. If there is any shred of doubt regarding association of any Soldier or any member of his family in gang related activities, the Unit commander should be alerted. At times, persons show illustrations or sketches in their barrack rooms or homes, and people relating themselves with the people involved in the gangs are inviting troubles and often find it. A Soldier with dependent members must have identical information to give to their families. (Mitchell; Rush, 1996)

With the drawdown of U.S. forces, for a lot of families both the occurrence and length of deployments has enhanced. Organizing youths for these severances is thus a rising necessity. Youth also experience the outcomes of intermittent family relocations, coupled with the incapability to forge long-term peer relationships and disparities in installation services and school district necessities. In reply, the military community has made tough pledges to present constructive activities and atmosphere for youth. At present, there are in excess of 490 youth services…[continue]

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