Majority of Proud Boys indicted for sedition were U.S. military veterans

The majority of Proud Boys members indicted for session for violence during the Jan. 6 attack were US military veterans, Military.com reports.

Driving the news: Four out of five members of the Proud Boys right-wing extremist group who were indicted on sedition charges previously served in the military.

  • The indicted members include an Army veteran with a Purple Heart, two marines and a sailor recruit.

Catch-up quick: The charges against the Proud Boys allege the group’s members were among hundreds of Trump supporters who gathered to riot at the US Capitol on Jan. 6.

  • The Proud Boys members “directed, mobilized and led members of the crowd onto the Capitol grounds and into the Capitol,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.
  • The group also worked to dismantle barricades, destroy property, breach the Capitol building and assault law enforcement officers, the DOJ said.

Details: Four of the Proud Boys members charged Monday had military experience across the spectrum. Military.com highlighted their military careers:

  • Ethan Nordean, who reportedly helped gather supplies and money for the Jan. 6 attack, served about one month as a sailor recruit.
  • Joseph Biggs, who was reportedly one of the first people to break past the barricades at the Capitol, spent 12 years in the Army, according to Military.com. He earned a Purple Heart after two combat deployments.
  • Zachary Rehl, who allegedly managed the group’s radios on Jan. 6, served in the Marines as a logistics specialist for four years. He never deployed before being discharged in 2012.
  • Dominic Pezzola, who is accused of breaking the first window of the Capitol after allegedly stealing a riot shield, served seven years in the reserves as an infantryman.

Yes, but: Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the leader of the group who was indicted on sedition charges, was the only non-veteran of the group, Axios’ Oriana Gonzalez writes.

The bottom line: “What we saw in the lead-up to Jan. 6 was that [veterans] were the ones making the decisions about how the group was going to behave, how it was going to organize on Jan. 6,” Michael Jensen, a researcher at the University of Maryland who studies extremism, told Military.com.

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