REPORT: Gangs infiltrate US military

Hell’s Angels graffiti written on the back of a military vehicle in Iraq. / FBI

Gang members have been signing up with the United States Armed Forces, posing a “significant criminal threat” to law enforcement, according to a report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“Gang infiltration of the military continues to pose a significant criminal threat, as members of at least 53 gangs have been identified on both domestic and international military installations,” the report says, resulting in American gang graffiti in Iraq, among other things.

Every branch of the military contains some gang members, the FBI reported, but most gang members join the Army, the Army Reserves, and the U.S. National Guard. And gang member enlistment doesn’t require a sinister intention. “Many street gang members join the military to escape the gang lifestyle,” says the FBI, while others join at the behest of a court “as an alternative to incarceration.”

But the military sometimes proves a bad environment for gang members, who “often revert back to their gang associations once they encounter other gang members in the military.”

Numerous U.S. gangs, according to the report, “advise members without criminal records to join the military for necessary weapons and combat training.” Military deployments, in the event, end up placing gang members alongside other members of the armed forces on active duty.

Gang membership in the U.S. military has resulted in “incidents of weapons theft and trafficking,” the FBI warns, which “may have a negative impact on public safety or pose a threat to law enforcement officials.”

You can see a list of gangs affiliated with branches of the military below. For reference, OMG stands for “Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.”

Gang Name Type Military Branch(s)
18th Street Gang Street Army, Marines, Navy
Aryan Brotherhood Prison Army, Marines, Navy
Asian Boyz Street Army
Asian Crips Street Army
Avenues Gang Street Marines
Bandidos OMG Army, Marines
Barrio Azteca Prison Marines
Black Disciples Street Army, Marines, Navy
Black Guerilla Family* Prison Army
Bloods Street Army, Army Reserves, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy
Brotherhood OMG Marines
Crips Street Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy
Devils Disciples OMG Unknown
East Side Longos Street Army, Special Forces
Florencia 13 Street Army, Marines
Fresno Bulldogs Street National Guard, Marines
Gangster Disciples Street Army, Marines, Navy, National Guard
Georgia Boys (Folk Nation) Street Army
Haitian Mob Street Army
Hells Angels OMG All branches
Iron Horsemen OMG Army
Juggalos/ICP Street Army, Air Force
Korean Dragon Family Street Marines
Latin Kings Street Army, Army Reserves, Marines, Navy
Legion of Doom OMG Air Force
Life is War Street Army
Los Zetas Street Army
Maniac Latin Disciples Street Marines
Mexican Posse 13 Street Army
Military Misfits OMG Marines, Navy
Molochs OMG Marines
Mongols OMG Marines, Navy
Moorish Nation Separatist Army
MS-13 Street Army, Marines, Navy
Norteños Street Army, Marines, National Guard, Navy
Outlaws OMG All branches
Peckerwoods Street Marines, Navy, National Guard, Reserves
Red Devils OMG Army/ Coast Guard
Simon City Royals Street Navy
Sons of Hell OMG Marines
Sons of Samoa Street Army
Southside Locos Street Army
Sureños Street Army, Marines, Navy
Tango Blast Prison Army*
Texas Syndicate Prison Army, Marines
Tiny Rascal Gangsters Street Army
United Blood Nation Street Army
Vagos OMG Army, Marines, Navy
Vatos Locos Street Army
Vice Lords Street Army
Wah Ching Gang Street Army
Warlocks OMG Air Force, Marines

* Only gang graffiti was identified