Gangland - Basic Training

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America's military is becoming an unlikely but wickedly effective training ground for gangland soldiers. Are America's armed forces creating the best trained, best equipped, deadliest gang-bangers in history?

In 2005, Richard Valdemar, one of the country's leading gang experts and a 30-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, issued a warning: "Gangs around the country were sending their members to the military to learn urban warfare." The FBI believes gang members enlist to receive weapons, combat and convoy support training; to obtain access to weapons and explosives; or as an alternative to incarceration.

Gang members have infiltrated America's military. Gang graffiti is visible everywhere in the battle zones of Iraq. Hand signs are flashed at every gathering of soldiers, and are commonplace in frontline photographs. On-base gang activity is responsible for a rash of crime and violence that rivals some prison systems. And most disturbing, after receiving the world's best training and conditioning in tactics and killing techniques, gang members return to their home turf ready to wage war against law enforcement, rival gangs and ordinary citizens.


In this eye-opening episode of GANGLAND, stunning surveillance footage shows bangers applying their military training in deadly gun battles. Experts analyze the gang problem within the armed forces, and current and former bangers speak out about gang life before, during and after a military career.

This twofold crisis — gangs infecting the military and gang-bangers bringing military tactics home to the streets — becomes stunningly clear in GANGLAND: BASIC TRAINING.

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