"Gangs and the Military" by Professor Carter F. Smith

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College of Education (Lobby), MTSU

1756 MTSU Blvd

Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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(date changed to ensure time to acquire books)

Folks don't often connect military-trained gang members with Middle Tennessee. However, retired Army CID Special Agent and MTSU Professor Carter F. Smith has been identifying those dangerous gangsters for over twenty-five years. Street gang, Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, and Domestic Terrorist Extremist group members have served in the military in each of the wartime eras and they continue to serve today, he observes.

Some are trying to use the military to get out of the gang life - many are not. Those criminals not only tarnish the reputation of the military, they increase the dangerousness of our communities. They are a problem in the military, but they are disastrous when they get into the civilian community with their advanced training and knowledge of weapons, explosives and organizations.

When Dr. Smith was researching for his most recent book, Gangs and the Military: Gangsters, Bikers, and Terrorists with Military Training, he gathered personal experiences, historical documents, government reports, and current events. His first exposure to military-trained gang members was in the Middle Tennessee area, and, not surprisingly, the area has quite a connection to both past and present development of military-trained gang members.

Dr. Smith will share some of the real-life stories at a book signing event in the College of Education first floor lobby, on the campus of Middle Tennessee State Univesity, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. His book documents some well-known military-trained gang members, such as the land pirates who traveled the Natchez Trace after the Revolutionary War and the James Brothers who robbed banks, trains, and stagecoaches after the Civil War, as well as some that are not as well-known, like the Street Gangster turned World War I veteran Monk Eastman.

Gangs and the Military crosses non-fiction writing genres, with a combination of memoir and American and military history connected with a social studies, criminology, and true crime thread. The book documents the long history of gang members (street gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and domestic terrorist extremists) with military training in parallel with the history of the United States.

Gang experts have described the book as a "must read for anyone concerned with the gang problem in America," including "clearly articulated evidence of the infiltration of the gangster mentality within our nation's military branches," that is "well researched, very comprehensive and well proven."

Please RSVP to ensure we have enough books on hand and so you can get a personalized souvenir to use while you read. Parking is available with an MTSU parking pass or you may use the parking meters. You may also obtain a permit from the Parking and Transportation Services office at 1403 East Main Street or print a visitor pass at; visitor permits are $2 per day. A map of the campus is available here -

Come hear Dr. Smith talk about what his insider research uncovered about how the gangs are using the military to further their interests and endanger ours. This event is primarily for the MTSU community, although if you don't have a university connection and are interested you are welcome to stop by!

Dr. Carter F. Smith teaches in the Department of Criminal Justice Administration at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in Murfreesboro, TN. He was in the U.S. Army CID for over twenty-two years, serving fifteen years at Fort Campbell, KY, where he identified the growing gang problem in the early 1990s and later started the Army’s first Gang & Extremist investigations team.

Carter has been interviewed about gangs by several news sources, has appeared twice in the History Channel’s Gangland series, and has authored or co-authored three books and many articles addressing the subject of gangs. He is a founding (and still serving) board member of the Tennessee Gang Investigators Association, and is a three-time recipient of the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award of the National Gang Crime Research Center in Chicago, Illinois.

For more information about gangs and the military, peruse the Book's Facebook page --, or website -- You'll find blogs about the threat of military-trained gang members to the community at

Dr.. Carter F. Smith

The book:

  • Was written by a retired criminal investigator who pioneered gang investigations in the military.

  • Is the only book written about military-trained gang members by someone who investigated them while in the military.

  • Covers early gang history not covered by many gang books.

  • Includes first-hand accounts, as interviews, of many military-gang related events by experts in the field.

  • Provides a variety of recommendations for countering the presence of gangs and related issues in the community.

  • Focuses exclusively on adult gang members, which have made up the clear majority of gang members both historically and in the present.

  • Provides examples, analysis, and commentary on several street gangs, Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, and Domestic Terrorist Extremists with military connections.

  • Offers previously untried solutions to military-gang problems.

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College of Education (Lobby), MTSU

1756 MTSU Blvd

Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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