MTSU educator documents gangs, military links in N...

MTSU educator documents gangs, military links in Nashville talk

An MTSU criminal justice professor will expose the often-overlooked connection between military veterans and gang violence in a special talk set Friday, Sept. 29.

Dr. Carter Smith

Dr. Carter F. Smith will speak on “Military-Trained Gang Members in Middle Tennessee” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29 at Words of Wisdom Bookstore, 3877 Lebanon Pike in Nashville. This event is free and open to the public.

Smith, a retired special agent in the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, commonly called CID, is the author of “Gangs and the Military: Gangsters, Bikers and Terrorists with Military Training.”

The book is based on personal experiences, historical documents, government reports and current events. In addition to historical connections in the area, such as the land pirates who traveled the Natchez Trace after the Revolutionary War, Smith chronicles other stories of national interest.

“Congress has mandated an annual report on street gang, outlaw biker and extremist terrorist activity in the military every year since 2008,” Smith said.

“Only the Army conducts an annual assessment, and they appear to do little to analyze the problem, contributions to the problem and potential solutions.”

Smith, a lecturer in the MTSU Department of Criminal Justice, was in the CID for more than 22 years, serving 15 years at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He identified the growing problem in the early 1990s and later started the Army’s first gang and extremist investigations team.

For more information, contact Smith at 615-898-2630 or

— Gina K. Logue (