The Army’s Criminal Investigation Division identified two individuals suspected of spray painting racial slurs and genitalia on barracks walls before intentionally igniting a fire in a barracks laundry room, Army officials confirmed.

The Fort Hood Fire Department arrived at the barracks at approximately 1 a.m. Saturday after a fire alarm was triggered, according to a statement from the Texas installation. Fire crews doused two separate blazes before the building sustained any significant damage and personnel were evacuated without incident, the release added.

“Later on a walkthrough of the building, military police officers were informed by the staff duty officer that building walls and windows had been vandalized and the paint appeared to be fresh,” the release stated.

Photos shared with Army Times depict three separate walls — at least one appears to be outside and one in a hallway — with the N-word spray painted in large lettering.

The suspect(s) also spray painted male genitalia over a sink adjacent to what appear to be scorched washer and dryer machines. first reported on the incident.

“The actions of these persons of interest are not in keeping with Army values,” Tom Rheinlander, the Fort Hood public affairs director, said in a statement to Military Times.

The suspects’ motivation behind defiling the barracks has not yet been reported, but the incident does draw a striking resemblance to a string of other recent episodes of bigotry and vandalism, including one such incident earlier this month at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.

Both incidents of discrimination appear to be inspired by white nationalism, something the Department of Defense is continuing to battle. Although the prevalence of extremism within the ranks is considered low, troops and veterans are often targeted by extremist groups for their training and knowledge.

Far-right groups like the Oath Keepers, many members of which were convicted for their role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol, have been identified as organizations that target current and former military personnel.

The Army’s CID announced it is investigating this weekend’s incident as “suspected arson,” according to the release.

Fort Hood officials have yet to share the identities of the suspects, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation. Both individuals are reportedly recent arrivals at the installation.

Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

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