A West Point graduate, Spenser Rapone, made waves in the military community last year when he took a picture with a cap that read “Communism will win” on the inside. The army saw the photo and moved forward with an investigation into Rapone’s social media activity. Army officials also found a photo of him posing for the camera, opening his uniform to reveal a Che Guevara shirt underneath.
As a result of the investigation, Rapone is no longer a part of the U.S. army (though it seems that was his intention).
“He is no longer part of the U.S. military after top brass at Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division accepted his resignation Monday after an earlier warning for ‘conduct unbecoming of an officer.’ He’s leaving the military with an other-than-honorable discharge,” reports Fox News.
The Army’s official statement
The U.S. army isn’t going to let something like this slide without making a comment. Especially when Rapone’s been so active on social media.
“Second Lieutenant Rapone’s actions in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army,” read the statement. The Army also said it felt it took “appropriate action” in handling Rapone’s behavior. But the U.S. Army wasn’t the only one who felt the need to speak up about Rapone’s actions. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio had a few things to say about the matter as well.
Marco Rubio’s statement
“While in uniform, Spenser Rapone advocated for communism and political violence, and expressed support and sympathy for enemies of the United States,” said the Senator. “I’m glad to see that they have given him an ‘other-than-honorable’ discharge.”
Rapone encourages other soldiers to join him
Since posting the initial photos, and since leaving the U.S. Army with an other-than-honorable discharge, Rapone has doubled down on his socialist rhetoric.
“I would encourage all soldiers who have a conscience to lay down their arms and join me and so many others who are willing to stop serving the agents of imperialism and join us in a revolutionary movement,” he said.
He posted this photo to Twitter on June 18 of himself giving the middle finger to Fort Drum. “One final salute,” he captioned the photo.
On Twitter, he’s known as “Rudi (Dutschke) Can’t Fail,” and his feed is mostly posts about socialism and his defiance of the U.S. Army. He describes himself as a revolutionary socialist, and often urges others to join him in the revolution. According to Fox News, he’ll be speaking at a conference for socialism next month. He believes though his being discharged could lead to repercussions, it ultimately opened up more appropriate doors for him.
“I knew there could be repercussions,” said Rapone. “Of course my military career is dead in the water. On the other hand, many people reached out and showed me support. There are a lot of veterans both active duty and not that feel like I do.”
Military experts are saying that behavior like Rapone’s is extremely rare–that a West Point officer receiving an other-than-honorable discharge is extremely rare. Greg Rinckey, an attorney specializing in military law, told Fox News that the discharge allows the U.S. Army the opportunity to win money back from Rapone for the education it gave him since he didn’t fulfill his five-year service obligation that’s required of all graduates.