West Point grad promotes communism while in uniform
- A West Point graduate and self-described communist is being investigated after posting controversial tweets showing him sporting pro-communist attire under his uniform.
- The military academy quickly released a statement noting that members of the military "are prohibited from engaging in certain expressions of political speech in uniform."
A West Point graduate and self-described communist is being investigated after posting controversial tweets showing him sporting pro-communist attire under his uniform.
Second Lieutenant Spenser Rapone’s tweets included a picture of him in uniform holding his hat with the words “communism will win” written inside, and another picture in which he displays a Che Guevara shirt under his uniform.
West Point quickly released a statement declaring that Rapone’s actions “in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army.”
“As figures of public trust, members of the military must exhibit exemplary conduct, and are prohibited from engaging in certain expressions of political speech in uniform,” the brief statement explains. “Second Lieutenant Rapone's chain of command is aware of his actions and is looking into the matter.”
Rapone has a history of posting controversial tweets on social media, including a statement calling Secretary of Defense James Mattis “Definitely the most vile, evil fuck in the current administration” and another claiming that Vice President Pence is “a fucking medieval, cold-blooded killer.” Still another tweet simply said “Fuck John McCain. Will happily dance on his grave.”
According to The Daily Caller, Former Democratic Representative Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, who nominated Rapone, claims he hasn't spoken to him since he was nominated but is “disappointed in the recent reports of his indefensible actions.”
“The behavior of 2nd Lieutenant Rapone is symbolic of a larger problem in our society—the epidemic of incivility in our public discourse,” Altmire told The Daily Caller.
“While I strongly support the rights of American citizens to express their opinions, the actions of 2nd Lieutenant Rapone are abhorrent and appear to be in clear violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, in addition to being inconsistent with the values of the United States Military Academy,” he continued, adding, “I have no doubt that the U.S. Army will take appropriate action.”
Rapone’s father, a local politician in Pennsylvania, posted a statement on Facebook claiming that he disavows his son’s political views and politics.
“I’m very disappointed in the direction he has chosen and as his father it greatly saddens me,” the elder Rapone wrote, speculating that his son’s service in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger prior to enrolling in West Point may have been responsible for a dramatic shift in his political views.
“As a young man, Spencer personified patriotism and in high school was a member of the Civil Air Patrol,” Rapone’s father notes, later adding that “It’s my belief when he returned back from Afghanistan there was a notable difference in his political views.”
“Spenser is my son and I love him dearly however I do not like nor condone his politics, his actions or behavior,” the statement concludes.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @kassydillon