West Point graduate with 'Communism will win' message splits with Army after getting other-than-honorable discharge
The West Point graduate who became known as the "commie cadet" is out of the Army after an other-than-honorable discharge.
Spenser Rapone's split from the armed forces comes less than a year after pro-communism and socialism selfies surfaced from his 2016 graduation ceremony. One featured the inside of his cap with the words, "Communism will win," while another included a shirt with a picture of socialist icon Che Guevara.
He said he kept the selfies to himself until September, when he tweeted them in support of Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback known for kneeling for the national anthem.
Another tweet Monday showed Rapone extending a middle finger at a sign at the entrance to Fort Drum, the New York military base where top brass accepted his resignation.
Rapone, 26, had been slapped with a reprimand for "conduct unbecoming of an officer" after an investigation found that he went online to advocate for a socialist revolution. The probe also alleged that Rapone belittled high-ranking officers.
"I consider myself a revolutionary socialist," he told The Associated Press. "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."
His transition to communism grew out of his experiences as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan before he was accepted into the U.S. Military Academy, he said. His study of history at the academy also impacted his thinking.
Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, had called on the Army to send Rapone packing.
"While in uniform, Spenser Rapone advocated for communism and political violence, and expressed support and sympathy for enemies of the United States," Rubio said Monday. "I'm glad to see that they have given him an 'other-than-honorable' discharge."
With News Wire Services