Many other military personnel also tweeted in favor of Kaepernick, although most were supporting free speech, not communism. At West Point, Irealized Imight be asocialist. He has deployed to Afghanistan and received a combat infantryman badge (CIB). He went viral after posting a photo to Twitter of himself in support of professional football player Colin Kaepernick, where Rapone is seen in his West Point uniform at graduation holding his cap that contains a piece of paper that says Communism will win.. There is no better way to support this workand no better time to join. Outside of my chain of command, people were threatening and silencing me and Ihad tons of alt-right and neo-fascists sending me death threats. stream Prysner stands at a height of 5 ft 11 in (Approx. ", Rapone said his journey to communism grew out of his experiences as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan before he was accepted into the U.S. Military Academy. Uz\`QT2#!dkscS. Throughout this whole process, the military has certain ways of coercing you, so there was always athreat of morepunishment. A search of Rapones page shows they are still Facebook friends. Or to keep it anonymous, click here. For his part, Rapone became infamous in 2017 after his photos and tweets made the internet rounds. No matter what you did in these imperialist conflicts, theres arole you can play in ending them and try to help emancipate and liberate people. Occupation: Organizer: A Critical History of Community Organizing in America, Breaking the Impasse: Electoral Politics, Mass Action, and the New Socialist Movement in the United States, Bigger Than Bernie: How We Can Win Democratic Socialism in Our Time. Keep it Clean. The last 15years have shown otherwise. U*Z|rqO Despite his growing disillusionment about the military, he applied and got in. It strikes me how much, as aculture, weve praised troops since 9/11. Hoseins bio on the West Point website lists Rapone as one of two cadets he last advised at West Point. West Point released a statement after Rapone posted the photos, saying his actions "in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. ;Z*A.,Gr+UYn>SYQel:2>pUpk'+0?@t %*-m,}'~3tWhWwOVM81&:OFGy]$F%xG7*8QjVy(q\-`m'ge(|bUWn`K.O;wu^+r>;Y?^Uba-g2Ia$qYXP}mjCGNq0sy5ElUAiWe -H/r| >a~SuPc;*}{Mf.B@I}\)T|] But in terms of restrictions, after the Vietnam era in 78, they put it into code that any kind of military unions or organizing is explicitly forbidden. At ayoung age, youre inundated with propaganda and patriotism, and Ithought Icould make adifference joining the Army. Top brass at Fort Drum accepted Rapones resignation Monday after an earlier reprimand for conduct unbecoming of an officer., Rapone said an investigation found he went online to advocate for a socialist revolution and disparage high-ranking officers. Sign up now to get our FREE breaking news coverage delivered right to your inbox. Hes also tweeted out that hell happily dance on GOP Sen. John McCains grave. I started to think, If Iwere aguy in Afghanistan, how would Ifeel about this? Ithink its no secret that many people in America would take great umbrage if someone was walking through their homes. Joe, but he wanted none of that. Spenser Rapone, 26, became notable a bit faster than most graduates. Release Calendar Top 250 Movies Most Popular Movies Browse Movies by Genre Top Box Office Showtimes & Tickets Movie News India Movie Spotlight. By Debra Heine 10:26 PM on October 05, 2017. Back in 2018, images of Spenser Rapone at his West Point graduation went viral. If this was Ukraine the mainstream media would be shrieking day and night about human rights and international law. Spenser is my son and I love him dearly however I do not like nor condone his politics, his actions or behavior. The event is set to take place on July 5-8during thethe Socialism 2018 conference in Chicago, Illinois. In the middle of all of this, these right-wing sites were saying stuff about me and Iwas under investigation, so Icouldnt say anything because theyd use that as ammunition. Spenser Rapone was like a character who stepped out of a Bruce Springsteen song. Its a program for Indigenous liberation, life, and landan affirmation that colonialism and capitalism must be overturned for this planet to be habitable for human and other-than-human relatives to live dignified lives. At the end of this Convention, the GNDCC will be tasked with initiating a more direct working relationship between DSA and The Red Nation. Chris Hedges talks to Spenser Rapone, former combat veteran and US Army officer, about the Washington Post's series the 'Afghanistan Papers'.Drawing on thousands of pages of international government documents about the war in Afghanistan, the series exposes the lies, deceit, mismanagement, waste, corruption, fraud, and failed schemes that both Democratic and Republican administrations . Its out there now and Ithink the narrative of this is starting to shift alittle bit, which is good because people are starting to understand my experience. We can confirm, however, that the Army conducted a full investigation and that appropriate action was taken., 2nd. Mr. Rapone used the social media platform on Wednesday to promote an upcoming Socialism 2018 talk in Chicago titled War Resister in the Ranks., At Socialism 2018 Ill be sitting down with with[sic] Spenser Rapone, the US Army Ranger, Afghan-war combat vet, recent West Point graduate, and now war-resister, who sparked nation-wide fury after publicly supporting Colin Kaepernick and Socialism during his West Point graduation, Rory Fanning, also an ex-Ranger, tweeted Wednesday. One of six children growing up in New Castle, Pennsylvania, Rapone said he applied to West Point, which is tuition-free, because he couldnt afford college. The biggest thing about Pat Tillman was that he didnt want to be put in abox. [6], Members of Democratic Socialists of America's Socialist Punk Caucus closed Facebook group, accessed November 24, 2017, included Spenser Rapone. On January 5, 2015, he posted a article calling for the abolishment of West Point. After the initial photo was posted and achieved some measure of viralityand elicited quite a bit of outrage and confusionRapone laid any confusion to rest and further incited his far-right critics by posting another photo of himself wearing aChe Guevarat-shirt underneath his half-buttoned uniform. Less than a year after Rapone's images drew a firestorm of vitriol and even death threats, the second lieutenant who became known as the "commie cadet" is officially out of the U.S. Army with an other-than-honorable discharge. You go to football games and they bring troops out on the field. Id have to file aFOIA request to figure anything out, but Ithink he may have moved the needle alittle bit. The U.S. Military Academy strives to develop leaders who internalize the academys motto of Duty, Honor, Country, and who live the Army values. Rapone had also posted a second photo of himself in uniform, and he is seen wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt underneath his uniform jacket. Don't Threaten. Spenser then enlisted in the Army and deployed to Afghanistan after which point he again applied to West Point. Spenser is my son and I love him dearly however I do not like nor condone his politics, his actions or behavior., Rapone has a long background of support for far-left extremism, even going so far as to promote communism while in uniform. Its the worst administrative discharge. He added that its possible the military academy could seek repayment of the cost of Rapones education because he didnt serve the full five-year service obligation required upon graduation. So theres thataspect. Rapone has also tweeted a number of provocative statements, including calling Defense Secretary Jim Mattis the most vile, evil f*ck in the current administration on June 7 from Columbus, Georgia. But Ihad no desire to serve any longerI disagree with what the United States military is doingso Isubmitted aresignation in February with the condition that, as long as Idont receive anything lower than ageneral discharge, Iwould go. Hosein brought Phi Alpha Theta members, including Rapone, to Orlando, Florida, for a national conference in February 2016. Prospective Students; Undergraduate Students; Graduate Studies Guevara was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary who believed the poor people of Latin America would be saved by communism. When international cadets graduate, they become officers in their respective country's armed forces. Spenser R. Rapone Graduate Student, Department of History, University of Texas at Austin 128 Inner Campus Dr. B7000, GAR 1.104, Austin, Texas 78712-1739 p. (512) 471-3261 e. Education University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas From there, Ispent along time in limbo because Iwas under investigationthey were waiting for me to make another screw-up in their minds. Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. Toward the end of his deployment, he learned West Point fulfills a certain quota of enlisted soldiers every year. From there, Iwould either be retained or kicked out. In fact, Ididnt really find what we were being told in America to be reflective of what was really going on in Afghanistan. The former Democratic congressman who nominated communist 2nd Lt. Spenser Rapone to West Point is now disavowing Rapones recent comments, which range from attacks on Secretary of Defense James Mattis to calls for political violence. Movies. And Marco Rubio said you advocate violence againstAmerica? In 2021 Spenser Rapone was hired at the University of Texas in Austin in the History Departments New School for Social Research. Then she puts them under a microscope. The United States Army is so impressed with Spenser Rapone, they decided to promote him to first lieutenant. Wed call them detainees, which is just aeuphemism for prisoner, and wed do this kind of thing every night, even sometimes without proper intelligence. But Trump is just asymptom of alarger disease. <>/Font<>/ProcSet[/PDF/Text/ImageB/ImageC/ImageI] >>/MediaBox[ 0 0 612 792] /Contents 4 0 R/Group<>/Tabs/S/StructParents 0>> His Facebook, where he goes under Giuseppe Impastato, was private. Rapone is shown here during graduation ceremonies at the United States Military Academy at West Point with the phrase "Communism will win" written on the inside of his hat. Since the class of 2012, the percentage of women entering West Point increased by about 10 percent, according to data on class characteristics. In regards to my son Spenser Rapone, I disavow his political views and overall politics. Applicants to West Point must receive a nomination for their applications to be considered. Greg Rinckey, an attorney specializing in military law, said its rare for an officer out of West Point to receive an other-than-honorable discharge. <>/Metadata 248 0 R/ViewerPreferences 249 0 R>> You start to see why these wars are endless. He was nominated out of high school by. Spenser Rapone, a former US Army Ranger and Infantry Officer, was kicked out of the military for posting a photo of himself at his West Point graduation ceremony with an antiwar sign under his hat . Whatever happened to that communist lieutenant? So, for me, Iwas trying to resolve this contradiction because no one over here was threatening freedom or democracy or anything like that. Are walking blood banks coming to a field hospital near you? They represent our nation's promise for the future," Deborah McDonald, director of admissions, said in a statement. I have no doubt that the U.S. Army will take appropriate action, Altmire said. Rapone came under fire last year for his social media posts of socialist and communist content. Idont want people saying that because they are volunteers, theres no room for resisting. On March 24, 2014, Rapone posted a picture of himself and Hosein in front of the Taj Mahal. Spenser Rapone is a former Army Ranger and Infantry Officer who resigned his commission in June 2018 due to his opposition to United States imperialism. They're also given 60 seconds to say goodbye to their families, who they may or may not contact during Cadet Basic Training. Get the whole story: Subscribe to In These Times magazine. Most of the guys Iwas witheven and especially the leadershiprelished in the fact that we could kill human beings. In my own unit, Isaw no commitment to learning about the Afghan people or trying to understand them or their culture. x. But yet theyre still an abstraction and not not allowed to have individualopinions. Similar to me, after he did his training and found himself overseas, he realized the harsh reality of what the American military was and formed his own opinions. 2023 by the Institute for Public Affairs (EIN: 94-2889692). Spenser Rapone, a former second lieutenant whose "Communism Will Win" photo rocked the internet in 2017 after being featured by this publication, has received an "Other Than Honorable" discharge from the U.S. Army. In October, he said that Iadvocated violence and was athreat to national security and Ishould have my commission revoked, my degree revoked. In this case, it came from Altmire, who served as a membr of Congress in Pennsylvanias 4th congressional district from 2007 to 2013. Spenser Rapone was a proposed featured speaker of the Socialism 2018, an annual socialist gathering sponsored by the International Socialist Organization held in Chicago, Illinois in July 2018. New cadets hold and read booklets called 'Cadet Knowledge' during Reception Day at the United States Military Academy at West Point, June 27, 2016, in West Point, New York. One of six children growing up in New Castle, Pennsylvania, Rapone said he applied to West Point, which is tuition-free, because he couldn't afford college. Can you describe what you were seeing in in Afghanistan with your owneyes? 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. 51 Join our brand new verified AMN Telegram channel and get important news uncensored. ", An unrepentant Rapone summed up the fallout in yet another tweet Monday that showed him extending a middle finger at a sign at the entrance to Fort Drum, accompanied by the words, "One final salute. #VeteransForKaepernick, Rudi (Dutschke) Cant Fail (@punkproletarian) September 24, 2017. He completed Air Assault School and then applied successfully to West Point.[2]. Robert Heffington, a former lieutenant colonel and West Point instructor who met Mr. Rapone, told the website that his online ideological screeds reveal the philosophical infatuations of a precocious adolescent in a best-case scenario. "We have one of the most technologically advanced militaries of all time and all we were doing is brutalizing and invading and terrorizing a population that had nothing to do with what the United States claimed was a threat.". Could you explain the type of discharge they gaveyou? The Israeli regime is bombing Syrians during the month of Ramadan while the US is starving Syrian with inhuman and sadistic sanctions. He ultimately resigned his commission, and was separated from the Army in June 2018 with an Other Than Honorable discharge., Spenser Rapones bio on Socialism 2018 (Socialism 2018 Website), Fanning wrote that their conversation will be called Resisting Within the Ranks.. Menu. He was an idealistic teenager from the rural Rust Belt town of New Castle, Pennsylvania (literally the . Less than a year after Rapones images drew a firestorm of vitriol and even death threats, the second lieutenant who became known as the commie cadet is officially out of the U.S. Army with an other-than-honorable discharge. His social media accounts were at one point set to private after his photos went viral. At the time, the Army confirmed that he had previously been an enlisted soldier and a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, with one Afghanistan deployment, but that he had been removed for standards.. But from what Iunderstand about his life, he didnt get to the point where you reached, but was still veryquestioning. The Superintendent of West Point Military Academy, Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, Jr., released a letter on Wednesday. At the time, he was an outstanding, well-rounded student who came from a good family. West Point first admitted women in 1976, with 62 women graduating in the class of 1980. Ifigured if he could put his skin in the game on anational stage, then Icould do my small part and it kind of took off fromthere. Mr. Rapone retweeted the message. 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, it said. Then American society and political culture influences you because we are constantly slapped with patriotism and respecting the troops. What does that even mean? Resolution to DSA National Convention Atlanta Georgia July 2019. Rapones activities caught the attention of command authorities this week after he posted photos of himself in his West Point uniform while promoting communism on social media. Local man, West Point grad talks about ouster from Army, Get an email notification whenever someone contributes to the discussion. After the photo garnered widespread attention on Twitter, West Point quickly issued a statement distancing itself from Rapone. (Via Twitter). As a caption to that photo, Rapone tweeted, In case there was any lingering doubt, hasta la victoria siempre, a popular left-wing slogan oft-attributed to thelate Marxist revolutionary, physician, and guerrilla leaderwho was ultimately killed and captured by the U.S. CIA. Officially, the Army said in a statement only that it conducted a full investigation and "appropriate action was taken. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph. A recently retired CIA officer remarked to SOFREP that right now our counter-intelligence is so bad that we are only catching the dumb ones, the people stupid enough to out themselves on social media or who mail classified documents to news outlets, Mr. Murphy continued. Army." I am very disappointed in the direction he has chosen and as his father it greatly saddens me, Richard L. Rapone posted on his Facebook page, adding: As a young man, Spenser personified patriotism and in high school was a member of the Civil Air Patrol. Former Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Rapones long history of extremist tweets, which include calling Mattis an evil, vile f****, is shocking, disappointing and abhorrent. Ex-Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, who served from 2007 to 2013, said that Second Lt. Spenser Rapone let him down. Rapone's discharge will place him in a situation where he will not be entitled to VA benefits and he may have to . Im probably going to take some time to decompress and process all Ive been through. Fanning wrote that their conversation will be called "Resisting Within the Ranks." "Spenser is being discharged from the military with an Other Than Honorable discharge this June, in part, because [Marco] Rubio penned a panic-stricken letter to acting Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy demanding the branch nullify Rapone's military commission after seeing this photo," he wrote. |?RzNB*0t[%vTvRHhii\&4PGO>]~:.1b"* 97by7=w|i>edjR9@6$Ol~9U`: onj "8W(:!,w0e0eIvsRdR5y6odwq,lAQ6Az!F Xig'" aNJFNED$Z9CYOzjc!=;{21m%veb0Nf[,|lj{(/ In the simplest of terms, Ifelt like we were the big bully and the purveyor of violence. % Over the course of the next six weeks, new cadets will be complete physical training, as well as small-unit tactical training and rifle marksmanship. Hes an exceptional soldier, the Twitter account, @DSAVeterans, wrote. On the other hand, many people reached out and showed me support. A Primer for Radicals ITS GOING DOWN. He also reposted a meme from a group called Anarchist People of Color criticizing white privilege., Rapone posted on several forums in support of Chelsea Manning, the Army soldier who went to jail for leaking classified intelligence to WikiLeaks. Along with domestic cadets, the newest class includes cadets from more than a dozen countries, including Columbia, Egypt, Rwanda and Thailand. Even while still a cadet, Rapones online postings alarmed a West Point history professor, who wrote Rapone up, saying his online postings were red flags that cannot be ignored. Rapone was disciplined but still allowed to graduate. UQuIgR0-8Z4m5D_pY`ucWl A^k -f=l@u?H}^Zuj2')`gdzhg~pwwNcEATk,.sWChKggdsCxsA#/aU.8$D^x^@3k;=:V'EQzBju:&XRc]Y|}U.>$mco-/RgxyR\/KA{wz9@Y2]nSQa0baEA~Uws83tF SOI5jraML/ua;s y~D /A' l9~:' WATERTOWN, N.Y. (AP) The images Spenser Rapone posted on Twitter from his West Point graduation were intentionally shocking: In one, the cadet opens his dress uniform to expose a T-shirt with a blood-red image of socialist icon Che Guevara. However, the percentage of female cadets has remained largely unchanged for the past four years, averaging between 22 and 24 percent of the class. "These young men and women are coming here to devote themselves to becoming guardians of Duty, Honor, Country the West Point motto and our United States Constitution. He enlisted in the United States Army right out of high school. On Monday, the United States Military Academy welcomed more than 1,190 candidates for Reception Day. Ithink it was just him seeing the word communist made him draw his own conclusions fromthere. But then Igot deployed to Afghanistan, and my experience overseas showed me that if anything, Iwas making adifference for those with power and wealth. The former West Point cadet who called himself Commie Beebop on Twitter rejoined civilian life without an honorable discharge. Latest news and commentary on Spenser Rapone including photos, videos, quotations, and a biography. He was in the army for 26years and was in special operations. The letter begins to address many concerns about what has taken place at West Point in light of revelations about 2nd Lt. Spenser Rapone, who is an apparent socialist and communist spreading those doctrines; as well as a letter from a former West Point professor that alleges . Follow him on Twitter: @punkproletarian. The saga of communist sympathizing Second Lieutenant Spenser Rapone keeps on going, and with every turn it looks worse for Rapone. In total, this signified about a four percent increase in minority enrollment, equal to about 43 people, compared to the previous year. Sen. Marco Rubio caught wind of Rapones protest and demanded that the Army boot him from the service. Iwas ahistory major, and Istudied Middle Eastern history specifically. He is a man of above-average stature. Those inquires are finished, the Army said in a statement Tuesday but that is all they would say. The second lieutenant was given an "other than honorable" discharge June 18 after an Army investigation determined that he "went online to promote a socialist revolution and disparage high-ranking officers" and thereby had engaged in "conduct unbecoming an officer." My attorney told me they wanted to get apound of flesh from me, but Ididnt do anything illegal. An other than honorable discharge means Rapone will not be entitled to VA benefits or the GI Bill. Compared to the 294 women welcomed on Reception Day in 2018, West Point reported 285 female cadets were on campus as part of the newest class. Ithink it shows some peoples priority. Spenser Rapone, U.S. Army. Previously, he served as the director of Public Education for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago. Even while still a cadet, Rapone's online postings alarmed a West Point history professor, who wrote Rapone up, saying his online postings were "red flags that cannot be ignored." On August 7, Rapone posted a photo on his Instagram account of himself in his Army uniform wearing a Democratic Socialists of America Membership card that says, official socialist organizer.. Inspired by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who famously took aknee to protest police violence, Rapone wore aChe Guevara T-shirt to his West Point graduation in May 2016 and turned his cap over to reveal the hand-scrawled message, Communism willwin.. To be clear, Rapones discharge is officially based on the fact that he made political gestures while in uniformnot due to the content of said gestures. The U.S. Military Academy strives to develop leaders who internalize the academys motto of Duty, Honor, Country, and who live the Army values,West Point said in a statement released Tuesday. endobj The Daily Caller | 1775 Eye Street NW | Suite 1150-290 | Washington, DC 20006, West Point said in a statement released Tuesday. Photos from the graduation posted on social media earned the vitriol of many his fellow soldiers and avocal cadre of right-wing politicians and mediaeven death threats. Can you describe the backlash you experienced afterthat? I have not been in touch with him in the years since the appointment, and I was shocked and extremely 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 continued. Of the people who go into the military, not many people go with acomplete political formation of the world and, unfortunately, being in that world steers them acertain way. racist or sexually-oriented language. Both the United States Military Academy and his current command, the 10th Mountain Division, launched investigations into his conduct. 1.78 m). How Peter Mims spent a week hiding in a warships engine room, US report shows China taking steps toward space dominance, Biden to allow Afghans to stay longer in US, sources say, Michigan expands absentee voting for military members, Some companies charge hefty fees to help vets with disability claims, Meet 12M+, the new community app for military spouses, Your next tech and incoming AI | Defense News Weekly Full Episode 4.28.2023, Home Improvement Loans What are my options? U.S. Army spokesperson Valerie Mongello stressed this point to American Military News, noting, Both the Department of Defense and the Army have long-standing policies encouraging Soldiers to participate in the democratic process. endobj Aside from his recent West Point graduation, Rapone was an infantry officer in the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York. For sure, Pat was abig influence on me. However, the Army has strict rules regarding the wear and appearance of Army uniforms.. [image via Spenser Rapone with permission], Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher, Have a tip we should know? Of the incoming class, 180 were African American, 145 were Hispanic Americans, 99 were Asian Americans and 19 were Native Americans. "West Point is happy with its highly qualified and diverse classes of 2023," a West Point spokesperson told Newsweek. The Saga of the Commie Lieutenant Comes to an End. 1 0 obj Most importantly, you'll the knowledge that you are part of keeping independent, progressive journalism alive and accessible for everyone. Spenser Rapone, 26, quit on Monday with an other-than-honourable discharge over his "unbecoming" conduct at the famed military academy in New York state. Rainmixing with snow overnight. The so-called Commie Cadet was anything but acommunist at the start of his militarycareer. He then deployed to Afghanistan, where he earned a combat infantryman badge. Theyre designed to be profitable. vltD+u On March 23, 2014, Rapone posted about anti-corporatism and racism. Have a tip or story idea? Theres no doubt that some of the generals and higher ranked retired officers and defense contractors had avoice in this. The term communism itself seemed to engender acertain response from Rubio. The GNDCC will make direct connection with The Red Nation, dedicate one person to serve as the main point of contact, and collaborate with the comrades on joint actions, statements and local, national and international campaigns around indigenous liberation and climate justice. Check out the details here. Low around 35F. Rapone, whose Twitter handle is punkproletarian, recently retweeted posts from Rory Fanning, an ex-Army Ranger who says he will be interviewing Rapone at the conference Socialism 2018., At Socialism 2018 Ill be sitting down with with Spenser Rapone, the US Army Ranger, Afghan-war combat vet, recent West Point graduate, and now war-resister, who sparked nation-wide fury after publicly supporting Colin Kaepernick and Socialism during his West Point graduation. When the U.S. invaded Iraq, there was an anti-war movement, but when Obama ran as anti-war candidate, his election took the wind out of the sails. Its my belief when he returned back from Afghanistan there was a notable difference in his political views. I knew there could be repercussions, said Rapone, who is scheduled to speak at a socialism conference in Chicago next month. Last October, some old tweets of a West Point cadet in a Che Guevara shirt sparked outrage across the country. cook forest half marathon 2019 results, valencia county zoning map,

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