The “revolutionary socialist” US Army Lieutenant -who wrote “Communism will win” inside of his West Point dress cap and wore a Che Guevara shirt under his dress uniform- has resigned his commission and reportedly made a scene as he left his former duty station at Fort Drum, New York.
Spenser Rapone resigned his commission on Monday after receiving a reprimand for “conduct unbecoming of officer,” due in part to his use of the internet to disparage ranking US officers and call for a “socialist revolution.”
According to USA Today, the Army investigation into Rapone was fairly low-key in terms of press coverage, stating only that it had concluded its investigation and that “appropriate action was taken.”
A former enlisted member of the US Army Rangers before going to West Point, Rapone had more time in service than your average Second Lieutenant and had combat experience in Afghanistan.
Known by many as the “commie cadet,” Rapone ended his time at Fort Drum by posting a “final salute” on his Twitter feed: a photo of his hand extending the middle finger to the sign at one of the gates of the Army post, which is situated near Watertown, New York.
— Rudi (Dutschke) Can’t Fail (@punkproletarian) June 18, 2018
Rapone’s social media profiles have seen an uptick in activity since his departure, though his posts during service were often just as divisive and critical of the United States. During his time in service, the Lieutenant believed that the US Government must be destroyed from within, his beliefs operating the lines of Communist philosopher Rudi Dutschke’s strategy of the “long march through the institutions”- something that was reflected in his use of social media.
Now known as an “anti-war activist & army resister,” Rapone is scheduled to speak at the Socialism 2018 conference in Chicago, which spans from the 5th to the 8th of July. According to the conference’s website, the event is a “four-day conference bringing together hundreds of socialists and radical activists from around the country to take part in discussions about Marxism, working-class history, and the debates and strategies for organizing today.”
Many -including Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio- are happy to not only see Rapone out of uniform, but let go from service with an other-than-honorable discharge.
“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.”
Military law attorney Greg Rinckey shed light on the incident, noting that it is rather rare for a West Point graduate to receive an other-than-honorable discharge and adding that the US could seek repayment for the education that was provided to him by the US taxpayer.
Rapone seems to accept this, albeit seeming undeterred from his current course.
“I knew there could be repercussions,” Rapone told USA Today. “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.”