Friend of Guardsman arrested for classified leak believes he was showing off

Screenshots form helicopter footage of Jack Teixeira being arrested (Twitter)

The Massachusetts Air National Guardsman who allegedly leaked information in the form of classified documents reportedly became disillusioned after joining the military, despite having aspired to serve his country since he was a young boy.

Jack Teixeira, 21, was hit with federal charges on Friday at the US District Court in Boston.

The young Airman was formally charged with unauthorized removal and retention of classified and national defense information.

The information in question provided something of a black eye to the United States in regard to the conflict in Ukraine, particularly regarding the effectiveness of certain weapon systems that have been lauded in pro-US/Ukraine propaganda.

A Boston-area native, Teixeira was known by his friends, family, and classmates as a military enthusiast, who aspired to serve his country.

“From a young age, I remember he would have a book on, I believe, US military aircrafts, armaments, like a real big textbook,” former classmate John Powell told the Globe.

While some remember him as a “sweetheart,” others said that he kept to himself and was something of a loner.

Teixeira joined the Massachusetts Air National Guard in 2019, though the pandemic resulted in him spending a lot of time online shortly after.

Eventually finding his way into a Discord group dubbed “Thug Shaker General,” Teixeira developed a bond with other members of the group and was known for making creative memes.

“He was good at his craft. He was good with, you know, Photoshop,” one TSG group member told the Associated Press under the condition of anonymity, noting that Teixeira “was never a very, super serious guy, usually was all like laughs and giggles.”

While it has been suggested that Teixeira posted the classified information in order to make a statement against the current administration, the anonymous member of the Discord group believes it was more an attempt to show off his skill set.

“If I had to give a gauge on it, it would be more or less just some nerds wanting to glance over some stuff and compare and contrast and kind of have a little joke about it,” he said, adding that, “At the end of the day, I mean we’re just trying to have a fun time.”

According to the Air Force Times, Teixeira was serving full-time as an active guard at an installation in Cape Cod.

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