So, Second Lt. Spenser Rapone surely got his 15 minutes of fame, with his tweets of support to Colin Kaepernick in the wake of the national anthem controversy that’s engulfing the National Football League. Kaepernick launched the first salvo of this leftist theater by taking a knee during the Star-Spangled Banner last year. Last week, President Trump slammed those players who took a knee during the national anthem. The firestorm has begun. Well, at West Point, Rapone tweeted “#VeteransforKaepernick” with him in uniform holding his officer’s cap with “communism will win” inscribed on the inside. He also tweeted another photo of himself revealing a Che Guevara t-shirt under his uniform.
In case there was any lingering doubt, hasta la victoria siempre pic.twitter.com/0XrW38wcCk— Commie Bebop?? (@punkproletarian) September 25, 2017
Rapone graduated in May and is currently with the 10th Mountain Division. West Point responded to this incident saying Rapone’s chain of command is aware, that they’re looking into this incident, and that these actions do not reflect the values of the academy or the U.S. Military; your run-of-the-mill public relations response. The Army Times reported that division issued a statement, saying while the military respects freedom of speech, you don’t do anything political in uniform:
The lieutenant is assigned to the 10th Mountain Division, who said in a statement to Army Times that while they support freedom of speech for soldiers, they draw the line at political statements made in uniform.
“The 10th Mountain Division not only supports free speech, it trains every day to ensure our nation has the ability to protect it at all cost,” Lt. Col. Tonya Stokes said. “That being said, when our soldiers are in uniform, politics must be set aside. Our uniform represents every corner of our nation and it cannot be used to promote any single ideology.”
“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 statement said.
Per Defense Department regulation, active duty service members are not permitted to promote political parties or candidates while in uniform.