So, I’m sure some of you had questions about Second Lt. Spenser Rapone, who is currently with the 10th Mountain Division, regarding his political antics while in uniform. Rapone tweeted support for Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who fired the first salvo of this taking a knee business during the national anthem, by tweeting a photo of him revealing that he had written “communism will win” inside his officer’s cap with the hashtag, #VeteransforKaepernick. He also showed that he wore a Che Guevara t-shirt under his uniform. His tweets are now protected, but West Point is aware, releasing a statement that Rapone’s chain of command is looking into the matter, and that this in no way reflects the values of West Point or the U.S. Military. He graduated from West Point in 2016.
A spokesperson for the 10th Mountain Division said that while they of course support freedom of speech—you put your politics aside while in uniform. Rapone also called Secretary of Defense James Mattis a “vile, evil f**k.” The good news is that he’s under investigation by the Department of Defense. The bad news for West Point is that they seem to have known about these antics for two years. The Daily Caller is reporting that Rapone was reported for anti-American social media posts back in 2015:
It turns out a senior officer reported Rapone to his chain of command nearly two years ago.
In a social media post that concerned retired Army Lt. Col. Robert Heffington, an Academy history professor at the time, Rapone wrote, “F*ck this country and its false freedom.”
In November 2015, after being removed from his Ranger battalion for violating standards, Rapone was a cadet in his final year at the academy. According to the report obtained by TheDC, after the latest in a series of incidents involving Rapone’s penchant for insubordination, Heffington became aware of Rapone’s radical leftist activity on social media and notified the cadet’s chain of command.
“From his various online rantings and posts, it appears that DCT Rapone is an avowed Marxist, which is completely out of line with the values of this nation and its Army,” Heffington said in a sworn statement. “Moreover, CDT Rapone’s posts indicate that he hates West Point, the U.S. Army, and indeed this country. One post dated 16 November 2015 states, ‘F*ck this country and its false freedom.’ He also … even implicitly justifies the actions of ISIS and blames the United States for terrorist attacks.”
Heffington concluded in his report, “I cannot reconcile the image of a first class cadet at West Point with the things he has posted online for the world to see. To me, these are red flags that cannot be ignored, and I fail to see how this individual can possibly graduate and become a commissioned officer in six months.”
The same day he wrote this report, Heffington contacted then-cadet Rapone’s training, advising, and counseling officer. The officer was disgusted, but not shocked, Heffington said.
“Unfortunately, I’m not surprised,” the officer said, according to Heffington.
In one incident described in the report, the lieutenant colonel confronted Rapone when he heard yelling in a professor’s office. The cadet reportedly answered in a “loud and extremely disrespectful tone,” “Sir, you don’t have the right to use my honor against me!”
Rapone has come to the attention of some U.S. senators, like Marco Rubio (R-FL), who wrote a letter to acting Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy asking for all relevant information about this matter:
While I strongly believe academic institutions must respect the exchange of ideas and allow students to voice their opinions, members of the military who harbor anti-American views and express their desire to harm our country and its leaders are unfit to serve and defend our nation—and certainly should not enjoy the privilege of attending or graduating from an institution such as West Point, a taxpayer-funded military academy.
This is clearly not just a matter of law but also of common sense, and I can only assume Rapone’s unchecked behavior is an extreme embarrassment for the United States Army and the United States Military Academy. Please provide me with all relevant information regarding West Point’s efforts to ensure cadets who actively support the destruction of our government do not waste more taxpayer funds or prevent a more worthy candidate from attending an institution like the United States Military Academy. The Army’s premier officer commissioning source must ensure an individual like Spenser Rapone is never given the opportunity to lead or serve beside American soldiers.
Check out Kurt Schlichter’s column on the matter as well.
Editor's Note: Rapone's graduation date has been added.