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West Point Grad and Combat Vet Turned ‘Socialist Organizer’ Gets Other Than Honorable Discharge

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West Point graduate Spenser Rapone made news when his graduation photos seemed to show an overt support for communism. After leaving West Point, Rapone began active duty with the Army. His troubles, though, had just begun. The controversy surrounding his West Point photo shoot didn’t simply go away.

Now the soldier who posed with a sign inside his cap that read “Communism will win” has been discharged.

“After posting the photo, Rapone was discovered to be a vehement communist propagandist and ‘official socialist organizer’ of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA),” American Military News writes. “Rapone’s social media was filled with up to hundreds of posts, messages and photos that were being circulated around the military and civilian communities.”

Rapone also posted an image of himself in a Che Guevara t-shirt.

Rapone briefly served as an infantry officer in the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y. After graduating, he deployed to Afghanistan.

Now, though, he has officially received an “other than honorable discharge.”

After posting the images of his antics on social media, Rapone watched as his photos went viral. Many were offended by what they perceived as a stunt. Shortly after, Rapone went dark on social media. But the images were loose in the world and the damage was done. The Army began an investigation.

“Today, his Twitter account is again public. 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’,” AMN writes.

“At Socialism 2018 I’ll 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,”  Fanning wrote.

Rapone will be speaking at Socialism 2018 in July.

The website for the event has a bio of Rapone that says he “could no longer stomach the immorality of U.S. imperialism, he spoke out against the reprehensible actions of the military in September 2017. He ultimately resigned his commission, and was separated from the Army in June 2018 with an Other Than Honorable discharge.”

“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.

The Army and West Point have both weighed in on the controversy. The Army simply notes that there are “strict rules regarding the wear and appearance of Army uniforms.”

West Point seems to agree. Rapone, they write, “in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army.”