Army Splits With Soldier Who Tweeted 'Communism Will Win'

Spenser Rapone

The West Point graduate who promoted communism in social media posts previous year has officially been discharged from the U.S. Army.

Rapone first caused controversy a year ago, when he tweeted two photographs from his West Point graduation in May: one of him wearing a shirt with a blood-red image of socialist revolutionary leader Che Guevara, the other of him holding a cap with the message "Communism will win" scrawled on the inside while he raises his fist.

"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", West Point continued.

Rubio cheered the departure of Rapone.

Another tweet Monday showed Rapone extending a middle finger at a sign at the entrance to Fort Drum, the NY military base where top brass accepted his resignation.

"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, adding "I'm glad to see that they have given him an "other-than-honorable" discharge".

One of six children growing up in New Castle, Pennsylvania, Rapone said he applied to West Point, which is tuition-free, because he couldn't afford college.

Rapone tweeted the graduation photos in September to show support for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling while the national anthem played before games to protest racism in the country.

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Rapone was branded the "commie cadet", and his career as a newly minted officer never recovered after assignment to Fort Drum. The 26-year-old said his belief in communism arose from his time as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan before being accepted at West Point.

Rapone also posted a picture on Twitter Monday showing him giving the middle finger to the sign outside Fort Drum, along with the caption, "One final salute". But his interview with the AP shed light on how he went from a graduate of one of the most exclusive and traditional institutions on Earth to a pariah within the ranks before being mustered out.

He added that all the USA military was doing was "brutalizing and invading and terrorizing a population that had nothing to do with what the United States claimed was a threat".

Rapone received an other than honorable discharge, the AP reported, an administrative separation reserved for misconduct.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) welcomed the decision to discharge the West Point graduate, noting that Rapone's pictures suggest that he supported US enemies.

Don Christensen, a former Air Force chief prosecutor, told The Post on Tuesday it was very unusual for a West Point graduate to receive this type of military discharge unless it was for a serious crime, like drug use. Greg Rinckey, an attorney specializing in military law, claimed that this opens an opportunity for the military to seek money back from Rapone for the education he received as he didn't fulfil the five-year service obligation for all the graduates.

"I knew there could be repercussions", said Rapone, who's becoming a prominent far-left advocate and will be speaking at a conference for socialism next month. "There are a lot of veterans both active duty and not that feel like I do".

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