After pictures emerged of West Point University graduate Second Lieutenant Spenser Rapone celebrating Communism, the Army has said the actions of the Second Lieutenant do not represent the values of the military school and they would be looking into disciplinary measures.
Here’s their statement:
RESPONSE TO SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS BY USMA GRADUATE — September 26, 2017
The U.S. Military Academy strives to develop leaders who internalize the academy’s motto of
Duty, Honor, Country, and who live the Army values. Second Lieutenant Rapone’s actions in no
way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army.
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. Second
Lieutenant Rapone’s chain of command is aware of his actions and is looking into the matter.
The academy is prepared to assist the officer’s chain of command as required.
In order to enter West Point, students must receive a letter of recommendation from a legislator.
It is being reported that former Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire, who recommended the graduate to West Point, deplores Rapone’s comments:
Former Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Rapone’s long history of extremist tweets, which include calling Mattis an “evil, vile f****,” is shocking, disappointing and abhorrent.
“Several years ago, I met Spenser Rapone when he was a high school student seeking an appointment to West Point,” Altmire said. “At the time, he was an outstanding, well-rounded student who came from a good family. I have not been in touch with him in the years since the appointment, and I was shocked and extremely disappointed in the recent reports of his indefensible actions.”
“The behavior of 2nd Lieutenant Rapone is symbolic of a larger problem in our society — the epidemic of incivility in our public discourse,” Altmire continued. “While I strongly support the rights of American citizens to express their opinions, the actions of 2nd Lieutenant Rapone are abhorrent and appear to be in clear violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, in addition to being inconsistent with the values of the United States Military Academy. I have no doubt that the U.S. Army will take appropriate action.”
Rapone’s own father has spoken against his son’s political views:
Rapone’s father, a local politician in Pennsylvania, explicitly disavowed his son’s political views Tuesday in a Facebook post. Richard L. Rapone explained that Spenser tried to join West Point straight out of high school but was not accepted. Spenser then enlisted in the Army and deployed to Afghanistan after which point he again applied to West Point. This time around, West Point accepted him.
“It’s my belief when he returned back from Afghanistan there was a notable difference in his political views,” Richard L. Rapone said. “Spenser is my son and I love him dearly however I do not like nor condone his politics, his actions or behavior.”
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.