Spenser Rapone, the so-called “Commie Cadet” who caused an uproar over photographs taken during his graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, has officially parted ways with the U.S. Army, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Leadership at Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division accepted Mr. Rapone’s resignation Monday, days after it emerged that the 2016 West Post cadet had received an “other than honorable” discharge, the report said.
“Due to privacy act restrictions, we are limited in what information we can provide. We can confirm, however, that the Army conducted a full investigation, and that appropriate action was taken,” Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Nina Hil said in a statement. “We now consider the matter closed.”
Mr. Rapone, 26, first made waves in September after he shared an image on Twitter of himself in uniform holding a cap that been altered to read “Communism will win.” The next day, he tweeted a second photograph of himself wearing his uniform over a shirt of Che Guevara, the late Marxist theorist involved prominently in the Cuban revolution, prompting condemnation and causing the Army to launch an investigation into his conduct.
Mr. Rapone deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 and served as an assistant machine gunner in Khost Province prior to applying and graduating from West Point, the AP reported. His viral photographs were taken during his graduation from academy in May 2016 but not tweeted until the following September when he shared them in solidarity with Colin Kapernick, the NFL quarterback who came under fire that month for kneeling during the national anthem, the AP reported.
On Monday, Mr. Rapone tweeted a photograph that showed a middle finger being extended toward Fort Drum, captioned: “One final salute.”
“I consider myself a revolutionary socialist,” Mr. Rapone told the AP. “I would encourage all soldiers who have a conscience to lay down their arms and join me and so many others who are willing to stop serving the agents of imperialism and join us in a revolutionary movement.”
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