Spenser Rapone is NOT Army Strong

Spenser Rapone is NOT Army Strong

Spenser Rapone is NOT Army Strong

Not everything that happens revolves around the protests the NFL and its players are currently staging. That is especially true when it comes to Spenser Rapone. Don’t let the media fool you on this. No matter how hard they try to twist the facts to make it seem like his actions in posting what are, at the very least, questionable photographs and, at the worst, violations of the rules regarding the behavior and actions of Army officers, they are wrong. His actions go much further than protesting for equal treatment of minorities in this country. His actions have little, if anything, to do with supporting Colin Kaepernick. His actions undermine not only his role as an Army officer but they also cast doubt on not only the Army but the military as a whole, especially the military academies. How can someone who professes to support ideals that are contra to the foundation of our country be trusted to protect and defend it and its citizens? How can someone who so glibly posts photographs of himself he knows are violations of his oaths be trusted to uphold other oaths, to his fellow soldiers, to his senior officers and to the nation?

I, _____, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God. (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)

This is the oath every officer in the United States Army takes. It is the oath Second Lieutenant Spenser Rapone took upon his graduation from the United States Military Academy. It is an oath he was familiar with as It is also the oath he has willfully, perhaps gleefully spat upon with his social media activity both while attending West Point and after.

In case you aren’t familiar with Rapone, he completed Airborne school at Fort Benning. Then he finished the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program before being assigned to the the 1st Ranger Battalion. Afterwards, he deployed overseas and saw combat. Then he entered the United States Military Academy where he graduated last here. Here’s a picture of him that day. Doesn’t it make you proud to know he will be serving in the Army, protecting America and all she stands for?

Yes, that’s a Che Guevara tee shirt he’s wearing under his uniform. If the picture isn’t damning enough, his comment on the Tweet is. It’s a quote from Che. Yes, that’s right. A young man who enlisted in the army, saw action and then entered and later graduated from the United States Military Academy is quoting Che at us. Che, the Marxist revolutionary. Che, who stood for everything the United States has fought against. Yes, that Che.

Think about it. This is what Rapone took pride in instead of this:

But it gets better. In another photo, also taken on his graduation day, Rapone holds his cover, revealing a handwritten note on the inside. “Communism will win.” He gives a half-hearted raised fist ala countless protestors and revolutionaries. What is interesting about the latter is how careful he is not to fully raise his fist. Could it be he was a bit worried about what his fellow graduates would do?

These aren’t the only examples of where Rapone’s true allegiance lies. In another photo, he is shown proudly posing with a copy of the Communist Manifesto. According to the Daily Caller, Rapone’s bio says he is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. The Daily Caller goes on to quote some of his tweets. Here’s just one. He complained that the military as such “reifies capitalism/imperialism with a brutally hierarchical rank structure” and said that his fellow service members “lust for war and conflict. They fetishize violence.”

And this is someone who somehow managed to not only gain entry into West Point but graduate.

When news of Rapone’s actions, not to mention his pictures, hit the news, it didn’t take long for the outcry to sound. Newsweek might buy into the excuse that Rapone is merely showing solidarity with Colin Kaepernick because of the # VeteransForKaepernick he attached to the tweet of the picture, but that I find it hard to believe. That picture was taken months ago. This was a conscious decision by Rapone to tweet a picture he knew not only violated the code of conduct he pledged to as a cadet but it also, from my understanding of the various provisions of the Code of Military Conduct and other applicable laws and regulations, violated oaths he took as an officer. (For more on what an officer can and cannot do when it comes to political activity, check out this article.)

His actions have also forced the Department of Defense and West Point to issue the following statement:

West Point Statement

I am the proud mother of a member of the United States Air Force. When I look at Rapone’s pictures, when I read his tweets, I don’t just feel sick. I feel angry and I feel scared. This man, and I use that term loosely, is putting his own feelings and desires above the oaths he took. He shouldn’t be in the military. The thought of others relying on him to watch their backs in a fight against those whose ideologies he agrees with frightens me. Not for Rapone, but for those men and women who need to trust him in a firefight. But how can they? How can we?

Spenser Rapone and Communist Manifesto

It will be interesting to see how the Department of Defense and, more specifically, the Army respond to what he’s done. As we watch and wait, it is important to remember one thing. Those pictures may have been taken before he raised his hand and took the officer’s oath but he chose to post them months later. If that doesn’t speak volumes, I don’t know what does.

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46 Comments
  • Bucky Barkingham says:

    These pics are probably photo shopped. No way a West Point cadet got away with what they show.

    • Amanda Green says:

      Two of the photos were taken, according to Rapone, on graduation day. He didn’t post them, to the best of my knowledge, until after graduation. If they are photoshopped, I find myself asking why? Why would an officer, a graduation of West Point, post them? Surely he knows what sort of blow-back they’d cause.

    • Scott says:

      Over on TAH, they’ve looked at his social media, and there’s plenty to back up that the photos are legit, and he is truly just that big a POS

      • Amanda Green says:

        Each of the photos I used came from his social media feeds. Now, he could have photo shopped them himself but why? And, yes, I agree that he is a POS.

        • Randy says:

          He said some pretty vile things about Gen. Mattis. 2nd. Lt. Spenser Rapone called Secretary of Defense James Mattis the most “evil, vile f***” in the entire Trump administration. And a few other things. I hope Gen. Mattis gets him.

  • GWB says:

    One thing I’ve pondered since this came out was whether he was being contrary just to be a jacka**. Because continued service, with those attitudes, has to be an extreme cognitive dissonance. I’ve known military people like that – and yes, they were like that at the Academy, and they graduated.

    But I just can’t bring myself to commit to that idea. So, the only other explanation is that he’s a subversive. In which case, his remaining term should be served in Leavenworth.

    • Amanda Green says:

      Trying this reply again.

      I wondered the same thing. Like you, I find it hard to accept. What I do wonder if is he showed this sort of attitude before attending West Point or if it began once there. Either way, he is disrespecting his uniform, his classmates and every member of the Armed Forces and, as a military mom, that makes me angry beyond words.

      • GWB says:

        I feel a similar anger, as an alumnus of a sister institution.

        • Amanda Green says:

          When i spoke to my son last night, it brought it all home for me. My son is currently active duty military. He graduated from Texas A&M and was a proud member of the Corps of Cadets. He understands the meaning of an oath and breaking an oath to this country, or to his fellow members of the military, is not something he would ever do. Spenser Rapone is an insult to him and all those like him who have willingly stood for our country, ready to give their lives to keep us free.

    • Tanar Ur says:

      Point of evidence, Major Nidal Hassan.
      Back in my service in the USMC, one was always asked if one was, or had ever been, a member of the Communist party, or any organization that advocates the overthrow of the US Constitution. A yes answer would get you immediatly removed from consideration. Do they still ask this question? If so, this piece of garbage lied to get in. If not, why not? Of course they used to ask the same question about homosexuality, which is obviously no longer a problem, at least as far as military service goes.
      Maybe General Dempsey thought the US Army should be more diverse yet, and thought Commies shouldn’t be denied their right to service. Looking at many of the Obama era political appointees, one may see how this happened.

  • Martin L. Shoemaker says:

    He wants a blanket party. Or he’s too stupid to understand: this is the way to get a blanket party.

  • SFC D says:

    Time to charge this oxygen thief with every applicable UCMJ violation possible. Jail time to be followed by dismissal from the military and repayment of his academy cost.

    • Amanda Green says:

      And a thorough audit of his social media accounts, etc., to see if there are any more like him at West Point or already commissioned.

      • FinnMac says:

        There are many like him. One example of many: The FB pic of Spenser and his copy of the Communist Manifesto has been ‘liked’ by at least 9 military personal, some West Point grads or students. His social media is full of like minded ‘comrades’. Let’s hope the DoD questions them all.

  • Michael D. Houst says:

    SFC D is correct. Just off the top of my head, this 2nd Lt has broken at least 3 articles of the UCMJ. Court-Martial offenses, article 15 if he was really lucky. Considering he’s a newly minted butter bar, it’s not worth trying to rehabilitate him; so he should be dismissed from the service, with prejudice.

    • Amanda Green says:

      It’s worse. He was enlisted and did at least one combat tour, supposedly, before entering West Point. So he should know better. I’m not sure, at this point, dismissal with prejudice is enough.

  • Chris in N.Va says:

    He’ll have a lucrative career (assuming he survives the prescribed year’s incarceration) as a darling victim of the Left, raking in speaking fees and book royalties about the mean, awful Unites States.

    Can’t be the typical leftie mental flat-liner, else he’d never have made it through the academic rigors of West Point. Raises a whole lot of questions about how he slithered as far as he did with no one apparently the wiser.

    Always a mystery about how supposedly intelligent people embrace the psychopathically murderous Che (who felt Stalin just didn’t go far enough with his purges) and the flirt with the demonstrably suicidal system of socialism in the face of worldwide failures in abundance.

    Intellect indeed does not equal nor guarantee wisdom.

    • Amanda Green says:

      I know! Maybe he can go on a foreign promo tour with Chelsea the traitor and Reality Winner, or whatever the heck her name is.They could bill it as “The Three Traitors (not to be confused with the Three Tenors”.

    • Diggs says:

      The academic rigors of the USMA are not as tough as you think. My OBC class had more than 50% USMA graduates, and academically, they were not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Those of us who were commissioned through ROTC performed at a much higher academic level through the entire course. Several weeks into OBC, a West Point grad Major assigned as a Small Group instructor asked for, and received, permission to dress down the USMA grads for their lackluster academic performance and their disgraceful behavior (several DUIs, poor attendance in class, etc).

      • Chris in N.Va says:

        Info noted and appreciated.

        For myself, in my USAF days, at both Ft. Meade and Andrews AFB, I had — through my involvement with the Navigators, an interdenominational parachurch ministry — many contacts with the Middies at Canoe U in Annapolis and it seemed (well, back in the mid/late 1970’s at least) that they had some pretty tough academic sledding.

        Can’t vouch for present-day in any direction for sure.

        Thanks for your service, brother!

  • GRA says:

    There could be more to his background. Look at this quote:
    >> “Rapone’s father, a local politician in Pennsylvania, posted a statement on Facebook claiming that he disavows his son’s political views and politics.

    “I’m very disappointed in the direction he has chosen and as his father it greatly saddens me,” the elder Rapone wrote, speculating that his son’s service in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger prior to enrolling in West Point may have been responsible for a dramatic shift in his political views.

    “As a young man, Spencer personified patriotism and in high school was a member of the Civil Air Patrol,” Rapone’s father notes, later adding that “It’s my belief when he returned back from Afghanistan there was a notable difference in his political views.”<<

    Rapone noted in a tweet he was an 11B (infantry) during 2010-2012, when, I suppose he did his tour in Afgan as an Army Ranger. He could share some intellectual similarities with Patrick Tillamn, who was critical of the Iraq War yet decided to enlist and, too, became an Army Ranger.

    Even if Rapone's political leanings change due to his reflection on war during his tour I'm not sure why he decided to continue his military career at one of the most coveted military schools in the nation. It's strange thing. If he hated capitalism why stay in the military, after all the popular sentiment among his kind is that the "military industrial complex" is all about money and the men that will be under his guidance once deployed are fighting a "rich man's war." It's like a Christian who went on a missionary only to return as an theist, who later decides to enter the seminary to become a priest. Like what? You would think he'd become a "winters soldier" decrying the US military, urging young men to stay away from military service.

    Regardless, whatever his reasons to believe in communism and to see Che as a hero, he should be challenged simply because he holds ideas that go against everything the US has stood for. As one poster said, there's some serious and deep cognitive dissonance going on between his ears. He isn't the first serviceman to hold beliefs that undermine the work that made the US a superpower, but when his ilk appears it's similar to a freak show.

    I personally would like to see someone, preferably a serviceman, have a moderated debate with him on youtube about his support of communism and Che.

    Rapone's thought process needs to be challenged and thoroughly deconstructed to show how intellectually vapid he is. After all, he expressed disgust for General Mattis stating he was (tweet) "Definitely the most vile, evil fuck in the current administration."

    • Matt N Rittenhouse says:

      Disparaging the Secretary of Defense is a bad way to start your career as an officer

    • Amanda Green says:

      I, too, wonder when and what caused the change — if, in fact, there was one. As for why he continued with his military career, I’ve seen Tweets and other social media posts purportedly by him that indicate he was infiltrating for the cause, basically. But, whether that’s true or not, his behavior by posting the pictures and by attacking not only the President, but the Vice- President, Secretary of State and others should be more than enough for the powers-that-be to take a long, hard look at not only his actions but at what is happening at West Point that allowed him to not only attend the institution but graduate.

  • GRA says:

    I also want to add that a leftist is a leftist, no matter if he’s in the US military or if he’s a pot smoking liberal arts major at some highly ranked liberal arts college. A well traveled conservative said this, and I paraphrase, “I traveled to Argentina to France and to Thailand. Upon returning home I realized that the guitar strumming leftist I met in Argentina was the same guitar strumming leftist I found in France and in Thailand.” And he wasn’t talking literally about the same person.

    • BikerDad says:

      “I traveled to Argentina to France and to Thailand. Upon returning home I realized that the guitar strumming leftist I met in Argentina was the same guitar strumming leftist I found in France and in Thailand.”

      That has been my experience with the free “alternative” newspapers throughout the country. Whether in Shreveport or Las Vegas or Salt Lake City or Seattle or San Fernando or Philadelphia or Albuquerque or any other city I’ve been to where I’ve picked up the local alternative paper, they’re all the same. Sure, the eateries being reviewed and listed are different, and the bands / venues are different, and the scandals are different, but the fundamental ideology is identical. Still worthwhile for finding out where to eat.

  • John says:

    I think the staff at West Point will come under intense review. I cannot fathom how they did not pick up he would act out this way.

    Understand, the fact he believed what he stated is not the issue, it is that he stated these beliefs while in the service. Again, he stated them not only while in the service, he stated them in uniform.

    • Amanda Green says:

      John, I absolutely agree that the staff is going to come under intense review. If he showed the contempt of the military and the USMA during his time there that he has shown since graduation, how in the world was it not caught and dealt with? If they did know about it, why wasn’t it dealt with before it became a public problem?

  • Freddy Hill says:

    I’m just wondering who took these first 2 pictures. They aren’t selfies, and they surely don’t seem photoshopped as some commenters speculate (i do have some expertise in this – if they were altered, they were masterfully so).

    So perhaps there is more than one commie graduating from West Point.

    • Amanda Green says:

      Interesting questions and deserving of investigation. With everyone coming out of the woodwork to disavow Rapone and their connection with him, how long before we start getting some of those answers?

  • Abyssus Invocat says:

    Something doesn’t smell right here. How could anyone with those attitudes get through Ranger school without his sergeant and his mates smelling a rat and doing some attitude adjustment on him.

  • Mike H. says:

    He should have his commission revoked for bringing dishonor and disrepute to the academy. After that he should be reverted to his enlisted rank and presented with the bill for tuition which should be paid before release from active service after an involuntary extension to insure full restitution.

  • Peter Bland says:

    Forget the beatings or UCMJ. Simple, easy solution would be to revoke his commission. Then bust him down to private from E-5. He still has 6 years, at least, of mandatory service time.

    Reclassify him as a cook or maintenance worker. Have him clean chemical toilets at Fort Polk for 6 years as a private. Simple, easy, elegant solution.

  • craig says:

    I don’t see how he can legitimately be granted a security clearance, based on the questions in section 29 of the SF86 application:

    “29.3 Have you EVER advocated any acts of terrorism or activities designed to overthrow the U.S. Government by force?

    29.4 Have you EVER been a member of an organization dedicated to the use of violence or force to overthrow the United States Government, and which engaged in activities to that end with an awareness of the organization’s dedication to that end or with the specific intent to further such activities?”

    • GWB says:

      Ah, but you see, there’s that little qualifier, “by force“. The communist party does NOT advocate overthrow of the US gov’t by force, but by the ballot box followed by violation of the Constitution (yes, just like Barack).

  • Jerrym1957 says:

    The picture which shows him supposedly holding a copy of the Communist Manifesto has to be photoshopped as, otherwise, because it was taken with a mirror the letters on the cover of the book would be reversed, I.e., a mirror image.

    • steveH says:

      The mirror reverses your image right to left, check. Flip the image you (he) just took and flip it right to left.

      No photoshopping needed.

  • SoCal Stoli says:

    I can’t help but think of Klinger in M*A*S*H, trying to act crazy so that he’ll be discharged. The general drift of Rapone’s posts seem to be carefully modulated to incite a reaction, without going TOO far beyond the cover of “free speech”. As a few other posts pointed out, if he’s punished by the military too harshly, he simply becomes a left-wing martyr (and undoubtedly a rising-star Democrat politician in any event). If he’s discharged, then he’s gotten a top-notch college education for free (USMA is ranked, I think, as the 12th best university in the US by USN&WR), without even having to serve the normally allotted time in exchange. I don’t know if there’s a mechanism by which he can be forced to pay (monetarily) for that education if he is discharged.

    Look for him soon as Bernie Sanders running mate…

    • GWB says:

      I don’t know if there’s a mechanism by which he can be forced to pay

      Yes, there is. He won’t be the first to be thrown out after being commissioned.

    • Jem says:

      I know of a case where a newly-commissioned ROTC cadet was discovered to have been involved in several crimes under the military justice system (most of which would not be crimes in the civilian justice system) with a more senior officer. Initially, she was simply discharged, but the military came back after her later to repay her scholarship.

      The senior officer, who was within a year of being able to retire, was allowed the option to resign his commission (instead of risking a couple of felony convictions and up to ten years in the stockade)…which cost him around $30k per year in retired pay.

      If investigated and found guilty, he could have a very large bill (on the order of $250k) to repay…

  • Matthew McConnagay says:

    That third picture sets off my gaydar. I suspect he just wants attention and/or is a bit mental.

  • Gospace says:

    He has, I have heard, been removed as platoon leader, and is headed for court martial. Charges being carefully drawn up.

  • GWB says:

    New info……
    Evidently Rapone has posted his idiocy on Reddit! While there he admits that a certain confused traitor is his inspiration!

    “I’m currently an infantry officer at Ft. Drum, NY assigned to the same brigade that she was while enlisted,” Rapone wrote in a post. “Every single day I think of the contradictions of being a communist while in this organization, and her courage and tenacity gives me strength to continue the long march through the institutions.”

    Yes, he actually used the “long march” language.

    I sense at least 3 1/2 years in Leavenworth for this useless idiot (because he’ll need a new president to get pardoned).

  • Chris in N.Va says:

    Latest news is that he was mentored by an Academy instructor in Islamic history and such who has since been bounced to administrative leave — an instructor who is quite radical and had a huge influence on this little darling-of-the-Left.

    Our little pot metal (doesn’t make the grade to be called “tin”) soldier had also traveled overseas.

    Per a previous post, sounds quite a lot like a junior version of Maj. Nadal Hasan in the making.

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