The man shown above is Spenser Rapone, a former cadet at West Point. Today, he serves with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division. However, 2nd Lieutenant Rapone made waves well before posting the picture above as well as one with him brandishing his shirt with a picture of Che Guevara.
As early as 2015 former Academy history professor and retired Army Lt. Col. Robert Heffington saw something in the young cadet that startled him. According to reporting by The Daily Caller, this is what Heffington noticed:
“From his various online rantings and posts, it appears that DCT Rapone is an avowed Marxist, which is completely out of line with the values of this nation and its Army,” Heffington said in a sworn statement.
“Moreover, CDT Rapone’s posts indicate that he hates West Point, the U.S. Army, and indeed this country. One post dated 16 November 2015 states, ‘F*ck this country and its false freedom.’ He also … even implicitly justifies the actions of ISIS and blames the United States for terrorist attacks.”
Heffington concluded in his report,
“I cannot reconcile the image of a first class cadet at West Point with the things he has posted online for the world to see. To me, these are red flags that cannot be ignored, and I fail to see how this individual can possibly graduate and become a commissioned officer in six months.”
Unfortunately, for all involved, Mr. Heffington’s fears fell on deaf ears. They did this, even though Rapone’s training, advising, and counseling officer saw the exact same traits of insubordination and lack of respect that has no place in the army. When Heffington told the officer of his concern’s over Rapone, the office could only muster a “Unfortunately, I’m not surprised.”
Some, like Marvin Rubio (R-FL) have asked the army to “nullify Rapone’s commission.” Doing so would be exactly the right decision. This isn’t about somebody have a different political opinion. It’s that there is someone, who is supposed to be serving and protecting this country, who apologizes for those who are actively trying to cause harm to the United States. If he does that, what’s to stop him from aiding the enemy and deserting? It is simply too dangerous to have somebody with his views being the among the first line of defense for the country.
For the record, the Army has said that they have been made aware of Mr. Rapone’s pictures and views and are looking into what actions the should take. The real question is, if it was easy to see where his views on this country were two years ago, why was he still allowed to graduate from West Point? The Army nor the Academy have answered that question yet. We can only hope that they’ll do the right thing and decommission him, before he does something we might all regret.
Updates to this story will be provided as they become available.