The U.S. Army, on Monday, discharged 26-year-old Spenser Rapone less than a year after the young cadet posed with his dress uniform unbuttoned revealing a T-shirt with the image of Che Guevara printed on it. In another image taken after graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, Rapone is seen with a clenched fist and cap in hand, which had the message “Communism will win” written in the interior.
Top brass at Fort Drum accepted Rapone's resignation after an earlier reprimand for “conduct unbecoming of an officer,” according to USA News.
"I consider myself a revolutionary socialist. 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," Rapone told the Associated Press.
Unrepentant of his actions, Rapone took to Twitter on Monday, posting a photo of him standing at the entrance of Fort Drum and pointing his middle finger at the entrance sign. Accompanying the image was the caption, “One final salute.”
The U.S. army stated that it had conducted a thorough investigation into Rapone and had concluded that “appropriate action was taken.”
Meanwhile, Rapone, who had been the target of online vitriol, death threats and dubbed the commie cadet,” said the investigation found that he had advocated for socialist revolution online, as well as criticized high-ranking officials.
Rapone had previously served with the First Ranger Battalion in Afghanistan.