SAYS CHAIN OF COMMAND “LOOKING INTO THE MATTER”
by Sharon Rondeau
Spenser Rapone’s latest tweet appears to have been made on Monday, in which he wrote, “In case there was any lingering doubt, hasta la victoria siempre,” which means “until the victory always” in Spanish. The accompanying photo shows Rapone opening his officer’s jacket and revealing a Che Guevara T-shirt underneath.
Gateway Pundit archived the tweet here.
The WPMA’s website states that “The United States Military Academy’s mission is to educate, train and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the United States Army.”
Admission to West Point is highly selective and competitive and occurs after a lengthy screening process. A “nomination,” or recommendation, from an applicant’s federal elected officials is required for candidacy.
A four-year education at West Point is fully funded by the taxpayer and includes rigorous physical, academic and military preparation for commissioning as an Army officer. Graduates of the academy are expected to develop into “leaders of character for the Nation.”
The West Point motto is “Duty, Honor, Country.”
Following graduation, a “Basic Officer Leader Course” must be completed to advance to additional training in such areas as military intelligence, finance, aviation, military policing, and others.
Rapone’s Twitter header depicts a red flag with a yellow hammer and sickle, a communist emblem used by the former Soviet Union. His statistics as of Tuesday reflect 10,200 tweets dating back to February 2012; that he follows 1,388 Twitter accounts; that he has 2,483 followers, and that 29,300 of his tweets have been “liked” by others.
On the left is a photo of what appears to be Union Army Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman.
After reading The GP’s posting, The Post & Email contacted the West Point Commandant Brig. Gen. Richard D. Clarke to verify whether or not Rapone was, in fact, associated with the academy, although we mistakenly identified him as a student rather than a graduate.
Our email reads:
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, September 25, 2017 10:47 PM
To: CmdtMail <CmdtMail@usma.edu>
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] POSSIBLE ACTIONS OF WEST POINT STUDENT
Good evening, sir. Are you able to confirm that the Twitter and other social media accounts which reportedly belong to a West Point student do, in fact, depict him praising communism, uttering expletives, and showing that he is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)?
If the man in the photos and videos is a West Point student, does his behavior comport with the academy’s standards? If not, will he face consequences?
On Tuesday afternoon, we received the following response:
Thank you for your email regarding the recent social media activity of a U.S. Military Academy graduate. I am aware of the issue and share your concerns.
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.