Controversial Socialist Army Officer Given “Other Than Honorable” Discharge

West Point graduate and Army infantry officer Spenser Rapone has been drummed out of the military after receiving an “other than honorable discharge” from the military.  He caused a stir with a posted photo of his West Point cap with the words “Communism will win” written inside.  He also displayed a Che Guevara T-shirt underneath his uniform jacket.  Rapone is clearly a dedicated socialist, but the action raises the issue of whether being a communist or socialist is disqualifying.  His removal is widely tied to a letter sent by Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fl.).  Rapone is scheduled to be a featured speaker at the conference “Socialism 2018” in Chicago this year.

Rapone’s “Communism will win” message in his graduation cap set off a firestorm but that message was not on the outside of the cap.  He was active on social media advocating for the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and heralding Communist figures like Che Guevara.  He was however clearly a good soldier given his assignment to the heralded 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y. He has also deployed to Afghanistan and received a combat infantryman badge (CIB).

The question is whether his political views — and his use of social media — warranted an other than honorable discharge given his service in a combat area.

Rapone uses the Twitter handle is “punkproletarian.”  The cited reason appears to be his violation of uniform regulations though the teeshirt and graduation message were covered up.

A more serious problem may have been revealed on his website, where Rapone declared  that he “could no longer stomach the immorality of U.S. imperialism.”  It also notes that he resigned his commission.


He will now likely become a rallying figure for both communists and socialists in the United States.

164 thoughts on “Controversial Socialist Army Officer Given “Other Than Honorable” Discharge”

  1. The merits or demerits of Socialism/Communism and whether you can be either and a loyal American aside, my concern is Rapone’s intentions and methods. Any one with half a brain would have to realize the potential impact of posting these photos on the internet. Yet Rapone did it any way. Was it immature attention-seeking? Was it an attempt at manufacturing fame and celebrity (a la David Hogg)? Or is he really just that naive? In my view, all three of these would disqualify him from being an officer. I would expect an officer to think strategically enough to know what kind of sh**storm he might be creating and to have maturity, circumspection and restraint to pursue a different course.

  2. Nice to see all that hate:-)Thought comments were supposed to be about officer…As far as I know there is a ” Discharge Other Than Honorable ” category. Also,I think it is still legal to be a socialist, communist, white nationalist, atheist,etc.,. in America.But I do hope they make him pay for his time at West Point on the taxpayers dime.If he feels that strongly, maybe he should take Russian citizenshipand move there to experience Vlad Putin.:-)Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought there was difference between communist and socialist.:-)

    1. probably if the crossed their fingers…am not defendimg either…plus the oath includes “defending all enemies foreign and domestic.Having taken it twice myself…which is why I deplore the current administration 🙂

  3. You wonder if being a Communist should disqualify someone from being an officer in the army, but I would ask first whether you think being a Nazi would disqualify a cadet?

    Could either a Communist or Nazi honestly take the oath required of everyone entering the military?

    I would see people kicked out for far less than either of those.

  4. Having finished a completely paid for education and with the old lick your eyebrows no longer a valid reason for separation he came up with a new scam. I wonder if the four years earned him the GI Bill for even more education on the taxpayers dime?

    1. In most cases, failure to complete the service commitment brings restitution. Academy cadets area required to sign a service commitment for 8 years, 5 must be active duty. If they do not complete the commitment, they are liable for the cost of their education.

  5. The only communist government which is not totalitarian is that of Cuba. Indeed, Cuba is working on a new constitution.

    1. You don’t know what their new constitution will mean. Do you actually think that Cuba wasn’t totalitarian under the Castro’s and isn’t totalitarian today?

      1. Evidently, he doesn’t.

        What’s amusing about Benson is the implicit and explicit condescension which drips from every post, even as he’s revealing he doesn’t know he’s crapped his pants.

  6. I don’t believe it is possible for officers to receive a dishonorable discharge. Yet, somehow I suspect it was only a matter of time before this man and the military parted ways.

    1. I’ve been wondering if the regs have changed in recent years. I could have sworn the news reports at the time said Lt. Kelly Flinn accepted a ‘general discharge’ in lieu of proceeding to a court-martial.

    2. A dishonorable discharge can only be awarded by a General Court Martial.

      The “other than honorable” discharge is the lowest discharge that can be awarded administratively.

  7. If he received a dishonorable discharge for his political views, then that was wrong. He was right to resign his commission because he wrote that he could not stomach the US. It is possible that some of his writings contravened his oath. For instance, if he wrote that he could not wait to help ISIS at the first possible opportunity.

    The fact that there are so many young socialists and communists is evidence of our poor education system. Academics should know better, but they are woefully ignorant when they espouse political systems that have been responsible for more deaths, poverty, misery, and environmental damage than any other system. Communist and socialist governments tend not to care when they poison their people or pollute their environment, because those people have given up their rights for redress “for the greater good”, and government gets to define that good.

    Liberals dominate the academic field, and socialism has found fertile ground. They truly think that if only they were in charge, everything would be wonderful. It couldn’t possibly go the way of Venezuela, North Korea, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, the USSR, or every other place that the experiment of an all powerful government striving for a utopian society has been tried.

    1. The funny part is Che was a loser that rode Castro’s coat tails was ejected from Cuba, failed in Africa and was turned in to the Bolivian authorities for stealing chickens. The only mistake was laying him out in a Christ like pose although that was, I’m sure, meant to be an insult to the Communists.

    2. There aren’t many ‘socialists’ much less ‘communists’, certainly not in comparison with the share you’d have found among the cohorts just tad older than my parents. The Communist Party had 100,000 members in 1947. It’s membership over the last six decades has fluctuated between 1,000 and 25,000 and doesn’t make it into five digits as we speak. The Socialist Workers’ Party isn’t any larger. Of the three descendants of the old Socialist Party, one has evaporated, one has a few thousand members, and one has about 40,000 members. The antique Socialist Labor Party finally ran out of members about 10 years ago.

  8. “The question is whether his political views — and his use of social media — warranted an other than honorable discharge given his service in a combat area.”

    Gen. Benedict Arnold won the Battle of Ticonderoga and suffered serious wounds at Saratoga. He’d have gotten an “other than honorable discharge,” too — had he been man enough to face one.

    1. mespo – if they had caught Arnold, they would have hung him.

        1. mespo – someone suggested that they cut off his damaged leg after the hanging and bury it with honors. 😉 Arnold is a conflicting character. He really got screwed over by the Continental Congress. Had they treated him properly, he would not have sold out West Point. He was a disgruntled employee.

  9. Mildred: Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?

    Johnny: Whadda you got?

    The Wild One 1953

  10. Rapone’s advocacy of Communism and his characterization of US policy as “immoral imperialism” (which did not deter him from accepting a free education at the United States Military Academy at West Point) are plausible offenses against good order and discipline covered under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (the “General Article”).

    Throughout the Cold War, and after in places like Cuba, China and Nicaragua, Communism has been used to justify massive human rights violations. A fervent belief in Communism, as with Naziism or any other violent totalitarian ideology is incompatible with service in the US Armed Forces. We’d literally be handing weapons and authority over other soldiers to someone who advocated the violent overthrow of the US government.

  11. He really screwed up, he should have said how much he loves Putin, he would be a White House advisor by now.

    1. The programmers of the fascist socialist left have spoken Ho hum another wasted nickel for George. .

    1. According to Gallup, 87% of the American population is fine with black-white interracial marriage. And there are non-racist reasons why some of the other 13% oppose it.

      So in the real world, the odds that you will randomly encounter a “white nationalist” anywhere is pretty small.

      But if one somehow got through the screening process to become a West Point cadet, and he proudly distributed photos of himself wearing a KKK outfit under his dress blue uniform on his graduation day while on the grounds of West Point, he would lose his commission.

      You can be certain of that.

      1. Schumer and Pelosi fit the description especialy if you add socialist for some needed accuracy. with the white ID still running The Party and The Programmers of The Collective things are definitely looking up. No sane person especially a citizen of the country which does not include the left would treat them as anything else but a Woof De Niro style joke.

  12. Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega is in search of a few good men. Spenser would fit right in with the Sandinista National Liberation Front.

    A lot of Nicaraguans got shot dead in the last 24 hours. More than 100 killed since April 2018.

    1. Bernie Sanders and a few others… Shame TJ wasn’t there in real life in the 60’s and 70’s but the disjointed non factual comments gave him away as a Juan Come Lately wanna be.

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