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2 Marines Arrested After Flying White Nationalist Banner At A Confederate Rally
Two active duty U.S. Marines were arrested after hanging a white nationalist flag during a pro-Confederate Memorial Day celebration in Graham, North Carolina on May 20, Times-News reports.
Sgt. Michael Chesny, an explosive ordnance disposal technician based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, and Staff Sgt. Joseph Manning of the Marine Corps Engineer School at Camp Lejeune, reportedly drove hours across North Carolina to attend the “Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County” rally, which organizers say is meant to celebrate southern, Confederate history.
When they arrived, the men climbed to the roof of a building adjacent to the the town’s historic courthouse and unfurled what local media characterized as a white nationalist banner. The sign featured the words ““He who controls the past controls the future,” — a quote from George Orwell’s dystopian novel ‘1984’ — and the letters “YWNRU,” which stands for “you will not replace us” — a slogan associated with the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, according to Marine Corps Times.
Identity Evropa is a white nationalist activist group that been on the rise over the last years, known for plastering college campuses with white supremacist literature and using an online application which asks those interested in joining to confirm they are of “European, non-Semitic heritage.” It is unclear if the two are directly affiliated with Identity Evropa or any other white nationalist organization.
The two men were arrested by Graham police and charged with first-degree trespassing, a misdemeanor offense. The pair were released the same day from the local jail after posting $1,500 in bond and returned to their respective bases.
Public affairs officers with Chesny’s and Manning’s units who spoke to the Times-News say the incident is now under investigation by military personnel, who are awaiting more information from Graham police.
“Once the investigation is complete, the commanding officer's action can range from taking no action and letting the civilian authorities prosecute the case, to administrative actions such as formal admonishment, non-judicial punishment or administrative separation from the service,” Mike Barton, a spokesman for MCAS Cherry Point, told Marine Corps Times.
Both Marines are decorated service members who served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chesny has three Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, and Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and a NATO Medal-ISAF related to his deployment in Afghanistan, and Manning received a Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.
“Of course we condemn this type of behavior,” Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Clark Carpenter told Times-News. “We condemn any type of behavior that is not congruent with our values or that is illegal.”
The command chief of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, was removed from his position last month after his chain of command received evidence he disrespected his subordinates.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
The "suck it up and drive on" mentality permeated our years in the U.S. military and often led us to delay getting both physical and mental health care. As veterans, we now understand that engaging in effective care enables us not just to survive but to thrive. Crucially, the path to mental wellness, like any serious journey, isn't accomplished in a day — and just because you need additional or recurring mental health care doesn't mean your initial treatment failed.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called on the security alliance's allies to maintain and strengthen their "unity," saying the organization is "the only guarantor of European and transatlantic security."
Stoltenberg told reporters on November 19 that NATO "has only grown stronger over the last 70 years" despite "differences" among the allies on issues such as trade, climate, the Iran nuclear deal, and the situation in northeastern Syria.
He was speaking at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on the eve of a NATO foreign ministers meeting aimed at finalizing preparations for next month's summit in London.
WASHINGTON — More than $35 million of the roughly $400 million in aid to Ukraine that President Donald Trump delayed, sparking the impeachment inquiry, has not been released to the country, according to a Pentagon spending document obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Instead, the defense funding for Ukraine remains in U.S. accounts, according to the document. It's not clear why the money hasn't been released, and members of Congress are demanding answers.
The admiral in charge of Navy special operators will decide whether to revoke the tridents for Eddie Gallagher and other SEALs involved in the Navy's failed attempt to prosecute Gallagher for murder, a defense official said Tuesday.
The New York Times' David Philipps first reported on Tuesday that the Navy could revoke the SEAL tridents for Gallagher as well as his former platoon commander Lt. Jacob Portier and two other SEALs: Lt. Cmdr. Robert Breisch and Lt. Thomas MacNeil.
The four SEALs will soon receive a letter that they have to appear before a board that will consider whether their tridents should be revoked, a defense official told Task & Purpose on condition of anonymity.