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Lance Cpl. Vasillios Pistolis – who reportedly belonged to a Neo-Nazi group and assaulted protesters while marching with white supremacists last year – has officially been kicked out of the Marine Corps.
Pistolis had been sentenced to 28 days’ confinement, reduction in rank to E-1, and forfeiture of two-thirds pay for one month after being found guilty at a June 19 summary court-martial of failure to obey an order or regulation and making a false official statement.
The ex-Marine was separated on July 11, the day he got out of the brig, said Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Brian Block.
“He is not a Marine anymore,” said Block, who was unable to say what type of discharge Pistolis received due to privacy act restrictions.
Pistolis had been assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 8, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
ProPublica reported in May that Pistolis was a member of Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi group, and had marched in the Aug. 12, 2017, “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. A news photographer captured a picture of Pistolis beating a protester with a wooden flagpole, and he reportedly bragged online about assaulting another protester, Emily F. Gorcenski.
When ProPublica tweeted on Wednesday that Pistolis had been separated, Gorcenski responded by tweeting: “Bye Nazi.”
The Marine Corps makes clear that any Marines will be separated if the Corps confirms that they are members of or associated with any hate groups. Two Camp Lejeune Marines, Sgt. Michael Chesny and Staff Sgt. Joseph Manning, were separated after being arrested in May 2017 for flying a white supremacist banner at a pro-Confederate rally in North Carolina.
Former Marine recruiter Dillon Ulysses Hopper is reportedly the leader of the white supremacist group Vanguard America. And James Alex Fields Jr., who only spent four months with the Army before being kicked out, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder for allegedly killing a woman at the Unite the Right rally by ramming his car into a crowd of protesters.
“We are seeing more cases involving hate groups,” said Daniel Conway, a former Marine captain who is now a civilian attorney who represents service members. “I don't think there's an organized presence. But social media allows impressionable young men to associate with various groups that advocate divisive and hateful messages. Some of the groups operate under the veil of veterans organizations.”
Regardless of the causes, he added, hate group activity in the services is “a growing problem.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Saudi ambassador to the United States visited a U.S. naval air station in Florida on Thursday to extend her condolences for a shooting attack by a Saudi Air Force officer that killed three people last week, the Saudi embassy said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Thursday tested a conventionally configured ground-launched ballistic missile, a test that would have been prohibited under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
The United States formally withdrew from the landmark 1987 INF pact with Russia in August after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.
The Taliban may not have breached the walls of Bagram, but they damaged the hell out of its main passenger terminal
Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.
The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.
The Pentagon's top spokesman tried to downplay recent revelations by the Washington Post that U.S. government officials have consistently misled the American public about the war in Afghanistan for nearly two decades.
Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock first brought to light that several top officials acknowledged to the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction that the war was going badly despite their optimistic public statements. The report, based on extensive interviews and internal government data, also found that U.S. officials manipulated statistics to create the public perception that the U.S. military was making progress in Afghanistan.
An Army colonel's alleged abuse saddled his wife with ongoing medical needs. Escaping him could bring that care to a screeching halt.
Katherine Burton was sitting on her couch when she heard a scream.
Though she had not yet met her upstairs neighbors, Army. Col. Jerel Grimes and his wife Ellizabeth, Burton went to investigate almost immediately. "I knew it was a cry for help," she recalled of the August 1 incident.
Above her downstairs apartment in Huntsville, Alabama, Jerel and Ellizabeth had been arguing. They had been doing a lot of that lately. According to Ellizabeth, Jerel, a soldier with 26 years of service and two Afghanistan deployments under his belt, had become increasingly controlling in the months since the couple had married in April, forcing her to share computer passwords, receipts for purchases, and asking where she was at all times.
"I was starting to realize how controlling he was, and how manipulative he was," Ellizabeth said. "And he'd never been this way towards me in the 15 years that I've known him."