In documents obtained by the Daily Caller, Lt. Col. Robert M. Heffington, a professor at West Point, said he found the social media posts by 2nd Lt. Spenser Rapone, then a cadet, “extremely disturbing.” He noted at the time that one of Rapone’s posts said “(Expletive) this country and its fake freedom,” and others praised communism, Marxism and Karl Marx.
“I cannot reconcile the image of a first class cadet at West Point with the things he has posted online for the world to see,” the lieutenant colonel said in a sworn statement. “To me, these are red flags that cannot be ignored, and I fail to see how this individual can possibly graduate and become a commissioned officer in six months.”
Lt. Rapone is currently under investigation by post officials, and his social media posts, including those made while wearing his West Point uniform, were condemned by the academy.
Col. Heffington’s statement from November 2015 also said Lt. Rapone showed “extreme disrespect” to him when confronted about the volume of a conversation he had with a professor and refused corrections on standards like getting a haircut.
“His utter contempt for my rank and position as an Army officer was blatantly obvious and, to me, it indicates that CDT Rapone has a serious problem with military authority figures.”
He later said Rapone’s social media posts at best “reveal the philosophical infatuations of a precocious adolescent,” and at worst “a severe mental or psychological disorder” or values “at odds” with West Point and the Army.
“He may at some point grow out of this phase, but the Army does not have the luxury of allowing him the opportunity to sort out his beliefs while charged with the sacred duty of leading American Soldiers,” Col. Heffington said.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
An AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopter lands during a combined arms demonstration as part of South Carolina National Guard Air & Ground Expo 2009 at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Oct. 10, 2009. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Roberto Di Giovine)
Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email email@example.com with your story.
"Nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns and missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."
James Jackson, right, confers with his lawyer during a hearing in criminal court, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in New York. Jackson, a white supremacist, pled guilty Wednesday to killing a black man with a sword as part of a racist plot that prosecutors described as a hate crime. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 13. (Associated Press/Bebeto Matthews)
White supremacist James Jackson – accused of trying to start a race war by killing a homeless black man in Times Square with a sword — pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder as an act of terrorism.
A soldier plugs his ears during a live fire mission at Yakima Training Center. Photo: Capt. Leslie Reed/U.S. Army
A Texas veteran is suing the company he says knowingly produced and sold defective earplugs which were issued to the U.S. military, leading him and many others to develop hearing problems, including tinnitus.