An Army Reservist from Alabama finds himself under investigation after he appeared to imply in a Facebook post that he was selling drugs. Or at least that he knew words to a rap song about selling drugs.
The post, allegedly from the account of Pvt. Ryan Ross of the 412th Theater Engineer Command, generated outrage when someone shared it on May 5 to the Facebook page "U.S. Army W.T.F! moments." The Army W.T.F! post included two selfies, one of a soldier in an Army Combat Uniform with a grill in his teeth. The other shows the same man, in civilian attire, with the words: "It's a beautiful day in the HOOD to sell these drugs. #Slick." He was identified in the comments as a member of the 412th.
After the initial posting of this story, Army Times readers quickly pointed out the line is from the lyrics of a rap song by PeeWee Longway titled "I Start My Day off Selling Drugs."
Ross' chain of command initiated an investigation to determine whether Ross was dealing drugs and whether he made inappropriate posting on social media, according to Army Reserve spokesman Lt. Col. Tad Fichtel.
"The Army, the Army Reserve and the 412th take any alleged acts of misconduct seriously, and enforces the highest standards of personal and professional conduct," Fichtel said.
Ross did not respond to Army Times' requests for comment via email and through his chain of command.
The investigation is ongoing. Fichtel said the unit commander will review the results and determine whether administrative or Uniform Code of Military Justice action would be taken.
The Reserve public affairs office, which Fichtel said routinely monitors social media activity on sites and pages like Army W.T.F!, first noticed the post on May 5. That office passed the information to Ross' leaders.
Ross' home of record is listed as Fairfield, Alabama, according to Army Reserve records.
Ross isn't the first soldier — and probably won't be the last — to find himself in a social media controversy.
Last month, the Army punished a paratrooper with 12 days of extra duty for a selfie he took while parachuting with his pet Siamese fighting fish.
Last year at this time, National Guardsmen were removed from funeral honors detail after a not-so-somber Instagram picture with a casket. One of the soldiers wasn't in the photo, but was still punished for defending the image online.