Since tweets of 2nd Lt. Spenser Rapone first swirled around the internet on Sunday, several outlets have printed rumors and speculation about his service.
To start, the former West Pointer graduated in May 2016 — when the now infamous photos were taken — and is currently in the field with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, according to Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Tonya Stokes.
Multiple online military news outlets have reported that Rapone is a one-time member of the 75th Ranger Regiment and was “released for standards” before receiving his appointment to the U.S. Military Academy.
The U.S. Military Academy released a statement Tuesday after a recent graduate posted photos of himself with pro-communist messages hidden under his uniform and cover while still a cadet.
Army Times has been able to confirm that Rapone enlisted as an infantryman in September 2010 and, following initial training, completed the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program.
He received his tan beret and 75th Ranger Regiment scroll in spring 2011, Stokes said, then deployed to Afghanistan that summer with 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, out of Fort Stewart, Georgia.
But later that year, according to U.S. Army Special Operations command spokesman Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt, he was “removed for standards” from the regiment.
The following year, he headed off to West Point.
After his commissioning in 2016, Rapone attended the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was meant to follow it up by earning his Ranger tab in early 2017.
He did not complete that training, Stokes said.
The 10th Mountain Division has opened an investigation into Rapone’s political activities. Service members are not permitted to promote political causes while in uniform.
Rapone had made his Twitter account, which contained several other posts expressing communist beliefs — as well as denigrating Defense Secretary James Mattis — private as of Thursday.
“As figures of public trust, members of the military must exhibit exemplary conduct and are prohibited from engaging in certain expressions of political speech in uniform,” Stokes said in a statement on Tuesday.
Rapone’s awards and decorations include a Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, an Army Achievement Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one campaign star and the Combat Infantryman Badge.