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Conduct Unbecoming



I spent 10 years of my life as a US military officer in both the Air Force and the Army. I served a tour in Afghanistan as the commander of a forward surgical team (basically a modern-day MASH unit). As a member of the military, and especially as a commissioned officer, it was not my place to publicly criticize those in my chain of command, including my Commander-in-Chief, the Secretary of Defense, or anyone else in political authority, no matter my personal feelings.

Newly minted 2LT Spenser Rapone’s recent conduct on social media and at graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point is a clear violation of more than one article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and his career is just a few months old.

Rapone wore a Che Guevara t-shirt under his cadet uniform, and expressed support for Colin Kaepernick and Communism. None of these actions, in and of themselves are cause for dismissal. However, expressing support for Kaepernick who is supposedly protesting the treatment of blacks in America while supporting Communist Guevara who believed blacks were inferior is ironic.

Where the young lieutenant went wrong was when he disrespected his uniform by displaying that undershirt, and more importantly showing blatant disrespect toward the Commander-in-Chief, President Donald Trump, and the Secretary of Defense, James Mattis.

These tweets from this account that have been identified as Rapone’s are a clear violation of Article 88 of the UCMJ, and should land 2LT Rapone’s with a dismissal from the service at a minimum. He can then go on to a very successful career teaching social justice studies at UC Berkeley wherever I’m certain he’ll be given tenure in no time.

I didn’t like Barack Obama. He was unfit to be Commander-in-Chief, as is Donald Trump. When I was a military officer I couldn’t publicly say so. Doing so could have meant my commission, as it should have.

Saying other things that weren’t prohibited, that were TRUE, but didn’t fit a politically correct narrative, eventually did cause me to resign my commission, and I have no regrets about that. Perhaps 2LT Rapone won’t have any regrets either, but make no mistake, unlike my statements, which were designed to save the lives of the trainees I was teaching, his statements are strictly prohibited and have been for decades. If he had said these things about Barack Obama during Obama’s presidency, my stance would be exactly the same.

West Point Alumnus Holding A Pro-Colin Kaepernick “Communism Will Win” Sign While In Uniform | Terresa Monroe-Hamilton,, the hundreds of tweets this asshat has put out are being scrutinized. He obviously is enamored with Democratic Socialists of America. Pro Tip: Communism is a political theory penned by Karl Marx that advocates class war and a society where the lower class would revolt and take down the upper class, destroying capitalism and bringing about socioeconomic emancipation where all property is publicly owned and people are paid based on their skills and needs. Rapone tweeted: “In case there was any lingering doubt, hasta la victoria siempre,” which means “until victory, always,” and are lyrics to a song that became famous after Guevara’s death in 1967.

Military members can be politically active, but there are certain important restrictions. You can’t publicly disrespect the current chain of command, and you can’t use your position as a member of the military to endorse a candidate. You can’t campaign in uniform.

I remember back in 2012 during the GOP Presidential Primaries when Ron Paul had a National Guardsman get up on stage with him in uniform at a rally after one of the early primaries. I looked at my then-wife and said “well… he’s dead meat.” I was still on active duty at that time and explained that if I was this young Soldier’s commanding officer he would have been excoriated on Monday morning.

No one thought that the military was going to pull of a coup to install Ron Paul as President if he did not win, but what if a 3-star general who was commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps did it? You can’t cross that line so you just make it the same for everyone. As a former military officer himself, Congressman Paul should have known better, but as part of the nut-job wing of the libertarian movement he probably didn’t care.


West Point responds to tweets of cadet with Che Guevara tee under uniform“Second Lieutenant Rapone‘s actions in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army,” the statement from West Point said.

“The 10th Mountain Division not only supports free speech, it trains every day to ensure our nation has the ability to protect it at all cost,” Lt. Col. Tonya Stokes said. “That being said, when our soldiers are in uniform, politics must be set aside. Our uniform represents every corner of our nation and it cannot be used to promote any single ideology.”

Army Opens Query Into Communist Graduate | The Daily Caller U.S. Army has opened an investigation into West Point graduate Second Lieutenant Spenser Rapone for appearing to openly advocate for communism on social media.

“The U.S. Military Academy strives to develop leaders who internalize the academy’s motto of Duty, Honor, Country, and who live the Army values,” West Point said in a statement released Tuesday. “Second Lieutenant Rapone’s actions in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army. 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. Second Lieutenant Rapone’s chain of command is aware of his actions and is looking into the matter. The academy is prepared to assist the officer’s chain of command as required.”

Former Legislator Disavows Spenser Rapone | The Daily Caller Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Rapone’s long history of extremist tweets, which include calling Mattis an “evil, vile f****,” is shocking, disappointing and abhorrent.

“Several years ago, I met Spenser Rapone when he was a high school student seeking an appointment to West Point,” Altmire said. “At the time, he was an outstanding, well-rounded student who came from a good family. I have not been in touch with him in the years since the appointment, and I was shocked and extremely disappointed in the recent reports of his indefensible actions.”

Final Thoughts

2LT Rapone is free to embrace an ideology that stands opposed to everything he is sworn to protect and defend, however silly that may be. He is not allowed to have his beliefs override his duties as an officer. He is guilty not only of Article 88 of the UCMJ, but in my opinion, also of Article 133 Conduct Unbecoming an Officer, and because he has apparently advocated violence against his political foes, among which he counts the current administration, Article 94 Mutiny or Sedition.

He should be investigated and dismissed from the service, with a dishonorable characterization of service, at a minimum. Prison time would also not be out of order to make it clear that this kind of behavior should not be tolerated from the military, particularly its officers. It won’t hurt him in his future job market as a liberal activist professor, but it’s still the right thing to do.


Benjamin Wilhelm served as a commissioned officer in the United States military for 10 years, serving one combat tour in Afghanistan. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge among other military awards. Ben has worked in a variety of private sector businesses both large and small. He is a former military and civilian firearms instructor and an advocate for veterans issues. Ben is a strict Constitutionalist who sees the Federal government as an out of control leviathan, and the federal debt as a burden that will break the country. Ben is a divorced father of two boys.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ed

    September 27, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    As a West Point Alumni, I agree with you 1000 %.

    Well said.

    Thank you for saying this in print and in public. It desperately needed to be said.

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Culture and Religion

Video Double play: Busting the gun grabber’s musket myth.




Gun confiscation bingo

Two videos that eviscerate the Liberty Grabbers ‘One shot’ musket myth.

It is a bedrock principle (if they have any) of the Liberty grabber Left that back during the ratification of the US Constitution the only weapons in existence were flintlock musket that took 5 minute to reload. Thus there wasn’t any school violence because it would have taken too long for the perpetrator to kill anyone.

As it typical of the lore of the national socialist Left, this is a lie of the first order. A previous video celebrated the “Assault Weapon” tricentennial, which was bit of the tongue in cheek variety since there were other repeating “Military Style” weapons in existence before this time period. These will be detailed in future articles. Meanwhile we present two videos that also bust the ‘Musket Myth’, one a short presentation from the Royal Armouries on the Jover and Belton “Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket”

Royal Armouries
Published on Aug 30, 2017
Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson, gives us a peek at the Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket, by Jover and Belton (1786)

This is a very relevant piece since the inventor Joseph Belton corresponded with the Continental Congress in 1777:

May it Please your Honours,
I would just informe this Honourable Assembly, that I have discover’d an improvement, in the use of Small Armes, wherein a common small arm, may be maid to discharge eight balls one after another, in eight, five or three seconds of time, & each one to do execution five & twenty, or thirty yards, and after so discharg’d, to be loaded and fire’d with cartridge as usual.

“It was demonstrated before noted scientists and military officers (including well known scientist David Rittenhouse and General Horatio Gates)”

This destroys the mythology that the founders had no knowledge of this type of repeating firearm technology that existed already.

The second is a humours dissertation on the subject from video raconteur Steven Crowder

from a few years ago that also eviscerates this bit of Leftist mythology.

Published on Feb 10, 2015
People have been telling us for years that the 2nd amendment was written in a time of Muskets, and that it doesn’t apply to the evolved weapons of today. Is it true?

So why is this important?

Two primary reasons. One that these factual examples demonstrate that the founding fathers knew of these technological advances. Therefore, they destroy any Leftist pretences that the 2nd amendment be confined to muskets. Second that, school violence is something other than an issue of guns.

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Memorial Day – Remembering those who gave their lives for freedom



As Americans, it’s important to acknowledge the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform that died to defend her. Civil society only survives in a world of violence and tyranny if there are those willing to do violence on our behalf.

In his 1982 Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery, President Ronald Reagan reminds us of the ultimate cost of freedom:

“Yet, we must try to honor them—not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.

Our first obligation to them and ourselves is plain enough: The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we—in a less final, less heroic way—be willing to give of ourselves.”

Scripture tells us in John 15:13 (New Living Translation), “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” While Memorial Day is considered the official kick-off of summer, I hope you’ll take a moment to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives to protect and defend our liberty. Freedom only exists in America because of them.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Guns and Crime

Video: Celebrate the “Assault Weapon*” Tricentennial!




Puckle gun Image credit

How time flies, it’s been 3 Centuries [1718 – 2018] since the invention of the Puckle gun – one of the many early “Assault Weapons*”

Image Credit:

When they aren’t spouting nonsensical lines such as “30 magazine clip in ½ a second”, Liberty grabber Leftists love to parrot the lie that back before the ratification of the Constitution, (1788) they only had one shot muskets that took 5 minutes to reload.  The reality is that repeating and other early versions of ‘automatic weapons‘ were in existence long before this time period. Imagine that, the national Socialist Left lying about an important historical fact that furthers their agenda?

This is a full video exposition of this historic gun from Forgotten Weapons

The Puckle Gun, or Defense Gun as it was also known, was invented and patented in 1718 by the London lawyer James Puckle.

This was an early ‘automatic weapon’ was capable of firing 63 shots in 7 minutes in 1721.

It utilised a revolving cylinder to bring a projectile and powder charge to the breach of the gun. In essence, it was a manual revolver, but it was in existence 70 years BEFORE the Constitution was ratified. So much for the ‘One shot musket Lie’. One could have several of these revolving cylinders loaded and ready to be placed on the gun – making them something akin to the first “High capacity magazines*”.

*Yes, we’re playing it a bit fast and loose with these terms, but since they have no set definition, that doesn’t matter. In point of fact, that term (and others) were made up by the Liberty grabbers as a way of destroying the basic human Right of self-defense while maintaining the fiction supporting it. The tactic is to use a term such as this so it’s an easy progression to destroy any civil or natural right. In the case of the Liberty of self-defense, the definition is simply expanded to include just about every gun in existence.

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