Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is seeking answers from the Army about Second Lieutenant Spenser Rapone, an avowed communist who expressed his desire to infiltrate and sabotage the military and harm the United States. Rubio called on the Army to “immediately nullify Rapone’s commission” and said West Point “should consider revoking his degree.”
The full text of the senator's letter is below:
Dear Secretary McCarthy:
It has been brought to my attention that United States Army Second Lieutenant Spenser Rapone acted in a manner unbecoming of a United States Military Academy Cadet and subsequently a commissioned officer.
As you may know, Rapone has publically and vulgarly derided the secretary of defense, advocated for communism while in uniform and political violence in general, and expressed support and sympathy for enemies of the United States, including Chelsea Manning, a convicted traitor. This clearly violates multiple Army regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Additional posts on social media by Rapone broadcast his devotion to the communist cause and his plans to infiltrate and sabotage the military. His conduct, writings, and sympathies for American adversaries predates his commission in the Army. Therefore, I respectfully request the United States Army immediately nullify Rapone’s commission and pursue all available disciplinary options under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Rapone should be required to pay back in full the cost of his education and the United States Military Academy should consider revoking his degree.
It is extremely concerning that someone who so often expressed such hostile views towards the United States’ system of government was able to obtain a commission. Rapone’s revolutionary ideas were harbored long before he was commissioned as an Army Second Lieutenant. Were West Point administrators or faculty aware of his views and behavior?
While I strongly believe academic institutions must respect the exchange of ideas and allow students to voice their opinions, members of the military who harbor anti-American views and express their desire to harm our country and its leaders are unfit to serve and defend our nation—and certainly should not enjoy the privilege of attending or graduating from an institution such as West Point, a taxpayer-funded military academy.
This is clearly not just a matter of law but also of common sense, and I can only assume Rapone’s unchecked behavior is an extreme embarrassment for the United States Army and the United States Military Academy. Please provide me with all relevant information regarding West Point’s efforts to ensure cadets who actively support the destruction of our government do not waste more taxpayer funds or prevent a more worthy candidate from attending an institution like the United States Military Academy. The Army’s premier officer commissioning source must ensure an individual like Spenser Rapone is never given the opportunity to lead or serve beside American soldiers.
I respectfully ask for a response on these issues within the next 30 days. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to working with you on these matters.