A 20-year-old Marine infantryman at Kaneohe Bay is being investigated for “derogatory online” comments tied to a slew of neo-Nazi Twitter posts, officials said.
The Alabama man, a lance corporal with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, is behind the account that features a photo of a swastika fashioned out of military explosive blocks laid out on a table with the notation “epic,” and a host of Nazi propaganda, according to Marine Corps Times.
The account, which has since been taken down, included racist comments directed at Jews and African Americans, screen grabs show. The author added: “Tweets not endorsed by USMC.”
One tweet shows a World War II photo of what’s described as “Wehrmacht soldiers at Holy Mass on the eve of the great crusade against Bolshevism.”
The account holder says he used to be a Fascist and part of an American neo-Nazi party until he became a counter-revolutionary.
“I would have fought in the Waffen SS if possible, if that gives some idea,” he said.
“The Marine Corps is aware of the derogatory online comments attributed to a Marine with 1st Battalion, 3d Marine Regiment, 3d Marine Division,” III Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement. “The Marine Corps takes every instance of misconduct seriously, whether on duty, off duty, or online. Any form of racism or discrimination undermines the core values of the Marine Corps and is not tolerated.”
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service “is thoroughly investigating this situation and the command will address any misconduct at the appropriate judicial or administrative level,” the Marine Corps said. “Due to the nature of the investigation we are unable to provide additional details at this time. We are thankful for the individuals who brought this to our attention.”
The Twitter account notes that “I’ve had multiple reports to my chain of command,” but adds an “lol” (laugh out loud) at the end.
Ed Beck, who identifies himself as a Marine veteran, tweeted Feb. 24 a “shoutout to the vets/service members in this thread from last night, who were on (the Marine’s) heels and had him reported (again) in a hilariously short amount of time. Military Nazis: Someone is always just a few Twitter degrees away from your battalion commander.”
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is not naming the Marine because he has not been charged.
The investigation coincides with a resurgence of white supremacy in America. Pro-Publica and Frontline said in late 2018 in connection with a documentary, “Documenting Hate: New American Nazis,” that the Atomwaffen Division, a group founded by a Florida National Guardsman that idolizes Adolf Hitler, actively recruits from the U.S. military.
A late 2017 poll by the website militarytimes.com, meanwhile, found that nearly one in four troops experienced examples of white nationalism in the ranks.
The Marine Corps last April said as part of its “prohibited activities and conduct prevention and response policy” that participation in supremacist and extremist activities is prohibited.
The order “tightens accountability and imposes a duty on commanders to investigate alleged violations and report substantial violations.”
Commanders “retain the authority to employ the full range of of administrative and disciplinary actions, including administrative separation or appropriate criminal action” for violations of the policy.