Marines Boot Recruit with Obvious Neo-Nazi Ties from Delayed-Entry Program

The Marine Corps mentioned that it discharged a recruit from its delayed-entry program after he admitted to having a historical past of membership in neo-Nazi teams.

Christopher Semok enlisted within the Marines on Sept. 21, 2022, the service mentioned. That enlistment appeared to return after an extended historical past of antisemitic exercise and Nazi-driven vandalism that was documented by varied anti-fascist teams on-line.

In September 2021, a Twitter anti-fascist account appeared to first join Semok to his on-line persona by claiming he was liable for vandalism and harassment round Broward County in Florida. Then, in January 2022, an Atlanta-based anti-fascist group claimed Semok attended coaching with the white supremacist group Patriot Entrance. The identical group additionally posted pictures in February that it mentioned have been of Semok sporting an outdated Army battle gown uniform and a World Conflict II-era German navy fight helmet; later updates advised his alleged actions continued into March.

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Job & Function was the primary outlet to report Semok’s discharge.

A name to a quantity listed for Semok in a public cellphone listing yielded a prerecorded message saying that the road was unavailable.

It isn’t clear how the Marine Corps finally turned conscious of Semok’s alleged ties to those extremist teams. The Marines’ assertion famous that “all Marine Corps candidates fill out and signal an Aberrant Conduct Screening Type, which asks about prior violent habits, open treason or advocating the overthrow of the U.S. authorities” — a query that was launched within the months after the riot on Jan. 6, 2021, and renewed consideration to the issue of extremism within the ranks.

“Mr. Semok didn’t reply “Sure” to any of those questions,” the Marines mentioned.

On Dec. 6, the manager officer from the Tampa recruiting station referred to as Semok in for an interview.

“Throughout the inquiry, Mr. Semok admitted that he had been affiliated with neo-Nazi and anti-Semite teams, energetic on social media and at activist demonstrations,” the Marine Corps mentioned in its assertion.

When requested why he did not admit as a lot on his enlistment paperwork, Semok mentioned “he was now not a part of these teams,” having damaged ties in August. On Jan. 1, 2023, the Corps determined to discharge Semok after the recruiting station “discovered it was in one of the best curiosity of nationwide safety to not let Mr. Semok stay.”

All the incident seems to suit right into a theme of recruits and repair members with extremist ties slipping via the screening processes to affix the navy solely to be discharged when recognized by regulation enforcement or members of the general public.

In August, Army Spc. Killian Ryan was booted from the service after an FBI Joint Terrorism Job Pressure found ties to white nationalism and threats of violence in opposition to minorities on social media accounts.

“I serve for fight expertise so I am more adept in killing n—–s,” Ryan wrote in a single social media submit on Could 27, 2021, in accordance with courtroom paperwork in his case.

In November, it was revealed {that a} 19-year-old was in a position to take part within the unrest of Jan. 6 and later enlist and ship off to fundamental coaching for the Air Pressure. He was not discharged till after FBI brokers confirmed as much as query him whereas he was at Lackland Air Pressure Base, Texas.

Outdoors specialists have routinely criticized the navy’s screening as insufficient to take care of the issue of extremists.

Katherine Kuzminski, the senior fellow and program director for navy, veterans and society on the Heart for a New American Safety, primarily based in Washington, D.C., advised in an interview in December that “one of the best metrics now for screening are tattoos.”

As soon as recruits make it previous their preliminary coaching, the Pentagon has mentioned it is going to look to unit commanders to implement the anti-extremism insurance policies they’ve in place whereas stressing that it’s going to not conduct systematic surveillance of service members’ social media accounts to seek out infractions.

When requested about Semok’s case, Kristofer Goldsmith, an Iraq Conflict veteran who has spent years finding out extremism within the ranks, advised that he desires the Pentagon to reply the query: “What’s the navy doing to carry individuals accountable for permitting neo-Nazis to enroll?”

On a number of events when requested about extremism, service officers have repeated the remark, “The Marine Corps takes allegations of racism, fascism and different types of discrimination severely.”

— Konstantin Toropin might be reached at Comply with him on Twitter @ktoropin.

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