Marine Corps kicks out recruit after discovering photos of him attending neo-Nazi Patriot Front rally

Daily Mail, UK/January 4, 2022

By Sophia Mann

The Marine Corps dismissed a man from its Delayed Entry Program after he admitted that had belonged to extremist groups before enlisting to serve.

In September, Christopher Semok became a poolee - a recruit who trains with Marine Corps Recruiters - but in November, images appeared on social media of Semok appearing to attend a rally for the white nationalist group Patriot Front.

The pictures were posted to a Twitter account that belongs to the Atlanta branch of Antifa.

After the pictures popped up online, a spokesperson for Marine Corps Recruiting Command said that the institution had become aware that a poolee may have links to extremist groups.

This week, the Corps announced that the executive officer of the Marine Corps Recruit Station in Tampa had 'conducted a preliminary inquiry' into the poolee's past affiliations that began in December.

'During the inquiry, Mr. Semok admitted that he had been affiliated with neo-Nazi and anti-Semite groups, active on social media and at activist demonstrations,' read the release from the Corps.

Semok additionally claimed that the reason he failed to tell the Marine Corps about his affiliation with the groups is that because he allegedly broke ties with them one month prior to his original enlistment.

The release added that it takes 'allegations of racism, fascism and other forms of discrimination seriously.'

'In the case of Mr. Semok, RS [Recruiting Station] Tampa found it was in the best interest of national security to not let Mr. Semok remain within the DEP [Delayed Entry Program,' it went on.

Semok was allegedly part of several white supremacist hate groups including Patriot Front, the National Socialist Movement, and the Goyim Defense League.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, Patriot Front has been responsible for the 'vast majority' of white supremacist propaganda distributed in the United States in recent years.

It roots its behavior in the belief that its European ancestors conquered America and that it, therefore, belongs to them, alone.

The National Socialist Movement is a small neo-Nazi group that is primarily known for holding public rallies and protests dressed in Nazi-styled uniforms.

The Goyim Defense League is a small group of scattered individuals responsible for dozens of anti-Semitic propaganda events each year. The loose network is united by its hatred of Jews.

In December of 2021, the Department of Defense updates its definition of what constitutes participation in extremist activities.

A previous definition, according to Task and Purpose, allowed military members to belong to extremist groups so long as they were not active participants.

The Defense Department's attempts to eliminate the presence of far-right extremists from its active-duty roster became even more pronounced in the aftermath of the January 6 Capitol breach.

There remains, however, a challenge in attempting to implement a social media vetting process to identify extremists during the recruitment process.

Katherine Kuzminski, the program director at Center for a New American Security, told that the social media vetting responsibility was primarily that of recruiters and unit-level commanders.

But it is unclear exactly how stringently it must be implemented and what precisely it should entail.

'What happens if someone has an anonymous account? How many searches on Google are they supposed to go through? Everyone says a like is not an endorsement, but what if they like a neo-Nazi page?' she said.

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