A prominent white nationalist was kicked out of the U.S. military three months after a HuffPost investigation revealed he had joined the Air Force and graduated from basic.
Shawn McCaffrey, 28, “is no longer serving in the US Air Force,” spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in a statement Thursday.
“The information brought to the attention of his command after Mr. McCaffrey’s enlistment led to an entry level separation due to erroneous enlistment,” Stefanek said without giving further details.
McCaffrey – who lives near Detroit and did not immediately respond to a request for comment – was a key member of Identity Evropa, a group infamous for their role in the murderous white supremacist rally “Unite The Right” of 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Although McCaffrey did not attend the Charlottesville rally, he was still very active with Identity Evropa, traveling with its leaders to a White Nationalist conference in Washington, DC, in 2016. In the years that followed, he remained a essential of the far right, co-host of a racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic podcast.
McCaffrey joined the Air Force in late January and graduated from training camp in March, as The HuffPost first reported, even as the military was under a historic pullout order to combat extremism in the ranks, an issue highlighted by the prevalence of current and former servicemen participating in the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.
Experts have long warned of the dangers of extremists in the military, where they receive combat training they can use to inflict violence on civilian targets and can recruit other servicemen and women servicemen for their cause. .
McCaffrey was still a Senior Airman in Technical Training on active duty early last month, prompting Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Who chairs the Military Personnel Subcommittee, to announce that she would require responses from the Air Force top brass.
“I’m going to contact Air Force management to find out why this individual who has his own author page on a website for far-right extremists describes himself as an ‘activist’ and co-hosted a podcast weekly in which he attacked Jews, women, LGBTQ + people, the US military and many others who use unacceptable slurs – remain on active duty and come under scrutiny given the very public evidence and abundant of its extremist ties, ”Speier said in a statement at the time.
The military has codes prohibiting extremism, but enforcement is often left to the whims of individual commanders. In 2019, the HuffPost helped expose 11 US servicemen as members of Identity Evropa. Only six were eventually expelled from the military, with the remaining five allowed to stay.
McCaffrey has had a long and sometimes public association with far-right groups. In 2017, he joined neo-Nazis in Queens, New York, to troll an anti-Trump art installation that was broadcast live.
More recently, he has positioned himself as a close ally of white nationalist Nick Fuentes, the leader of America First’s “gropyer” movement, who would have help foment the insurrection of January 6 at the Capitol.
And until last year, McCaffrey co-hosted a live podcast called “The Weekly Sweat”. Among the guests were some of the nation’s most vile and well-known fascists, including white nationalist figurehead Richard Spencer and Andrew Anglin, founder of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.
In an intensely homophobic episode of “Weekly Sweat,” McCaffrey said that homosexuals “can’t stop sodomizing, ”adding,“ You’re never okay. And if you think we’re going to stop after chasing the Jews … no. Gay people are never OK under any circumstances and you are not welcome here. It is beyond mental illness. It is a very deep and sick perversion.
Despite abundant evidence of his extremism, McCaffrey managed to join the Air Force in January. A video from this month, posted on Facebook by the Air Force recruiting center in Detroit, appeared to show him taking an oath to “support and defend the Constitution” of the United States “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
In April, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin released a memo outlining the Pentagon’s plans to counter extremism in the military, including improving the way recruits are screened.
In February, about a month after the Jan. 6 uprising, Austin issued the 60-day withdrawal order, demanding that commanders have “necessary discussions” on extremism with the troops.
“We will not tolerate actions that go against the core tenets of the oath we share, including actions associated with extremist or dissenting ideologies,” he wrote in a memo announcing the order.
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