Nearly two months after a probe revealed seven members of the U.S. armed forces are part of a white nationalist group, military officials have confirmed four more are under investigation for their ties to the organization.
The news was confirmed to HuffPost last week revealing that a Marine Corps lance corporal, an Air Force master sergeant, a private in the Minnesota National Guard and a specialist in the Army are all tied to
Identity Evropa. The group espouses racist views but claims to promote pride in European ancestry. It was founded by former Marine and Iraq War veteran Nathan Damigo. He formed the group after completing a stint in jail. He robbed and assaulted a taxi driver he mistook for being Iraqi in 2007.
The group, which has since rebranded as the American Identity Movement, gained prominence for its role in organizing the deadly Unite the Right rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
Much like the first round of seven, the newest crop of military men linked to the group has been discovered through their chats on the messaging platform Discord. All identities of the men, who have participated in propaganda campaigns and events by the extremist group, were verified by the HuffPost.
Logan K. Piercy is a lance corporal in Alpha Co, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marine Division, in the Select Marine Forces Reserve. His Discord user name is Logan and he shared photos on the
Identity Evropa group of the organization’s flyers he put around college campuses across southern California, counting his own school, the University of California at San Diego, among them. Piercy also made racist and anti-Semitic messages and seemed to particularly admire Andrew Anglin, the neo-Nazi behind the anti-Semitic website The Daily Stormer.
He did not respond to the publication’s request for comment on his involvement in Identity Evropa.
Confirming Piercy’s involvement in the organization, Marine Corps spokesman Col. Theodore Wong said in a statement, “The Marine Corps is aware of the allegations surrounding Lance Corporal Piercy’s alleged participation in the group. There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps.”
He added the military branch “will investigate the allegations and take the appropriate disciplinary actions if warranted.”
Air Force Master Sergeant Cory Allen Reeves’ involvement in the group was exposed by anti-fascist group Colorado Springs Antifa. He posted frequently on Discord under the user name Argument of Perigree. His posts revealed photos of the Identity Evropa propaganda he placed around Colorado, including a flyer he dropped off during his visit to the Aurora Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Processing Center & Detention Facility in Aurora, Colorado, where immigrants are jailed.
“IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT,” read one flyer, which showed a young blonde girl on it. “THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU DO FOR OUR COUNTRY.”
The Air Force confirmed Reeves is a member of their ranks and that he is based near Colorado Springs at Schriever Air Force Base.
“We are aware of this allegation and Air Force officials are looking into it,” an Air Force spokesman told HuffPost.
When the outlet tried to contact Reeve’s lawyer, they were emailed a response from another Identity Evropa member named Andy Gene Strickland.
“MSgt Cory Reeves is a highly decorated Airman with fifteen years of service to our country,” read Strickland’s email, which did not deny Reeve’s involvement in the group. “I respectfully submit that creating a news article based on an anonymous social media post generated by nameless and faceless individuals who, by their own admission, are anarchists is extremely careless.”
The Army confirmed that Andrew James Schmidt, a private with the Minnesota National Guard, had been removed from basic training when contacted by the HuffPost about his ties to white nationalism.
“Private Andrew James Schmidt has been recalled from initial basic training and will drill individually until resolution of an investigation into his actions and affiliations is completed,” Major Scott Hawks told HuffPost.
As for Schmidt’s posts, he used the user name Hyphenstein across Identity Evropa’s Discord group. That same name was discovered on Instagram and Twitter and was tied to a James and James Schmidt respectively. Using the name Hyphenstein on Steam, a video game app that white supremacists often use to contact one another, Schmidt is said to have used a profile picture of Reinhard Heydrich, one of the main planners of the Holocaust.
In an attempt to reach Schmidt, the HuffPost failed to do so and messages left with his family were not responded to.
Finally, there’s Jonathan Gould, an Army soldier who anti-facists activist Twitter account @WANaziWatch outed in an article as a member of Identity Evropa.
Gould, who used the user name Lonewolf19d in Discord chats, also used the same one to post on the neo-Nazi message board Stormfront. It is known as an internet forum filled with racist, white nationalist, anit-Semetic, white supremacist discussions.
An October 2017 post on Discord saw Gould upload his take on the World War II poster of Uncle Sam urging men to sign up for the Army.
Instead of the usual, “I want YOU for the U.S. Army,” Gould edited the text to say, “I want YOU to be a white advocate.”
“Don’t kno [sic] if this is the right place for this, but a little photoshopping i did,” he wrote accompanying the image.
Gould did not reply to the HuffPost when reached for comment. However, an Army spokesperson affirmed to the website that Gould is a specialist, rank E-4 junior in the Army. He is currently under investigation for links to Identity Evropa, a military official confirmed to the news site.