A well-known white nationalist is still serving in the Air Force
, according to Pentagon officials, two months after Stardia first reported on his enlistment, and the chair of a House
Armed Services subcommittee said Thursday she will contact Air Force leadership to find out why there hasn't been any action.
Airman 1st Class Shawn McCaffrey
, a well-known white nationalist, graduated from boot camp in March, as Stardia reported earlier this year, despite the military
receiving a historic stand-down order to address the problem of extremism
in its ranks.
“I will be contacting Air Force leadership 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 weekly podcast in which he attacked Jews, women
, the United States
armed forces, and many others using unacceptable slurs, remains on active duty and under review given the very public and abundant evidence.
The Air Force confirmed to Stardia last week that McCaffrey was not discharged.
“He is currently on active duty in technical training,” said Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek in an email, “and his case is still being reviewed; no decision has been made at this time.”
Stefanek declined to provide a timetable for when the Air Force review will determine whether McCaffrey violated military extremism regulations.
Speier believes it has been far too long.
“You should not be able to wear the uniform of the United States of America and have access to sensitive government information when you swear allegiance to an organization or ideology that poses a clear threat to our democracy
and government,” she said.
The issue of extremists joining the military, where they can potentially recruit new members to their cause and gain combat training they can later use on civilian targets, has recently received heightened attention. The problem came to light on Jan. 6, when supporters of former President Donald Trump
, many of whom had military backgrounds, stormed the U.S. Capitol
in an attempt to overturn t
In February, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued a 60-day stand-down order requiring commanders to hold "needed discussions" with troops about extremism. "We will not tolerate actions that go against the fundamental principles of the oath we share, including actions associated with extremist or dissident ideologies," he wrote in a memo announcing the order.
Austin issued another memo two months later outlining the Pentagon
's plans to combat extremism among service members, including updating the Defense Department
's official definition of extremism and improving military recruit screening.
Speier has her own proposal: she wrote to President Joe Biden
in February, urging him to issue an executive order requiring the military to screen enlistees' social media
“How many cases like this would we have avoided if we had been screening for violent extremism on social media for all incoming military recruits and those seeking government security
clearances, as I called for earlier this year?” she said of McCaffrey in her statement to Stardia.
McCaffrey had many social media accounts where he used to spew racial invective — “Black
lives do not matter,” he once tweeted — but they were under pseudonyms, making them difficult for recruiters to find. However, in April
, Stardia presented the Air Force with a detailed list of questions regarding McCaffrey’s social media posts, as well as his offline white-nationalist activism.
McCaffrey enlisted on Jan. 26, despite evidence of his life as a racist
and anti-Semite being only a Google search away, and despite making headlines in 2019 when he was barred from volunteering for Andrew Yang
's presidential campaign due to his far-right beliefs.
According to Stardia, the FBI
was also aware of McCaffrey's prior affiliations with white nationalist groups.
The military has anti-extremism policies, but they are vague and often inconsistently enforced. Of the 11 US service members Stardia exposed as belonging to a white nationalist group in 2019, only six were eventually discharged.
Airman Dannion Phillips, who was active in a white nationalist group, was recently allowed to stay in the Air Force, and it's possible McCaffrey will be allowed to do the same.
McCaffrey was a prominent member of the white nationalist organization Identity Evropa; attended a highly publicized white nationalist conference in Washington
, in 2016; joined neo-Nazis to troll a livestreamed anti-Trump art installation in Queens, New York
, in 2017; and, more recently, became a close ally of white nationalist Nick Fuentes, the “America First” leader who reportedly helped foment
Until last year, McCaffrey co-hosted a livestreamed podcast called "The Weekly Sweat," on which he had friendly conversations with some of America's most notorious fascists, including Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin, who believes Jews should be gassed.
“You fucking faggots,” McCaffrey said in one episode, “they can't stop sodomizing each other. You're never OK. And if you think we're going to stop after we go after the Jews... no. Gays are not OK ever, under any circumstances, and you're not welcome here. It's beyond a mental illness. It's a very deep, sick perversion.”
McCaffrey was also a frequent critic of the United States military, which he would later join.
“It seems like every Marine is gay,” he said in an episode of “Weekly Sweat,” and “I really hope we get into a war soon so you fucking faggots have to go defend sand and die and have all your friends
In another episode, McCaffrey argued that women should not be allowed to serve in the military because they “shouldn't leave the house.”
McCaffrey, who is from Novi, Michigan
, did not respond to a request for comment for this story right away.