LawNewz verified the legitimacy of the photograph with Rapone himself. He is currently in the field until Friday and unable to answer detailed questions, but a Medium post authored by the Infantry Officer details some of his views. He wrote, following the murder of socialist Heather Heyer during the Charlottesville neo-Nazi rallies:
The toppling of the Confederate Soldiers Memorial in Durham, North Carolina has sounded the death knell for any and all displays of Confederate aggrandizement in the United States as well as abroad. Yet, the shadow of the Confederacy and its efforts to preserve slavery is not limited to the southern United States.
The response to Rapone’s tweet has been mostly supportive–though some have raised concerns about his personal and job safety–and the image is quickly approaching viral status. He later sought to clear up any confusion by posting another image of himself. This time, sporting a Che Guevara t-shirt underneath his half-buttoned uniform, Rapone tweeted, “In case there was any lingering doubt, hasta la victoria siempre,” a popular slogan attributed to the late Marxist revolutionary, physician, and guerrilla leader who was ultimately killed and captured by the United States’ own CIA.