Marine removed from service after participating in Charlottesville violence

“The Marine Corps’ stance on membership in extremist or hate groups remains the same: there is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps."

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Identified as a member of two of the most militant groups in the neo-Fascist movement, a U.S. Marine Corps lance corporal has been thrown out of the service after marching with white supremacists and committing violence at the deadly Charlottesville rally last year. After bragging about the attacks online, the white supremacist was convicted at a court martial and served 28 days of confinement at Camp Lejeune before being forced out of the U.S. Marine Corps.

In August 2017, Vasillios Pistolis, a neo-Nazi and U.S. Marine Corps lance corporal, appeared in several photographs marching alongside other white supremacists and beating counter-protesters with a Confederate flagpole. According to an investigation launched by ProPublica and Frontline, Pistolis was involved with the Atomwaffen Division and Traditionalist Worker Party, two of the most militant groups in the neo-Fascist movement.

During a private chat with other Atomwaffen members on August 12, 2017, Pistolis wrote, “Today cracked 3 skulls open with virtually no damage to myself.” Another Atomwaffen member named “Jason” chastised Pistolis and told him, “We don’t post anything that incriminates anyone on here.”

In addition to striking counter-protesters with a wooden flagpole bearing the Confederate flag, Pistolis also bragged about assaulting a well-known local activist, Emily Gorcenski, on the night of Aug. 11, 2017. In Atomwaffen’s private chats, Pistolis claimed, “I drop kicked Emily gorcenski.”

“The Marine Corps’ stance on membership in extremist or hate groups remains the same: there is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps,” wrote Maj. Brian Block in a release published by the Jacksonville Daily News in North Carolina. “Our strength is derived from the individual excellence of every Marine regardless of background. Bigotry and racial extremism run contrary to our core values.”

On June 18, Pistolis was convicted at a court martial for disobeying orders and making false statements. He was sentenced to 28 days of confinement at the brig, a reduction in rank to private, and a forfeiture of two-thirds pay for one month.

According to reports, Pistolis had been awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He had no deployments and past duty stations.

Last week, Maj. Block confirmed that Pistolis has “officially been separated from the Marine Corps.”

Last month, a violent white supremacist who brutally attacked counter-protesters during the racially-charged rallies in Charlottesville and Berkeley last year lost his aerospace engineer job at a major U.S. defense contractor, Northrup Grumman. In addition to marching alongside other self-proclaimed racists, Michael Miselis was also captured on video violently attacking counter-protesters.

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