Army National Guard Acts Against 2 Soldiers Who Were Members Of Extremist Group

Members of the Arizona National Guard listen to instructions on April 9, 2018, at the Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix. Arizona deployed its first 225 National Guard members to the Mexican border on Monday... Members of the Arizona National Guard listen to instructions on April 9, 2018, at the Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix. Arizona deployed its first 225 National Guard members to the Mexican border on Monday after President Donald Trump ordered thousands of troops to the frontier region to combat drug trafficking and illegal immigration. "The Arizona National Guard will deploy 225 members of the Guard today to support border security measures," the state militia said in a statement. / AFP PHOTO / Caitlin O'Hara (Photo credit should read CAITLIN O'HARA/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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December 27, 2019 11:13 a.m.
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The Army National Guard has taken action against two Georgia soldiers after a months-long investigation of their membership in a neo-Pagan hate group.

Earlier this year, local antifascist activists in Atlanta identified Dalton Woodward and Trent East as members of Asatru Folk Assembly, a racist neo-pagan group. Army investigators followed their lead, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Woodward is no longer a member of the George National Guard, a spokesperson told the Journal-Constitution.

East received a separation notice on Dec. 14 from the Alabama National Guard, he told the paper. He said the Army was recommending a general discharge, which would make him ineligible for certain benefits.

The Alabama National Guard told TPM that East remains a member of the Alabama National Guard but that it cannot comment further on what it said is an ongoing investigation. A spokesperson told the Journal-Constitution that the probe remained open to allow East 45 days to contest its findings.

An Army National Guard spokesperson in Arlington, Virginia, did not return TPM’s request for comment.

East denied being a racist to the Journal-Constitution, saying his interest in the group stemmed from “seeing a faith that was about my ethnic roots.”

But his social media presence, the paper noted, included praise for white nationalist leader Richard Spencer and evidence of connections to others in the movement. In June, East lost his job at Haralson County Jail over his membership in Asatru Folk Assembly.

This post has been updated.

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