Seven active members of the U.S. armed forces were found to have connections with a white nationalist group, called Identity Evropa, according to a recently published report by the Huffington Post.

The report came after independent media collective Unicorn Riot published the contents of a group chat app called Discord – a platform popular among Identity Evropa members for exchanging messages. The extensive contents were reviewed by a network of anti-fascist activists, who focused on biographical identifiers mentioned by the members, almost all of whom posted under pseudonyms.

Based on the research, the Huffington Post determined that two marines (Stephen T. Farrea and Jason Laguardia), two Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadets (Jay C. Harrison and Christopher Hodgman), an Army physician (Christopher Cummins), a member of the Texas National Guard (Joseph Kane), and one member of the Air Force (Dannion Phillips) were members of Evropa. Apart from holding deeply racist views, the seven military men were also found to participate in the campaign efforts of the white supremacy group, namely, posting stickers and flyers in cities and on college campuses.

Identity Evropa, which is known for its blue-and-white dragon eye logo and listed by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center as an extremist group, was founded by an ex-marine. After the chat logs were made public, the leader of Identity Evropa, 29-year-old Patrick Casey, announced that the group would rebrand itself. Identity Evropa became the American Identity Movement on March 10.

The group was instrumental in organizing the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, where 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when a neo-Nazi drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters. A few hours after the tragedy, Eli Mosley, one of Identity Evropa’s leaders at the time, told reporters, “Our people are feeling good right now.”

U.S. Armed Forces
Seven active members of the armed forces were found to have connections with a white nationalist group, called Identity Evropa. In this photo, U.S. Army soldiers salute during a memorial service at a military base in Dujail, Iraq, Oct. 18, 2005. John Moore/Getty Images

Col. Ted Wong, a spokesperson for the U.S. Marine Corps, said they were investigating Farrea’s and Laguardia’s links to Identity Evropa.

“There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps. Our strength is derived from the individual excellence of every Marine regardless of background,” Wong said. “Bigotry and racial extremism run contrary to our core values. The Marine Corps will investigate the allegations and take the appropriate disciplinary actions if warranted.”

Similarly, an army spokesperson said both the Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadets mentioned in the Huffington Post report were under investigation. The Army prohibited “personnel from actively advocating supremacist, extremist, or criminal gang doctrine, ideology, or causes” an ROTC spokesperson said in a statement, adding “soldiers who choose to engage in such acts will be held accountable for their actions.”

Concerns over links between white nationalists and the U.S. armed forces are now higher than ever. Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hasson, a white nationalist, was arrested in February after authorities discovered a stockpile of weapons in his possession and his plot to massacre leftists and reporters.

Also, a 2017 Military Times poll found 30 percent of troops interviewed felt white nationalism to be a bigger threat to national security than the wars in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. In the same poll, 25 percent surveyed servicemen said they had encountered white nationalists within their ranks.