Marine investigated after sharing photo of combat boots forming swastika: 'There is no place for racial hatred'

Kristine Solomon
Style and Beauty Writer
Marine reservist Pfc. Anthony D. Schroader told high-profile artist and former Marine Maximilian Uriarte to post an image of soldiers creating a swastika with their combat boots. (Photo: Getty Images)

A Marine Corps reservist is being investigated after sharing a photo of four soldiers in combat boots arranging their feet into the shape of a swastika.

Pfc. Anthony D. Schroader allegedly sent the photo last week to Maximilian Uriarte, a Marine veteran and graphic artist who created the popular military comic strip “Terminal Lance.” Uriarte claims Schroader encouraged him to post the offensive image on the comic’s Instagram Stories, but the artist had other plans.

Instead of sharing the Nazi symbol on Instagram, Uriarte tweeted it to the Marine Corps on April 26, suggesting they conduct an investigation. Then he gave the Marine reservist a piece of his mind.

Once the cartoonist got confirmation that the Marine Corps was looking into the situation, Uriarte deleted the original tweet, which also included a text thread between the two men in which Uriarte makes sure that the swastika he was seeing in the image was intentional, according to Task & Purpose.

A spokesperson for the Marine Corps acknowledged to the publication that it was indeed one of their own who sent Uriarte the image.

We can confirm that Pfc. Anthony D. Schroader is a member of the Selected Marine Corps Reserve,” said Maj. Roger Hollenbeck, who identified Schroader as being “assigned to 4th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, Force Headquarters Group, Marine Forces Reserve located in West Palm Beach, Florida.”

Hollenback explained that the Marines have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to symbols of hate like the swastika. “There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps,” he said, calling Schroader’s behavior “derogatory”and confirming that an investigation is underway. He declined to comment further, as doing so “would be premature.”

In the meantime, Yahoo Lifestyle has requested comment from Schroader, who joined the Marine Forces Reserve in July 2018 and graduated from boot camp this past January. He was about to start his new assignment in West Palm Beach on the day he shared the photo, according to ABC News. It’s unclear whether he is still on active duty.

Similar incidents have made headlines in recent months, as the military cracks down on white supremacy. In February, Coast Guard officer Lt. Christopher Hasson, who identifies as a white nationalist, was arrested after authorities found 15 guns, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition and large quantities of opioids at his apartment in Silver Spring, Md.

And in July 2018, Lance Cpl. Vasillios G. Pistolis was kicked out of the Marines after it emerged that he had connections to neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, a spokesperson for the Marines told Marine Corps Times. He was tried before a military court for his ties to the group and his “violent participation” at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Pistolis was sentenced to 28 days of confinement, received a reduction in rank and was made to forfeit two-thirds pay for one month. Later, he was informed that he was being processed for administrative separation from the Corps.

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