A lance corporal in the United States Marine Corps, identified as Vasillios Pistolis, that had previously marched alongside white supremacists and bragged about his violent exploits during his rallies has been discharged from active federal service. The actions that led to his dismissal took place during a white nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, Va. and landed the young lance corporal in jail for a month.
Lance Cpl. Pistolis spent twenty-eight days confined to quarters at his unit at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejune located in North Carolina. He was previously stationed there, assigned to 2nd Marine Logistics group. The period of confinement was spent after he had been convicted during a court-martial issued in relation to his transgressions. Pistolis was charged with issuing false statements and disobeying orders, both stemming from actions at of the Charlottesville rally and violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
The Aug. 2017 Charlottesville rally was also known as the “Unite the Right” rally and resulted in not only mass violence but also the death of Heather D. Heyer, a 32-year-old local paralegal. Heyer was killed when a pro-Nazi activist intentionally drove his vehicle, a Dodge Challenger, into a crowd of counter-protesters. Lance Cpl. Pistolis was not arrested by the Charlottesville police during the rally. Pistolis had been involved with the neo-fascist militant groups the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Atomwaffen Division for some time before the rally’s events according to reports.
Pistolis bragged about his exploits during the rally, writing that, “Today cracked three skulls open with virtually no damage to myself.” A damning photo emerged of Pistolis wailing on a counter-protester’s legs using the wooden handle of a flagpole he was carrying.
Marine Major Brian Block wrote in reference to Pistolis’s discharge that,
There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps. Bigotry and radical extremism run contrary to our core values,”
Featured image: This Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 image shows s white supremacist carrying a Nazi flag into the entrance to Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Va. | AP Photo/Steve Helber