According to Stars and Stripes, Mason Edward Mead was reported to his command after several Twitter users pointed out tweets he had posted to his account. In one of photos posted on the account, a marine is pictured arranging TNT (explosive material blocks) into the shape of a swastika, the emblem of the German Nazi Party. However, it is unclear if the marine photographed is Mead himself.
— Ed Beck (@DEdwardBeck) February 24, 2019
Another photo shows a man in front of Mount Fuji in Japan with the caption "ching chong." The photo also included a series of emojis including a Japanese flag, a dog a knife and a fork. A comment by Mead's account on the post reads "excited to try Japanese teriyaki doberman."
In another Twitter post by Mead, he writes that he considers himself politically "to the right" of fascism and the National Socialist Movement, an American, neo-Nazi political party based in Detroit, Michigan. He also added that he"would have fought in the Waffen SS if possible," referring to the armed wing of the Nazi Party's SS organization.
Mead's Twitter account has since been deleted.
The Marine Corps "is aware of derogatory online comments attributed to a Marine," the Okinawa-based III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) said in a statement Tuesday, also adding that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service "is thoroughly investigating this situation, and the command will address any misconduct at the appropriate judicial or administrative level."
In an email to Stars and Stripes, MEF officials did not confirm Mead's identity, rank or rate, noting that "no additional details on the subject of the investigation may be released before referral of charges."
"The Marine Corps takes every instance of misconduct seriously, whether on duty, off duty or online," the MEF's statement added. "We are thankful for the individuals who brought this to our attention."