COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced a member of the Ohio National Guard has been removed from the protest patrol mission in Washington D.C.
DeWine said the soldier was removed after the FBI uncovered information that the guardsman expressed white supremacist ideology on the Internet prior to the assignment.
“While I fully support everyone’s right to free speech, guardsmen and women are sworn to protect all of us regardless of race, ethnic background or religion,” DeWine said. “Our Ohio National Guard members are in a position of trust and authority during times of crisis and anyone who displays a malice toward specific groups of Americans has no place in the Ohio National Guard.”
U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper requested states send guardsmen to Washington D.C. to assist in patrolling protests in the nation’s capitol. Ohio sent 100 troops to Washington D.C.
“Following due process, it is highly likely that this individual will be permanently removed from the Ohio National Guard,” DeWine said. “I have directed General Harris to work with our Public Safety Director Tom Stickrath to set up a procedure so that occurrences like this can not and do not occur in the future.”
The Ohio National Guard released the following statement:
A member of the Ohio Army National Guard’s Company B, 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment based in northwest Ohio, was removed from the Washington D.C. mission after allegations of ties to an extremist organization. The private 1st class has been a member since May 2018. The name of the soldier and any further information is not being released at this time while the investigation is ongoing.
We are cooperating with an FBI investigation and we are looking into this matter internally.
If true, these are egregious allegations. The Ohio National Guard is a diverse and inclusive organization of nearly 17,000 men and women. Racism and prejudice has no place in our organization. Every member of the Ohio National Guard is held to a high standard of professionalism. Ohio knows and trusts its National Guard. Any threat to that public trust will not be tolerated. It is our purpose to treat every person we encounter with dignity and respect.Ohio National Guard