COLUMBUS, Ohio — A member of the Ohio National Guard was removed from a mission in Washington D.C. after the Federal Bureau of Investigation uncovered the guardsman expressed white supremacist ideologies, according to Gov. Mike DeWine.
Ohio sent 100 guardsmen to Washington D.C. after the Secretary of Defense requested assistance, DeWine said.
The white supremacist ideologies were expressed by the guardsman on the internet prior to the assignment in Washington, according to DeWine.
DeWine said the guardsman has been suspended from all missions indefinitely, DeWine said.
An investigation following due process is underway by the FBI, and when the facts about the case are confirmed, the guardsman will be permanently removed from the Ohio National Guard, DeWine said.
“While I fully support everyone’s right to free speech, guardsmen/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 towards specific groups of Americans has no place in the Ohio National Guard. National Guard and our Ohio Department of Public Safety are fully cooperating with the FBI investigation.”
Due to the incident, the governor has directed Maj. Gen. John C. Harris, Jr. to work with the Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Tom Stickrath to set up a procedure to prevent any future incidents of this type within the Ohio National Guard.
“The public must have faith in our Ohio National Guard,” DeWine said. “They do amazing, amazing work. And it’s been my pleasure since January of last year, to work with a number and meet a number of members of the guard. They’re citizen-soldiers, they do absolutely an amazing job, but we must constantly be vigilant. And we will be. And we will set up a procedure to make sure that this does not happen again."