Former Missouri Guardsman Tells of Training White Supremacists
A Missouri National Guard member corresponded with racist skinhead groups for years before becoming a fully “patched” member of a group and providing combat training, a recently released court document claims.
Statements in an agreement between Spc. Ryan Riley and federal prosecutors show the views that drove him to risk his career by joining the hate group American Front and also the efforts that such groups make to recruit current or former soldiers.
Riley, 28, is the second guardsman to make news recently for allegations of racist allegiances.
In March, another Missouri guardsman, Sgt. Nathan Wooten, was fired from the state military honor guard — which pays last respects at the funerals of veterans — after co-workers claimed Wooten was a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who tried to recruit others. A lawyer for Wooten has denied his involvement with an extremist group.
In May, the Post-Dispatch reported the allegations that a Missouri guardsman had been involved in training the group. The newspaper did not identify Riley because the Guard could not confirm that he was the same Riley listed as a Guard member.
On Friday, Guard spokeswoman Maj. Tammy Spicer would say only that Spc. Ryan Riley joined the Guard in May of 2011 and his enlistment ended on May 25, 2012. She said that an investigation into the allegations had been conducted but was not public because it dealt with personnel matters. There has been no other Ryan Riley in the Guard in the past 18 months, she said.