The 1st Special Forces Command is investigating a psychological operations captain for her involvement in the Jan. 6 pro- President Donald Trump rally in Washington, D.C., a spokesman tells Military Times.
The command is investigating Capt. Emily Rainey’s involvement in the Wednesday rally. The 30-year-old psychological operations officer told the Associated Press she led 100 members of Moore County Citizens for Freedom who traveled to Washington to “stand against election fraud” and support Trump. The rally began peacefully near the White House but later grew deadly as pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol.
Rainey insisted she acted within Army regulations and that no one in her group entered the Capitol or broke the law.
“I was a private citizen and doing everything right and within my rights,” Rainey told the AP.
“I can confirm our command is investigating her involvement,” Maj. Dan Lessard, a 1st Special Forces Command spokesman, told Military Times. The command, based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, oversees PSYOP troops.
Rainey is assigned to the 4th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg, according to Lessard. The PSYOP troops use information and misinformation to shape the emotions, decision-making and actions of American adversaries. Its Latin motto “Verbum Vincent” means “words conquer” in English.
Rainey has had run ins with local authorities as well. In May, according to WRAL-TV, she was charged with damage to property and banned from Southern Pines playgrounds for a year after posting a video of her letting her kids play on equipment that had been closed off because of COVID-19 safety precautions. It was unclear late Sunday night what the status of the charges are. Moore County records are not available online.
Efforts to reach Rainey through the Moore County Citizens for Freedom Facebook group were not immediately successful.
In June, Rainey published an article on the SOFREP site explaining the rules for troops taking part in political activies.
“The United States Military does not discourage political awareness and activism for service members as long as you adhere to certain guidelines,” she wrote. “Your restrictions are vaguely summed up in DoD Directive 1344.10. Between this directive and several court cases over the years this issue is about as clear-as-mud. But since no one is going to read the reference or the judicial findings, keep reading here for a less yawn-inducing break down that even a Marine might understand.”
On her Facebook page, Rainey urges likeminded citizens to to find alternatives to Facebook as a means of communications, to run for office and to continue to stand up for “American values, not communist values.”
Earlier Sunday, a retired Air Force officer was arrested for his involvement in the deadly Capitol riot that followed the rally.
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Larry Rendall Brock Jr. of Texas was charged in federal court on Sunday after he was identified in photos showing him standing in the well of the Senate, wearing a military-style helmet and body armor while holding a pair of zip-tie handcuffs.
Two Air Force veterans — one a Capitol Police officer, the other a rioter — were killed as result of injuries sustained in the riots while three others died.
This story contains information from the Associated Press.
Howard Altman is an award-winning editor and reporter who was previously the military reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and before that the Tampa Tribune, where he covered USCENTCOM, USSOCOM and SOF writ large among many other topics.