MRFF Demands that Marine Corps Leadership Immediately Investigate Usage of Nazi SS Flag by Marines in Afghanistan

Fighting for our servicemembers’ rights, so they can fight for ours.


MRFF Contact: Bekki Miller
Tel. (337) 356-8696

MRFF Demands that Marine
Corps Leadership Immediately Investigate Usage of Nazi SS Flag
by Marines
in Afghanistan

Thursday, February 9, 2012

MRFF Statement on SS Banner Flying Alongside U.S. Flag in Afghanistan

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation ( is absolutely sickened by the disgusting images of members of the U.S. Marine Corps 1st Recon Battalion, Charlie Company, proudly posing in front of the U.S. flag juxtaposed alongside a symbol associated with the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi Holocaust, the genocide of religious minorities throughout Europe, and the forces of white supremacist racial hatred.

The fact that United States service personnel were caught proudly posing with the emblem of the Nazi SS, which symbolizes the vile ideology of Hitlerian fascism, sends a menacing signal to religious minorities within the United States Armed Forces. The symbol’s usage conveys a message that the U.S. Military is an organization within which white supremacists can feel at home, free to espouse their murderous ideology and proudly don their symbols of hatred.

This brazen display of a symbol which is synonymous with death squads, gas chambers, and brutal occupation reflects a sociopathic, marauding attitude which violently jars with the supposed "nation-building" efforts which the NATO forces have embarked upon. It exacerbates the anti-Americanism felt by the people of the region who we claim to be helping in the context of a UN-mandated, NATO-led security mission.

In short, this shameful display of SS "lightning bolts" by U.S. service personnel enrages our regional allies, emboldens the extremist Islamist forces with whom we are contending, and eviscerates good order, morale, and discipline within the U.S. Marine Corps. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation immediately calls for the leadership of the United States Military to condemn this stomach-turning display without equivocation or delay and severely punish ALL of those responsible.

Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, Esq.
Founder & President
Military Religious Freedom Foundation

Ongoing News Coverage of this Scandalous Outrage:

CNN – Photo shows Marines posing with Nazi-like
symbol in Afghanistan

MOTHER JONES – Marines Sport Nazi SS Flag in Afghanistan

LOS ANGELES TIMES – Camp Pendleton Marines posed
with Nazi SS symbol in Afghanistan

MARINE CORPS TIMES – Marine scout snipers
used Nazi SS logo

THE DAILY MAIL (UK) – Fury from Auschwitz survivors as U.S. Marines sniper squad is seen in Afghanistan with ‘SS’ flag (but they say it refers to ‘scout sniper’ team NOT Hitler’s henchmen)

THE BLAZE – Marines Punished for Posing with
Resembling Nazi SS Symbol

MILITARY.COM – Corps Condemns Marine Units Use of SS Flag

BBC NEWS – US Marine sniper unit photographed
with ‘Nazi SS’ flag

THE AUSTRALIAN – Marine snipers probed over SS flag

NY DAILY NEWS – U.S. Marine snipers posed in
of Nazi flag in Afghanistan

Sniper Squad Posed with Nazi SS Flag

WASHINGTON POST – US Marines snipers go unpunished
posing with flag bearing Nazi symbol in Afghanistan

Simon Wiesenthal Center Statement on Marine SS Flag Outrage


Letter from MRFF Law Firm Mathis-Donhauser

Gen. James F. Amos Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Headquarters USMC
2 Navy Annex (CMC)
Washington, D.C. 20380-1775

RE: Military Religious Freedom
Foundation Attached Photographs

Dear Gen. Amos:

Our office represents the Military Religious Freedom Foundation ( and its founder, Mikey Weinstein.

The Foundation was contacted today by 45 of its clients who are currently active duty United States Marines concerning their discovery of several photographs, copies of which are attached to this letter.

The photograph of the two individual Marines is currently on the Internet at You will notice the Nazi SS insignia on the rifle held by the Marine on the right.

The second group of photographs is on the Internet at (photo has since been removed). The 1st picture in that series depicts what purports to be a group picture in September 2010 of the 1st Recon BN Charlie Co. in Sangin, Afghanistan. The caption under the picture indicates that the Nazi SS insignia has been adopted and used by United States Marines.

The implication of these photographs, if true, should be readily apparent. If the use of the Nazi insignia has been, in any way, condoned or tolerated by the Marine Corp., the implications are abhorrent to everything for which our country is fighting and the constitutional principles for which it stands.

On behalf of the Foundation and its clients, we ask that your office undertake an immediate investigation into the accuracy and origin of the photographs.

If these photographs are what they appear to be, we demand that you take all necessary action to see that they are removed from the Internet and that everyone associated with the matter, including anyone who condoned it, be the subject of immediate and public court-martial proceedings.

We also ask that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation be kept apprised of the status of the investigation and any subsequent proceedings.

Very truly yours,
Randal Mathis


cc: Leon E. Panetta , Secretary
United States Department of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon Washington, D.C. 20318-9999

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
9999 Joint Staff Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20318-9999

Gen. James A. Winnefeld, Jr.
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
9999 Joint Staff Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20318-9999

Adm. Jonathan Greenert
Chief of Naval Operations
2000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20350-2000

Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, Esq.
Founder and President, Military
Religious Freedom Foundation

Click here to read original
letter from Mathis Donheiser

Nightline logo
MRFF’s Inbox

We receive an enormous amount of emails at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, both from our
supporters and detractors. "MRFF’s Inbox" allows us
to share
this correspondence with you:

SS and US Marines

Dear Mr. Weinstein!

I write this letter with outraged sadness that fine young men from United States serving their country should have been (hopefully) sufficiently ignorant of recent history to adopt the symbology of the German Nazi murderers as their own! I write this letter also as a longtime supporter of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and, particularly, as a survivor of the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz and Dachau concentration and extermination camps which murdered my parents, uncles cousins and friends, thus killing between 100 and 200 members of my extended family. I also write this letter as a U.S. Army mascot towards the end of World War II, and a veteran of the United States Air Force and the Colorado air National Guard.

The photographs below roil my intestines and break my heart beyond words to express! I wish I could really believe that these sniper teams innocently combined the view of the United States flag with the central symbol of the murderous SS! The use of the SS lightning bolts speaks for itself a sufficiently horrible tale.

I include some photographs below as context for those showing the US Marines stupidly and proudly displaying the symbols on the SS death machine operators!

Walter Plywaski, previously Wladyslaw Plywacki
Ex "native" of the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz and Dachau

Click to read letter, see images

"NO SNOWFLAKE IN AN AVALANCHE: The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, its Battle to Defend the Constitution, and One Family’s Courageous War Against Religious Extremism in High Places"
(Vireo, 2012)

The author, Mikey Weinstein, is presently giving
for the occasion of the release of this book.
To schedule an interview, journalists are strongly encouraged
to contact
Bekki Miller of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation at (337)356-8696

Click here to learn more

The media outlet referenced in the link above has no affiliation with the
Military Religious Freedom Foundation, nor has expressed endorsement thereof.

While we make every effort to ensure that news articles pertaining to our Foundation remain available for you to access,
we are unable to guarantee that the link above will remain online and unchanged indefinitely.


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  1. Bobby

    Being a Marine myself, if any officer and or enlisted currently serving or has done so in the past states that they did not know of the SS useage by scout snipers is a liar! I’ve seen it on their PT gear on runs.Its usually incorporated into each sniper platoons own platoon symbol. Get over it! Quinton..who’d you serve with???

  2. Robert Morgan

    This is ridiculous. Having spent countless days with Scout Snipers in combat, the idea that these guys are using this symbol for hate is absurd. I suggest some of you spend some time in these guys shoes before condemning them as bigots.

    Semper Fi

  3. RobertM

    The SS Stylized in the same way has been around At least since the mid 80s. It is documented multiple times in the Chandler Brothers’ books DEATH FROM AFAR -MARINE CORPS SNIPING. VOL 1 published 1992 pages 171-175. VOL 2 published 1993 pages 28 – 29 specifically details how an investigation about MARINES branded with the SS on their chests were found not to be Nazis, but proud MARINE SNIPERS. There are many more references in Vol 2 and in Volumes 3-5, but it should be obvious to all, these are just proud Marine Scout/Snipers.

  4. Jon

    You owe these Marines an apology for your unwarranted, and very wrong, accusation. AF Academy grad? Law school? You probably should send your degree back to the Academy and get your tuition back from the law school you attended.

  5. Brian Homan

    What a great way to get your name in the news! Too bad an entire American Infantry Division beat the Marines to the punch. Seems you overlooked the fact that the 30th Infantry Division commonly referred to as “FDR’s SS” already incorporated the logo into their divisional insignia over 65 years ago. Here’s a direct quote from a news clip made, oh, back in the 1940’s – “The Joes of the 30th Div. have thrown one of “Sally’s” sallies right back in the Nazi propaganda gal’s face. Sally had been saying in her nightly English language broadcasts that the 30th boys were “F.D.R.’s SS troops.” The boys rather liked the idea. They pointed out they really were Elite Troops, a chosen few and top-notch fighters. Maj. E.L. Glaser of Palm Beach, Fla. decided to adopt the designation and make a new division patch to go with it. The result was a design now under consideration at division headquarters, which combines the O and H of the 30th’s Old Hickory with the two flashes of lightning which comprise the SS troopers insignia – and to top it off the President’s well-known initials.” Can’t you find another way to get yourselves into the news without involving a bunch of guys putting their lives on the line for our miserable spoiled souls.

  6. jeffrey rew

    I would like to be civil but your organization is really a bunch of idiots and this outrage as you call it really shows your lack understanding about the military. I could go on and on about this but it would not be worth it because you are so brain washed that any reasonable explanation would go on deaf ears.

    The flag you see does not resemble the Nazi SS, except for the two S’s that you see in the middle of the flag. That stands for scout sniper and has since about the end of the vietnam war. As you can see the majority of the team in the photo is holding various scoped sniper rifles. The only one that owes an apology is your over reacting witch hunting organization, the flag has nothing to do with the Nazi’s

  7. Corwin


    You need to change the name of your organization to Acceptable Military Religious Freedom Foundation. As of now, your org’s name is a misnomer. The true test of belief in freedom is to see something or hear something that goes against your very core beliefs and say “That person has the right to say that”.

    Philosophy aside, if you actually believe these soldiers support the Nazi SS and what it stood for, they you sir, need to seriously reevaluate your views on life.

    Marines are generally young kids sent through rigorous violent training, sent into the middle of hell, pumped full of adrenaline, for a cause they may or more probably don’t understand, treated like villains by the people they think they’re trying to liberate, and randomly shot at and killed by homemade bombs lofted by children.

    They’re going to make some mistakes.

    Get over yourself Weinstein. Take up a rifle and head out to that God forsaken desert then someone may be interested in what you have to say. The US Marine Corps does not support Nazism, nor wholesale slaughter.

    And no, I did not serve. My father was a government-ally volunteered participant with the Army in Vietnam a decade before I was born, so my relationship with the military is tenuous at best. Hence why I don’t go running my mouth off every time a soldier in the middle of chaos you couldn’t pay me enough to see, steps out of line.

  8. Connybob

    I DEMAND that the MRFF retract their insanely inaccurate and ignorant comments about the Reconnaissance Marines depicted in the photograph. The fact that a “professional” group like the MRFF has made such a blatantly absurd and incorrect assumption about this usage of the “SS” symbol should bring into question the true legitimacy and agenda of this organization. Additionally, for you, Weinstein, to comment on the Marine Corps as a whole and state “the U.S. Military is an organization within which white supremacists can feel at home, free to espouse their murderous ideology” – IS AN OUTRAGE!!! How dare you and your organization make such an erroneous, blanket statement about me (I am a veteran) and everyone else who serves the United States’ military. How dare you! I believe I speak for all veterans and active duty personnel that YOU RETRACT YOUR STATEMENT AND ISSUE A PUBLIC APOLOGY TO THE MARINES IN THE PHOTOGRAPH AND THE ENTIRE U.S. MILITARY FOR YOUR FALSE COMMENTS.

  9. KSoldier

    This is the same font used by the rock group “KISS.” A simple Google search for “KISS ARMY” will bring up several examples of the font.

    It is a more reasonable conclusion that the members of this unit used a font from a music group that was popular when they were kids (the 70s and 80s) then it would be to assume they were using a logo that was obsolete decades before they were even born.

    I hope this will be considered in any investigation.

  10. Scott

    You, and your organization are an ass. I mean that in a legal sense because you have no perspective of proportion or context. Really, such stupid stuff, (that’s a reference to Housman which you’re too stupid to get).

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