Emily Rainey is a Fort Bragg-based U.S. Army captain who is being investigated after she was seen at the pro-Trump U.S. Capitol rally ahead of a siege of the building. The 30-year-old Rainey, a special operations officer, previously resigned her commission with the Army in September after participating in an anti-lockdown protest at a park in North Carolina that resulted in her arrest, the Army said. It takes months for the resignation to be completed, officials said.
Rainey led a group of North Carolinians who are part of a group called Moore County Citizens for Freedom to the Capitol MAGA rally, according to her posts on Facebook and Instagram. There has been no evidence she participated in the storming of the Capitol. Rainey told The Associated Press, “I was a private citizen and doing everything right and within my rights.” She said she and the 100 members of her group were there to “stand against election fraud” and support Trump. She told The AP they “are peace-loving, law-abiding people who were doing nothing but demonstrating our First Amendment rights.”
Rainey, is the mother of a young son and lives in Southern Pines, North Carolina, could not be reached for comment by Heavy. The PSYOPS officer is originally from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Fort Bragg spokesman Major Dan Lessard said in a statement, “Our command is aware of Captain Emily Rainey’s presence at the Capitol on January 6 and is currently investigating to determine the facts as to her exact involvement.”
Here’s what you need to know about Emily Grace Rainey:
1. Rainey, Who Is Assigned to 4th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg, Wrote a Post for a Military Website in June About the Do’s & Don’ts About Being Political While Serving
Rainey is “an active duty Psychological Operations officer assigned to 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne)” at Fort Bragg, a base spokesman said in a statement. “She previously submitted her resignation request in October 2020, which was approved in November for a separation date in April 2021,” the spokesman said. Rainey told The Associated Press she was on leave during the rally. “I told my bosses before I went that I was going, and I told them when I got back,” she told The AP.
The AP reports Rainey’s PSYOPS unit, “uses information and misinformation to shape the emotions, decision-making and actions of American adversaries.” She has been in PSYOPS since 2017. She previously was a cultural support team leader at the Army Special Operations Command in 2013 and was a military intelligence officer from 2012 to 2017.
In June, Rainey wrote an article for SOFREP.com, a veteran-led military news website, titled, “Do’s and Don’ts for Being a Republican or Democrat in the Military.” She wrote, “I want to be clear: you are allowed to be a Democrat or Republican. You can be in the Tea Party or Green Party. You can even be a member of the Vampires Witches Pagans Party — yes, that’s actually a thing. You are absolutely allowed to tell people how you identify politically, and you are allowed to promote your party but with limitations because: with great power comes great responsibility.”
Rainey added, “And as always, if you are identified as a U.S. service member at an event or online, make sure you have a disclaimer in your hip-pocket. Your views are your own and not the DoD’s (see my CYA disclaimer at top of this article). Speaking of disclaimers, I am not a lawyer and — although it should be obvious — this article is not legal advice. If you need some of that, go talk to your JAG.” She added, “The more you know about the rules, the freer you become.”
Lessard, the Fort Bragg spokesman, said in a statement, “It is unclear if she violated any laws or regulations, as the DoD encourages members of the Armed Forces to carry out the obligation of citizenship, so long as their actions are in keeping with DoD policy and do not impair the good order and discipline of the service. The investigation will determine whether further actions by the command are warranted.”
2. Rainey Was Arrested & Banned From a North Carolina Park After Cutting Caution Tape & Using a Public Park Against COVID-19 Regulations in May
Rainey was previously arrested after an incident at a park in Southern Pines in May. According to the Southern Pines Pilot, Rainey posted a video on Facebook showing her tearing down caution tape the Downtown Park playground and playing there with her young son. The video post, which was shared by ReOpen NC, including “#standyourplayground.” Rainey said in the video, “Everyone here, all you freedom fighters, this is for you,” the newspaper reported.
Rainey was cited with injury to personal property, a vandalism charge. She was also banned from all parks in Southern Pines for a year and told she could be charged with trespassing if found on park property. According to Southern Pines Police, Rainey was warned twice before she received a citation.
According to the Fort Bragg statement, “The command is aware of Captain Rainey’s actions last year at a park in Southern Pines, North Carolina, and took appropriate administrative action at that time.”
3. Rainey Posted a Tribute to the Rioter Who Was Killed During the Capitol Siege & Said She Was Closing Her Amazon Account After It Dropped Parler From Its Servers
Rainey posted and then deleted a tribute to the Air Force veteran pro-Trump rioter and QAnon follower who was killed during the Capitol siege. Rainey posted on her Facebook page, “Her Name Was Ashli Babbitt. Say Her Name.” Babbitt was shot and killed by a Capitol police officer who was protecting the House chamber during the siege. Videos show her helping to smash a window on a door leading to where House members were, and then starting to climb through a window. The officer shot Babbitt as she was climbing through the broken window. She was rushed to a D.C. hospital and died. An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
In a Facebook video, Rainey falsely claimed Antifa led the riots at the Capitol. Federal authorities have said there is no evidence of that. “I don’t know any violent patriots. I don’t know any patriots who would smash the windows of a National jewel,” Rainey said in the video.
In a January 8 Facebook video, with the caption “EVERYONE STAY CALM 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸,” Rainey said, “It is OK to be upset, but this was never about Trump. This was never about one man getting elected for another four years. This was always about our American values, this was always about ‘we the people.’ … Don’t let your fire go out because of one man. The reason I know it is going to be OK is because I know you. I know patriots. … I’m so proud to be standing to be standing shoulder to shoulder with you. … I know things look bleak.”
Rainey, staring into the camera, said, “You don’t know what happened. I don’t know what happened, not the details,” while talking about the rally and Capitol siege. “Even if you were there you don’t really know. No one does. You know why? Because the media would never let you know. We are in full and complete communist censorship, the technocracy is out of control. And we are going to do something about it.”
Rainey said in her January 8 video she plans to leave Facebook because of censorship. “They are going to try to make sure we cannot communicate. They are going to try to silence 80 million people and they hate you. They hate you. They hate you with all the same hatred of every genocide that’s ever happened. So get off the bench. This is not an extracurricular activity, this is an existential activity. You need to start fighting. … It’s time that we wake up, it’s past time that we wake up.”
Rainey posted on Facebook on January 9, “CANCELLING AMAZON NOW.🖕🏻 we don’t need you,” along with a screenshot showing she had closed her Amazon account. Her post came after Amazon removed the pro-Trump alternative to Twitter, Parler, from its servers, shutting the social media site down, at least temporarily.
4. Rainey Is a Graduate of the University of Scranton, Where She Played Basketball, & Was a Member of the Army ROTC
Rainey is originally from Pennsylvania and studied at the University of Scranton, where she played basketball for the school’s Division III team and was a member of the Army ROTC. When she was a junior, Rainey received a scholarship related to her ROTC service. “Colonel & Mrs. Robert L. Strayer Scholarship award. This award is presented each year to an MS III Cadet by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Military Order of World Wars for excellence in academics, leadership and community service,” the Royal Warrior Battalion at the University of Scranton said on Facebook in a 2011 post.
After graduating from the University of Scranton in 2012, Rainey was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and assigned to military intelligence. She gave birth to her first child, a son, in January 2019. The baby’s father is also in the U.S. Army, according to an Instagram post from Rainey. It’s not clear if they are married.
Joe Buccino, a public affairs officer at Fort Bragg, told WRAL, “It’s important for us to keep in mind that soldiers are allowed to participate in political rallies, provided they do so in civilian clothes, provided that they adhere to all laws.”
5. Rainey Has Been Active in the ReOpen NC Movement & Has Shared Anti-Mask & Anti-Vaccine Views on Facebook & Instagram
Rainey has been heavily involved in the ReOpen NC movement and has protested against COVID-19 restrictions and protections in her home state. She has spoken out against restaurant and business closures, as well as calling for all schools to be fully opened and for mask mandates to be stopped. She has also expressed anti-vaccine views and has said Christians can could seek religious exemptions from vaccine mandates for their children.
In a Facebook post on November 20, she compared businesses requiring customers to wear masks to discrimination against Black people, including separate water fountains. She wrote, “For those of you who don’t think maskless customers have a right to push back on businesses who harrass them because of private property laws, ask yourself: Was MLK and his followers wrong to stage sit ins at restaurants like the Woolworth lunch counter because of private property laws? #separateisNOTequal”
She added, “I don’t want to be served outside and I don’t want my groceries delivered. These ‘accommodations’ are unacceptable and DISCRIMINATORY!”
Rainey is also a leader of Moore County Citizens for Freedom, which says on Facebook, “We are a non partisan network of Moore County Citizens dedicated to the promotion of conservative values in Moore County, NC through education and activism. MCCF is also the recognized Moore County chapter of ReopenNC.”
In an October post, she wrote, “What we know right now is that the leading C-19 vaccine doesn’t appear to be derived from fetal tissue. But if your family plans to forgo the vaccine in NC, you will need to start developing your own exemption letter. Here is mine. Feel free to steal”
In June she wrote on Facebook, “To my Conservative friends, Your country is being destroyed. Period. If you think it wont affect you if you simply turn off the tv and ignore what’s going on, if you think living out “in the country” or quietly voting for Trump will save you YOU ARE WRONG. If you don’t fight for your rights, for democracy, for law and order and against socialism NOW, your children will not have a future. We cannot afford to be a silent majority any longer. What can you do today?”
She added, “take off your mask which is a symbol of control … tell your employer you will not wear one, sue them if they try to make you … boycott ridiculous liberal Hollywood celebs, don’t watch their movies, unfollow them on social media.”