Mastriano was the only one of the 21 faculty members in the photo to don a Confederate uniform for the occasion. Jenna Ellis, a senior adviser to Mastriano's campaign, wrote in response to the story that "[t]he left wants to erase history," while Mastriano, who has a PhD in history, "wants us to learn from it."
"Doug Mastriano wore the uniform of traitors who fought to defend slavery on official grounds of the U.S. Army War College," Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro tweeted Friday night. "It's deeply offensive and proves who he is, once again. He's unfit to be Governor."
According to Reuters, which obtained the photo through a request filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the picture was removed from the wall at the Army War College where it had hung alongside other annual faculty portraits. The college said in a statement that they removed the photo because "it does not meet AWC values."
Mastriano retired from the U.S. Army in 2017 with the rank of colonel and rose to national prominence for his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Pennsylvania. The New York Times notes that Mastriano has proposed "de-registering all of Pennsylvania's roughly nine million registered voters and requiring them to register again."