A self-published book warning that neo-Marxist thought and leftist practices such as diversity training are threatening to undermine the effectiveness of the U.S. military has cost a senior officer in the U.S. Space Force his command.
Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, commander of the 11th Space Warning Squadron at Colorado’s Buckley Air Force Base, was relieved of his post Friday for comments he made defending his book’s thesis on a military-themed podcast.
In an interview with “Information Operation” host L. Todd Wood, a former columnist with The Washington Times, Col Lohmeier argued that leftist ideas and practices embraced by the government, academia, the media and now the U.S. military are proving a divisive force in the ranks and that the Defense Department should take steps to return to a more “politically nonpartisan” course.
Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, who heads Space Operations Command, effectively fired Col. Lohmeier on Friday, citing a loss of confidence in his ability to carry out his command of a Space Force unit that detects ballistic missile launches.
The firing was first reported Friday by the website Military.com.
“The decision was based on public comments made by Lt. Col. Lohmeier” in the podcast, a Space Force spokesperson told Military.com. “Lt. Gen. Whiting has initiated [an investigation] on whether these comments constituted prohibited partisan political activity.”
The participation of U.S. military veterans and active-duty troops in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol protesting the outcome of the 2020 presidential election fueled a sharp debate on extremism among the troops and the extent to which senior commanders should police the political leanings of those who serve.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a retired Army general, ordered a military-wide “stand-down” just days after taking office in February to discuss the need to address political extremism and ideologies such as white supremacy in the services.
In his new book, “Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military,” Col. Lohmeier argued in part that diversity programs and “inclusivity training” can be traced back to so-called critical race theory and its Marxist antecedents.
Far-right political movements are harshly punished, but far-left movements and ideas deserve the same treatment, the author said.
Asked about Mr. Austin, Col. Lohmeier said on the podcast: “I don’t demonize the man, but I want to make it clear to him and every service member that this [agenda] will divide us. It will not unify us.”
The lieutenant colonel said he did not consider his book a partisan political work and told Military.com he was told by his superiors that a pre-publication review by the Pentagon was “not required.”
He said on the podcast that he had received a number of notes expressing gratitude and appreciation from those in the ranks for his book.
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