Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, who was recently relieved as a U.S. Space Force commanding officer, said he condemns “all forms of extremism” and defended against allegations that he was “politically partisan” when he denounced the spread of Marxism in the military.
The comment, which was made in a podcast, warned about the spread of Marxist ideology within the military and the detrimental consequences of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s agenda to push critical race theory.
“I’ve been largely apolitical in most of my adult life. I participate in the political process. I don’t care what the political views of my fellow service members are—the young airmen and guardians that I was a commander for. I don’t care what their religious or non-religious views are because that has nothing to do with their oath to the Constitution. Frankly, they’re entitled to their beliefs and their opinions,” he said.
“And so when we start to see within the services a break or a fracture of the force because people are being trained certain groups are oppressors and others are oppressed, that’s when it’s time to speak up and identify, as the secretary of defense invited us to do, extremist ideological views that are divisive. So that’s what I attempted to do with the book.”
Critical race theory, which is rooted in Marxism, has been heavily promulgated throughout academia, entertainment, government, schools, and the workplace in recent years, rising to new prominence following the rise of far-left groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Some employers have included concepts from the doctrine—which some claim teaches that the United States is a fundamentally racist country and that one race is inherently superior to another—in their “racial and cultural sensitivity” training.
The Pentagon earlier in the year had ordered an “extremism stand down” to address concerns about extremism in the ranks of the U.S. armed forces. Lohmeier said all service members were asked to watch a video with content based on The New York Times’ 1619 project, which he says “insists that our country is evil.”
“And I reject the premise or the basis of all of our diversity and inclusion training and I’m not opposed to diversity or inclusion, although it depends on how we define terms,” Lohmeier said.
“The premise or basis of all of that should be the foundational ideals that we have codified in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, not critical race theory, which makes race the view or the lens through which the entire world is interpreted. And so these videos that we’ve had to watch here at our base teach us just that.”
The Pentagon press office did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.
Lohmeier added that he does not have trepidation that his book could be used as a “double-edged sword” by tipping off enemies about the ideological struggles within the U.S. military. He said “enemies” such as the Chinese Communist Party are well aware of the problems plaguing the military.
“Our enemies are very aware that this is going on in the United States, specifically China,” Lohmeier said.
“There’s nothing that Xi Jinping or the Chinese Communist Party would like more than to have U.S. citizens, worst of all U.S. service members in uniform, getting at one another’s throats because they are starting to entertain divisive and competing, and fundamentally incompatible, narratives of American history, for example.”
He added that he hopes his book will serve as a reminder for senior leaders and service members to ensure that the military remains apolitical.
“My book is essentially an invitation to senior leaders, to every service member, to knock off political partisanship, to maintain our obligation to be apolitical,” he said. “And I condemn all forms of extremism, whether they’re right-wing, left-wing, or anything in between, if it results in conduct that undermines good order and discipline, whether morale of our armed forces that doesn’t belong in our services.”