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Space Force Purges Commander



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This column was originally published at Townhall.com on May 19, 2021.

Dulles, Virginia – Matthew Lohmeier exposed a threat to the good order and discipline in America’s military, and for that he was relieved of his duties as commander of the 11th Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base. Firing Lohmeier was a high-profile blunder that has captured congressional attention and exposed Pentagon policies that are causing division in the ranks and inattention to higher priorities.

Lohmeier, who holds the rank of Lt Col, has a distinguished military career. He’s a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, a flight instructor and a fighter pilot who holds two master’s degrees and developed an expertise in space operations. Eight months ago, he was selected for a command with the U.S. Space Force. His job was to use space-based resources to assess missile threats and provide early warnings to U.S. troops around the world.

In his spare time, Lohmeier is an academic and a historian. He is the author of “Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military.” On May 7, Lohmeier appeared on the podcast “Information Operation,” with host Todd Wood to talk about his book and what he perceives to be a different kind of threat to the U.S. military.

It was this conversation that caused Lt Gen Steven Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command, to dismiss Lohmeier and order an investigation to determine if Lohmeier engaged in “partisan political activity.” I’ll save the investigators time and money: he didn’t. Participation in political activity by members of the armed forces is regulated by Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 1344.10, and in his appearance on the podcast, Lohmeier didn’t even come close to violating the Directive.

Lohmeier conducted the interview in civilian attire and never broached the issues of politics or personalities. “I don’t care what the politics of my servicemembers are,” he said, “it doesn’t matter to me…I respect their views.” He explained, “I try and give people the benefit of the doubt…my book isn’t about persons or people…it’s about ideas and…the spreading of those ideas.” (More on those ideas in a moment.)

A second excuse for Lohmeier’s firing was offered by a DoD official to CNN who said the decision was “due to loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead.”

That’s curious given that Lohmeier appears to be an excellent leader. He is calm, measured, thoughtful, well-informed, and respectful of both his superiors and subordinates. “All of my interactions with senior leaders…in the Air Force and in the Space Force have been very positive,” Lohmeier offered. “We’ve got very good leaders. They care a great deal about their people. They care a great deal about the lethality of our force,” he said.

So, if his firing isn’t about politics and it’s not about his leadership, what’s it about? As Lohmeier put it, “it’s about ideas and…the spreading of those ideas.” More specifically, it’s about Critical Race Theory (CRT) and how it is being used to address one of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s main priorities – to rid the military of “extremism in the ranks,” and to create “an environment free of discrimination, hate, and harassment.”

Lohmeier agrees with Secretary Austin’s goal which is why he courageously spoke up to inform military leaders that the use of CRT perpetuates and exacerbates the problem.

Lohmeier explains that Critical Theory, an earlier version of CRT, is the “incessant criticism of all things western culture and civilization,” and eventually morphed into CRT which “makes race the lens through which the world is viewed and then it weaponizes race dialog to cause divisions and contentions.”

While military leaders are preparing for the threats posed by China and Russia, Lohmeier says they are blind to the fact that America may “face our greatest threat here at home.”

It was a “proliferation of an anti-American narrative of our history that I was seeing show up at my own base,” Lohmeier said. So he spoke up for two reasons. First, he believes “if we pursue this agenda, it will divide us, it will not unify us,” and second, Secretary Austin encouraged an open dialogue in a “Stand-Down” order he issued on February 5. In that order, Austin said he expects service members “to be guided in their actions by a strong moral compass.”

Matthew Lohmeier is the kind of leader we need in our military. He knows our enemies will exploit our vulnerabilities, just as terrorists did 20 years ago. Today, our Achilles heel is internal division that is made worse by critical race theorists who teach that America is unworthy of our service or sacrifice; our admiration or affection. That’s a dangerous message to give to those entrusted with the defense of our nation.

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