A group of 23 lawmakers led by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R., Colo.,) is calling for the reinstatement of a Space Force officer after he was relieved of duty for criticizing the military's embrace of critical race theory.
Lamborn, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and cofounder of the Space Force Caucus, warned that the decision to bounce the officer from command raises an "inescapable fact" senior Pentagon officials can no longer ignore: Critical race theory undermines the military's ability to win wars.
"Whether you agree with him or not, no rational American can review his level-headed critique of the critical race theory-based ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion' training the military is currently conducting and conclude that his comments on that subject deserve relief of command," Lamborn said of the officer. "Space Force Guardians conduct can't-fail missions 24 hours a day, seven days a week: We cannot allow temporary political appointees at the Department of Defense who are ideologically motivated to purge those men and women in uniform who do not agree with the cultural or political fads of the moment."
Space Operations Command fired Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, a former Air Force pilot and commander of a Space Force unit tasked with detecting ballistic missiles, citing a loss of confidence in his leadership due to public remarks about critical race theory within the military. Lohmeier’s remarks on a May podcast about his self-published book, Irresistible Revolution: Marxism's Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military, have prompted an investigation to evaluate if such actions violate military policy, a Space Force spokesperson first told Military.com.
Lohmeier’s book shot to the top of Amazon’s military policy bestseller list and sold out. The book chronicles the use of controversial "neo-Marxist" concepts in U.S. military diversity training, saying their use undermines the effectiveness of the armed forces and runs contrary to the ideals of the American founding. In his podcast appearance, Lohmeier said the controversial diversity and inclusion initiatives amount to a severe threat to the U.S. military.
"We face our greatest threat here at home at the moment," Lohmeier said. "When senior leaders begin to politicize the institution itself, that’s not what the American people expect, and it’s not our obligation."
Lohmeier also warned Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that further pursuit of a "toxic and poisonous" critical race theory agenda would divide the armed forces. Experts say Lohmeier's outspoken views on critical race theory may have been seen as undermining current military policy, which is likely what cost him his job.
Lamborn's demand to reinstate Lohmeier follows on the heels of a statement from House Armed Services Committee ranking member Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Ala.), who announced Tuesday he would address bias against conservatives in the military in this year's Pentagon funding request.
"My Republican colleagues and I hear regularly from active duty and retired service members that even holding conservative values is now enough to endanger a service member’s military career," Rogers said. "The United States Armed Forces should be focused on preparing to face and win any battles against the threats posed by China and other foreign adversaries and not imposing political beliefs on those who chose to serve in uniform."
Beyond Space Force diversity trainings, critical race theory is taking hold in the Pentagon. The Washington Free Beacon reported in April that West Point and the Naval Academy are using contested concepts associated with "woke" politics in their curricula and recruiting processes. The report came after the discovery that the U.S. Navy reading list included books by "antiracist" authors like Ibram X. Kendi. Critics say the inclusion of critical race theory language and ideas into military training undermines the unity and cohesion of troops, making them less effective as China continues to grow in its own military power.
The Space Force did not respond to a request for comment.