The Air Force Inspector General will take over an ongoing investigation into the conduct of Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, a Space Force officer who was fired last week after publicly criticizing the Pentagon’s diversity push and what he believes is Marxism spreading in the ranks.
Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, head of the Space Force’s operations command, removed Lohmeier, commander of the 11th Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, from his post on May 14, according to a Space Force spokesperson. The lieutenant colonel was reassigned to an unnamed job.
At issue are comments Lohmeier made on the “Information Operation” podcast while promoting his self-published book, “Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest and the Unmaking of the American Military.” At Whiting’s direction, Space Operations Command was looking into whether Lohmeier’s comments amounted to “prohibited partisan political activity,” according to Military.com, which first reported this story.
The IG decided to launch its own inquiry “due to the complexity and sensitivity of the issues under consideration, as well as potential for [Department of the Air Force-wide] impact,” service spokesperson Ann Stefanek said Thursday. It replaces Whiting’s investigation, which was suspended.
Lohmeier argues the Defense Department’s efforts to further diversify the force and bring a multitude of experiences and perspectives to the table, as well as similar initiatives in other U.S. institutions, are “wrecking civil society.”
He told Military.com he didn’t intend to “engage in partisan politics,” and that Buckley’s public affairs office and legal counsel said DoD didn’t need to review the contents of his book before publication.
The book – now the No. 1 bestseller among military policy offerings on Amazon — claims that federal agencies are “vessels of various schools of thought that are rooted in Marxist ideology … bent on the destruction of America’s history and founding philosophy, of Western tradition, specifically Judeo-Christian values, and of patriotism and conservatism.”
The author pointed to a memo from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin — the first Black man to lead the department — urging troops to better understand and denounce white supremacist and other politically extremist ideologies that advocate for government overthrow, as well as a 70-page Air Force manual for commanders on how to discuss radicalization with their units, as examples of leftist ideas that are stamping out American liberties.
Black Lives Matter at School, a group pushing to eliminate systemic educational barriers that predominantly affect children of color, is among the people and organizations Lohmeier defines as Marxist.
Marxism is the 19th-century economic, social and political philosophy that the working class will upend the status quo to create a classless society without capitalism.
Lawmakers including Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee; HASC member Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo.; and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., protested Lohmeier’s firing and suggested Congress should address the matter of “conservative voices being silenced” in this year’s defense policy bill.
Critics of the Pentagon’s crackdown on ideological extremism after the deadly Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, where a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the building as lawmakers moved to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, say the government is targeting conservatives when Black Lives Matter protests are also a problem.
Military leaders have tried to dissuade their employees from making that equivalency.
“There were people advocating [against] social injustice, racial injustice and everything else, and it is the right of citizens,” Ramón “CZ” Colón-López, the senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said earlier this year.
“If it’s an organization that is actually imposing harm, threat, destruction, criminal activity and so on, then we don’t condone that behavior,” he added.
Rachel Cohen joined Air Force Times as senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in Air Force Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), the Washington Post, and others.