Space Force Commanding Officer Leaving Service After Facing Retaliation for Criticising Marxism

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Then-Capt. Matthew Lohmeier, 460th Operations Group Block 10 Chief of Training, instructs a trainee in the Standardized Space Trainer on July 22, 2015, at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado. Lohmeier, now a Lt. Col., announced he is leaving the military effective Sept. 1 after being removed from his command post in May for criticising Marxist “diversity, equity, and inclusion training” and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on a podcast.
Then-Capt. Matthew Lohmeier, 460th Operations Group Block 10 Chief of Training, instructs a trainee in the Standardized Space Trainer on July 22, 2015, at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado. Lohmeier, now a Lt. Col., announced he is leaving the military effective Sept. 1 after being removed from his command post in May for criticising Marxist “diversity, equity, and inclusion training” and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on a podcast. (Image: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Darren Scott/Released)

A 15-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and Space Force is leaving the military for good after being removed from command in May for publishing a book critical of Marxist ideological indoctrination in America’s military and criticizing the Secretary of Defense. 

Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier made the announcement his final day of service would be Sept. 1 in an exclusive interview with Epoch Times’s American Thought Leaders program on Aug. 17. 

In the segment, Lohmeier said he requested an honorable separation from the service in addition to early retirement. Officials denied his petition for early retirement, but granted separation, “And so my family and I have decided that that’s the best course of action for us right now, given the circumstances.”

“I believe I’m able to continue serving my country outside of the service and out of uniform, perhaps in a better way than I was able to, given the circumstances, in uniform at the moment,” he said.

Lt. Col. Lohmeier, a former instructor, fighter pilot, and Commander of the Space Force’s 11th Space Warning Squadron, was relieved of duty in May “due to loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead,” read a statement by Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, Commander of Space Operations Command.

The disciplinary action came after Lohmeier appeared on the Information Operation podcast to promote his book Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military where he also criticized newly appointed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. 

Lohmeier told Epoch Times over the last year he has witnessed what he described as “hyper-politicization of our military forces” through “diversity, equity, and inclusion training.” 

The former commanding officer said he has identified what he regards as the “Marxist revolutionary impulse” in both the vocabulary and narratives deployed in the training.

Despite Marxism having a well-established and unambiguous, extreme-left political root, Lohmeier said the military had enacted a de facto double standard when it came to accepting or criticising the Critical Race Theory canon, “Service members are allowed to advocate for the revolutionary agenda narrative and cause. But to either disagree with talking points or ideas, or to point out the partisanship is to have a finger wagged back at you and to be accused of being politically partisan.”

“Our service members are trained that they’re supposed to be apolitical, and for good reason,” he said. “And yet every aspect of their lives at the moment is becoming politicized. I spoke up and said ‘we need to remove politics from our military environment,’ and I was relieved from my command for being politically partisan.”

Lohmeier asked, “Where does that leave our young service members right now who are supposed to be apolitical but yet want to retain their beliefs, values, and want to speak freely?”

Fork in the road

Stationed in Colorado after transferring to the Space Force in October of 2020, Lohmeier wanted listeners to know he was not a firebrand trying to make internal military affairs public. Instead, “I had attempted before ever writing a book to use my chain of command and the internal mechanisms available to every service member for these kinds of complaints for many months before I ever put pen to paper and began writing Irresistible Revolution.” 

“I had used every member of my chain of command, in fact, to the very top. I had both in person and phone conversations about some of what I was seeing, expressing my concern that it was dividing our force.” 

Notably, Lohmeier said he penned a 7-page formal memo to the Inspector General after Critical Race Theory was being disseminated at his base. 

He said CRT’s theory of class struggle is rooted in Marx and Engels’s Communist Manifesto and was serving as a highly destructive force inside the division he was responsible for as a commanding officer, “Instead of unifying people and helping us solve some of the problems or issues we’re currently facing, it actually plants new ones. And it causes greater division. I’ve seen it as an active duty service member, and I’ve seen it as a commander in our armed forces.”

Key values

Unlike standard military training on issues such as sexual harassment, substance abuse, and suicide, which occurred every few months, Lohmeier said that not only had the so-called “diversity, equity, and inclusion” sessions become frequent, but that, “We were being shown videos that I would call propaganda videos that demonized the Constitution of the United States.”

For Lohmeier, this went against every bit of the principles his career was founded upon when he joined the Air Force Academy in 2006, which he said emphasized a strict honor code of, “We do not lie, steal or cheat, or tolerate among us anyone who does.”

The Lieutenant Colonel said these moral values were what completely shaped both his belief system and tenure, “For the first time in my life, perhaps, I started to take very seriously certain values or principles like not lying or cheating, and from there it kind of evolved into taking my studies more seriously, and not just trying to get by, but actually maybe starting to read and understand history a little bit.” 

“And the more that I learned about history and the more I learned about other countries, the more I learned about the history, about our own country, the more patriotic I became.”

“I simply became a lover of my country,” he said proudly. “And by the time I graduated from the Air Force Academy, I was happy to stay in the service, sign up to commission as an officer, and with each passing year, or certainly decade, I’ve been more and more grateful to serve in uniform to defend our nation, to defend our allies, and the rights of liberal western democracies…who insist upon the worth of the individual and insist that men and women have rights that shouldn’t be violated.”

“We stand for a great thing in uniform and we’re willing to defend the Constitution, which preserves those liberties,” said Lohmeier.

After Lohmeier was relieved from duty, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), the leading Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said based on what he had read in media reports and information provided to his Committee, he was “concerned.”

“Members of our military should not only be able to speak out against Marxism, but they should be encouraged to do so—as long as they follow the rules and laws already in place. Marxism is an ideology that goes against everything this country stands for, and it belongs, as Ronald Reagan said famously, ‘on the ash-heap of history’,” said Inhofe.

  • Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.