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EXCLUSIVE: Republican Rep. Jody Hice Demands Answers From Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin Over Removal of Space Force Officer

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Washington, DC, May 24, 2021 | comments

The Daily Caller

By Henry Rodgers

May 24, 2021

Republican Georgia Rep. Jody Hice sent a letter Monday to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin calling for answers over the removal of Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, the Space Force commanding officer who was relieved from duty over his criticisms of Marxism and critical race theory in the U.S. military.

In a letter first obtained by the Daily Caller, Hice said he believes Lohmeier did nothing wrong and called for a staff-level briefing and requested a number of related documents. Lohemier was relieved from command of the 11th Space Warning Squadron in early May after he expressed his concern that Marxist ideologies are becoming prevalent in the U.S. military while on a podcast to promote a book he published.

“I write today to express my concern with a recent decision to relieve Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier of command, apparently for expressing concern with mandated diversity, equity and inclusion training in the U.S. Armed Forces which promotes Critical Race Theory. The decision to relieve him of his command and announcement that he is under investigation appears to be a politically motivated attempt to silence servicemembers’ disagreement with Critical Race Theory and its impact on unit cohesion and military readiness,” Hice wrote in the letter.

“Recently, I introduced legislation, the Contents of Our Character Act, to prohibit employee training programs that promote race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating within Federal agencies. The proliferation of Critical Race Theory, a radical theory rooted in Marxism which divides and then treats people differently based on their skin color, necessitated this legislation. The actions taken against Lt. Col. Lohmeier further illustrate the need for such a measure. On May 14, 2021, Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier was relieved of his command of the 11th Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado,” he continued.

Critical race theory holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.

“I am concerned that the military has characterized this servicemember’s public comments as potentially violating laws prohibiting partisan political activities in the course of his official duties. And particularly in this case, the servicemember did not advocate for or criticize any candidate for partisan political office or political party during his comments in a recent podcast interview. In fact, after reviewing his comments, it is not clear why Lt. Col. Lohmeier was relieved of his command or is being investigated at all,” Hice added.

Hice then called for a staff-level briefing by no later than June 1, on this action, and requested these documents:

  • “All documents and communications identifying the exact remarks made by Lt. Col. Lohmeier which led to the dismissal from his position as commander of the 11th Space Warning Squadron;
  • All documents and communications identifying the exact remarks made by Lt. Col. Lohmeier which would justify initiating an investigation into whether he engaged in prohibited partisan political activity, as well as the provision(s) of law or policy he is alleged to have potentially violated;
  • All documents and communications indicating the exact provision(s) of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, Air Force regulations, or other laws or policies which Lt. Col. Lohmeier is accused of having violated by expressing his opinion in opposition to Critical Race Theory;
  • All documents and communications between Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting and any other person regarding the decision of whether to relieve Lt. Col. Lohmeier of his command and/or regarding the decision of whether to initiate an investigation into Lt. Col. Lohmeier;
  • All documents and communications regarding servicemembers who have expressed an objection to training based on Critical Race Theory, as well as any documents and communications demonstrating that disciplinary action or an investigation was initiated against those servicemembers;
  • All documents and communications indicating whether the Department of Defense permits servicemembers to hold and express personal opinions in opposition to the use of Critical Race Theory.”

“America’s servicemembers routinely fight on the front lines and risk their lives to protect our freedom. The Biden administration’s aggressive implementation of ‘woke-ism’ and ‘cancel culture’ at the Department of Defense strips servicemembers of their freedom. It’s appalling that Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeir was removed from his post and publicly humiliated for expressing his well-reasoned and legitimate concerns that Critical Race Theory would harm our military’s readiness and unit cohesion,” Hice told the Daily Caller.

“Critical race theory is a fundamentally toxic ideology with roots in Marxism, and the Biden administration’s efforts to contaminate every corner of the federal government with this Leftist worldview will only sow division and create discord. How can we trust the Secretary of Defense with our freedom if he’s so willing to treat our military as though it was a liberal college campus?” Hice added. 

A group of House Republicans sent a letter Wednesday to the Pentagon urging them to reinstate Lohmeier.

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