‘I’m willing to die on this hill’: Former Space Force commander felt ‘betrayed’ after he was fired for DEI criticism

A former member of the U.S. Space Force feels “betrayed” by the military he served after being fired for reportedly speaking out against DEI policies.

Former Lieutenant Colonel Matt Lohmeier told Fox News Digital it felt like a “gut punch” when he lost his pension after serving for more than a decade in the military. The former space commander who specialized in missile warning systems was fired in May 2021, after joining the Space Force in 2020.

The blow was severe,” he said. “It makes you feel like you’ve been betrayed.”

(Video Credit: Fox News Digital)

His critical views on the diversity, equity, and inclusion policies in the military stemmed from his belief that “the DEI industry… is steeped in Critical Race Theory, is rooted in anti-American, Marxist ideology.”

“You give your life and service to your country and the American people, and you’re not doing it for the pay. You’re doing it because you become [convinced] of the greatness of the American ideal. And… senior leaders [then] say, ‘We want you out of the way because your view is not welcome here,’ even as they pretend to care about inclusivity, even as they pretend to care about diversity, [but] not diversity of thought,” Lohmeier told Fox News Digital.

He believed he was addressing anti-American sentiments and not being political when he spoke out, thus did not think he was violating policy.

“There was a whole string of events that did lead up to my being relieved of command,” he said. “The ultimate reason was because I was willing to be publicly critical of critical race theory, which I understood to be rooted in Marxist ideology… that I saw dividing the troops.”

“I wasn’t advocating for Republicans over Democrats, and I’m conservative myself. But it didn’t matter to me. And it’s never mattered to our troops what someone else’s politics were,” the ex-commander added. “This is not a partisan issue.”

According to Fox News:

A new study commissioned by the Arizona State University Center for American Institutions revealed that the Pentagon’s DEI programs encourage reporting private conversations on dissenting views of DEI and has been steadily increasing its resources. DEI engines in the military cost taxpayers $68 million in 2022, $86.5 million in 2023, with a proposed $114.7 million for 2024, according to the ASU report.

The report, compiled by military experts, recommends abolishing the left-wing DEI agenda and replacing it with merit-based selections and American values curricula at the academies.

Lohmeier is now taking aim at what he calls the “Marxist” military complex from outside the confines of the U.S. military.

“We need to eliminate diversity, equity, and inclusion training from the military, from the service academies, and strip all vestiges of Critical Race Theory out of the military workplace,” Lohmeier said.

“So I’m willing to die on this hill and speak up about this and say this is an extremely dangerous territory that we’ve entered,” he said, noting that he “weighed the cost” of doing that but was “surprised” by the “swift” response of senior leadership in stripping him of his command and firing him.

Frieda Powers


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