Ousted Space Force officer says he's been 'misportrayed', received 'thousands' of notes from troops
Lohmeier contends he was speaking out against extremist ideologies, based on a reported February memo from Secretary Austin.
A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Space Force who was relieved of his command told Fox News Digital on Monday he is being "misportrayed" online in regards to the comments about Marxism he made on a podcast earlier this month – and that he has received a private outpouring of support from fellow servicemembers.
Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, formerly the commander of the 11th Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora Colo., was ousted from his position last week; a development first reported by Military.com.
Lohmeier told Fox News he still retains his rank but has been reassigned within the Space Force. The controversy came following Lohmeier's appearance on the "Information Operation" podcast, wherein he promoted his new book, "Irresistible Revolution: Marxism's Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military."
Lohmeier said there is an ongoing investigation into whether his remarks or actions have been politically partisan – a claim he fervently denies.
SPACE FORCE OFFICER LOST LEADERSHIP POST AFTER DENOUNCING CRITICAL RACE THEORY, MARXISM
"I don’t believe I was being partisan. It is not politically partisan to expose or attack critical race theory or Marxism," Lohmeier told Fox News Monday.
"The reason I say that is because Critical Race Theory and Marxism are antithetical to American values. Critical race theory fuels narratives that attack America's founding documents."
In that regard, Lohmeier said he is and was not attacking any political party or official.
"I'm being misportrayed online – I don't criticize any leader, or any person in the DoD (Department of Defense) or any elected officials – but I try to tee up ideas that I think are toxic," he said.
In February, Lohmeier said, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III issued guidance to every service member which asked them to "stand up for each other" and that every soldier "has a responsibility to say something when they see impermissible behavior."
"We owe it to the Oath we each took, and to the American people, to stand up against extremist ideologies," Austin said in the memo, according to Lohmeier.
"That’s what I'm trying to do," he told Fox News of his concerns regarding critical race theory and Marxism. "And I'm not trying to be politically partisan."
On Fox News' "Hannity" later Monday, Lohmeier told host Sean Hannity that institutionally, the Pentagon has had a zero-tolerance policy against any type of discrimination; whether it be race, sex, politics or religion.
While in command at Buckley, Lohmeier followed that tenet as a commanding officer.
He said, however, that in his time in leadership, communications sent out to every service member at the base in preparation for what Austin called 'extremism down-days', which – in the colonel's words – alleged that "the country was evil, that it was founded in 1619 rather than 1776, and that White [people] are inherently evil".
"So, I spoke up against those things in [writing] my book," he told Hannity.
Pentagon officials provided Fox News with publicly available training videos that did not mention claims of a 1619 founding or White people being "inherently evil." Lohmeier did not specify which communications included that language. Military officials also said he never received permission from them to publish a book.
Lohmeier's tribulations also reportedly resonated among the rank-and-file, as the colonel explained he has received to date "thousands" of notes from his fellow military members who said they feel they've "lost their voice."
Lohmeier also spoke at length about his book, which he divided into three parts.
The initial chapters defend what he calls "the greatness of the American ideal."
That is something "every American and every service member should appreciate," he told Fox News.
"Part two is a discussion about the origins of Marxist ideology – and I trace through a lineage of ideas through the last century to the present day, and show that Marxism has taken on many forms – and has many masks or faces," he said. "So I discuss those various movements or various groups who espouse Marxist-rooted narratives for what they are."
The final part of the book contrasts what is laid out in the first two sections, and makes the case why critical race theory is at odds with the collective American ideal. Lohmeier also writes about how "Marxist-rooted" claims about America are actually impacting the U.S. military culture.
"Most people – including senior leaders – who are pushing these ideas are pushing them without any understanding of Marxism," he warned.
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Lohmeier spoke to Fox News in his personal capacity, and his views do not reflect the official policy of the Department of Defense.
Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.