Testimony by Lt Col Matthew Lohmeier

Testimony from member of the Military Readiness and Merit Coalition, former Space Force Lt. Colonel Matthew Lohmeier (USAFA ’06). He had made flight and hotel reservations to travel from a Western state to attend the May 2024 DACODAI meeting in Arlington, VA until DACODAI canceled the public from attending in-person. Watch:


General, thanks for the introduction and Frank for hosting this important forum. I thought I’d share just a couple of stories.

I spent over 15 years on active duty and loved my time in uniform. One of the reasons that our service members love serving in uniform is both the ideas and ideals that shaped our country, which they grow to love and believe in and are willing to put their neck on the line to support defend, which is our Constitution, but also because of the men and women they serve with in uniform.

There’s a unity that knits together the hearts of those that serve in uniform. It doesn’t matter their race or their economic background, or perhaps, whether their families had served in generations past or not, or whether they’re the first generation.

That unity, which has been the strength and enjoyment of the United States military, is being eroded rapidly because of diversity and inclusion initiatives.

I was glad to see, by the way, the number of participants currently joining the show which hasn’t been capped at 100 online. Participants like the Defense Department’s current morning meetings has been.

There was a group of us who were supposed to be attending in person, the Defense Advisory Committee on DEI meeting this morning in Washington, DC, that was turned off last minute.

They didn’t want in-person attendance, and I think, frankly, they are interested in censoring the views of those who don’t agree with them.

That’s the second time in one week where I’ve been uninvited to an event that I had previously been invited to because of what I consider to be viewpoint discrimination.

One was at the University of San Diego earlier this week where a group of bullies turned off an event. We’ve seen what’s happening at university campuses around the country, and the other was at the Defense Department.

I’m reflecting on and have often since January, something that was said to me in a congressional hearing earlier this year. In January, the House Oversight Committee had invited me to testify in one of its subcommittees about the influence of woke ideology on our military.

I showed up with a few others and testified on a panel. One of the things that I said in my opening statement in that hearing was that there’s a culture war underway, that it has Marxist roots and that it was destroying the fabric of the United States military.

There was disagreement with that view from certain members of the subcommittee, specifically, it was very partisan room. Of course, the Democrats in the room disagreed with that. But the minority member in the room who sat next to Chairman Grothman up there chairing the committee is Robert Garcia from California.

Robert Garcia told me that it was nonsense. He said it in the hearing, that there was not any such thing as a culture war underway.

The point I want to make about it was that at the very end of that 2 hours when the ranking member, Glenn Grothman, had an opportunity to make his closing remarks, and then the minority leader, Robert Garcia, made his closing remarks.

Rep. Garcia made it a point to inform me in front of the group assembled that I was fighting a vain cause and that we, meaning conservatives, had already lost the war.

So on the one hand, you’ve got members of Congress who assert that there is no culture war and that to assert there’s a Marxist culture war is just a talking point of the alt right, is what Rip Garcia said, which is totally false.

Then at the end to assert that the conservatives have already lost the war, as if he was proud to announce that they’re making great progress legislatively and otherwise in accordance with certain very specific ideological aims.

Censorship that we’re experiencing at the moment is, and I’m going to close with this point here and allow for perhaps a brief moment for a question before moving on to the other panelists.

But as I take years now to reflect on the danger of the censorship that is incident to, or I should say maybe coincident with the diversity and inclusion initiatives of the United States military,

I think it is a harbinger of the military’s failure, it’s a harbinger of societal failure when you’re censoring one point of view and unwilling to hear it and are trying to shut it down.

It’s particularly problematic because it impoverishes the intellect of a society by not allowing all of the material, substantive voices and knowledge to be brought to bear in the decision-making process.

We’ve seen for a couple of years now, several years, our Defense Department struggling and making foolish decisions because they’re only allowing for and entertaining a particular worldview and viewpoint which is rooted in Marxist ideology, whether they do so wittingly or not.

That’s, of course, open for debate for many of them. But for some of them, they’re true believers in a very particular political agenda.

I’m very concerned about it. I’m constantly trying to warn the American people and our service members who are, they’re now, of course, waking up to this, that this is the undoing of the United States military unless we reverse course rapidly.

That’s what people like this on this call and on this panel are trying to do in their various organizations, and of course, all in conjunction with STARRS as well.

We have to reverse course, which is a form of repentance.

We have to turn back to the ideas and ideals that shape this country.

And in the military, that specifically means valuing merit and merit based readiness.

Thanks, Frank. Over to you and General Bishop.


Matthew Lohmeier Congressional Testimony Statement

Former Space Force Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier gave this statement at the “The Risks of Progressive Ideologies in the U.S. Military” hearing for the Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs on 11 January 2024:

Good morning. My name is Matt Lohmeier and I’m an Air Force Academy graduate, former F-15C fighter pilot, and was a Lieutenant Colonel and commander in the Space Force.

In 2021, I was fired from my command in the Space Force for trying to reverse the trend of the overt politicization of the Uniformed Services.

Specifically, I criticized the military’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) trainings, which, at my own base, were illegally occurring despite an executive order from the commander-in-chief.

I watched these trainings divide our troops ideologically and, in some cases, sow the seeds of animosity towards the very country they had sworn an oath to defend.

I submitted a formal written complaint to the Space Force Inspector General (see Exhibit 5) detailing that such violations were occurring, including illegal race-based discrimination, but my complaint was never investigated and was later dismissed by then-Lt Gen Stephen Whiting, whom the Senate just confirmed for his fourth star.

After two months, I received a written dismissal of my complaint from General Whiting (see Exhibit 6).

After my complaint was dismissed, I wrote a book explaining that the DEI industry, which is steeped in critical race theory, is rooted in anti-American, Marxist ideology, and demonstrated its divisive impact on our troops.

I explained that DEI initiatives and trainings were dividing our armed forces precisely because CRT was created by those who harbored the intention to undermine and destroy the fabric of American society.

I warned that our recruitment and retention would plummet if we continued to foist such a divisive ideology on the men and women in uniform.

Personally, I have always advocated for a non-political military work environment.

Today, I’m here to testify about the ongoing Marxist-inspired efforts to subvert and weaken our military and broader American society.

We often refer to these efforts as wokeism; it is a culture war. Yet, even in this committee, there are differing views about whether there is such a thing as a “culture war” under way.

Some members of this committee have been outspoken critics of DEI initiatives, CRT, drag shows on military bases, and LGBTQ pride celebrations and woke military recruiting videos—all things that are components of an ongoing culture war.

Ranking member Garcia, on the other hand, asserted as recently as two weeks ago in a tweet that the culture wars are “phony” and are merely a political talking point of Republicans (see tweet from December 31, 2023).

But I assure you that Congressman Garcia’s view is NOT the view of many men and women in uniform who labor under the constant burden of race identity politics in the military workplace, and what appears to them to be the destruction of the merit- based system, whether deliberate or incidental.

It’s nothing if not incredible for a member of this committee to assert the culture wars are “phony” while another member of this committee is a member of the so-called progressive ‘Squad,’ was herself a Black Lives Matter organizer and activist (an organization whose publicly avowed ideology is Marxist), and whose ambition for a seat in Congress was, in her own words, “to accomplish a mission”—no doubt a social and cultural mission, as she says she “doesn’t need to take off her activist hat to legislate in Congress.” She claims her activism has been her “guiding force.”

Servicemembers who wear the uniform of their country do not want to see these things in the military workplace or at their bases. In most cases, this is true regardless of their race or political worldview. Despite that reality.

Pentagon officials requested $140 million to expand woke Diversity initiatives in FY2024, up from $68 million and $86.5 million in 2022 and 2023, respectively, and all but three members of this subcommittee voted in favor of it.

There are few things taxpayers such as myself feel is less essential to the mission of our military than expanding Diversity mandates and indoctrination.

Such aggressively opposed ideological worldviews competing for institutionalization through policy epitomizes and formalizes what is properly termed a culture war.

It is an American-Maoist culture war.

The fact that these debates now infect the US military workplace is an offense to people like me who love their country and all people—regardless of race, gender, or background.

I’d like to briefly draw attention to two of a handful of exhibits I have submitted for the committee’s review and for entry into the official record of today’s hearing.

THE FIRST of the exhibits is a 100-page document (see Exhibit 1) which includes real-world unsolicited feedback from military servicemembers, veterans, and parents about the consequences of this administration’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.

It is, I imagine, merely a small part of the overall discontent and disappointment experienced by those who presently serve.

I submit it for the record because to spend even a few minutes with the document is to get a sense for the ways in which the innocuously labeled “DEI trainings” are hurting morale, dividing and distracting troops, disincentivizing Americans from service, and thereby destroying our recruiting and retention efforts.

Further, it is destroying the image of the United States military, which is a critical component of the proper communication of national strength to both allies and enemies alike. We now appear weaker because we are weaker (see Exhibit 7).

THE SECOND exhibit I’d like to mention is a letter signed by 185 retired General and Flag Officers (see Exhibit 2) that is dated May 20, 2023, and was previously sent to then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, as well as other House leaders. I have confirmed that those to whom the letter was addressed received it.

For the same reasons as those I’ve previously stated, the letter “requested that Congress, pursuant to its Constitutional powers .. . take legislative action to remove all diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs from the Department of Defense (DoD).”

It also requested that Congress “ensure that no DEI related policies, programs, and funding are included in the 2024 NDAA.”

These leaders warned:

“As our Nation faces looming threats from ‘foreign’ adversaries/enemies, our military is under assault from a culture war stemming from ‘domestic’ ideologically inspired political policies and practices. IF NOT STOPPED NOW, they will forever change the military’s warrior ethos essential to performing its mission.”

Despite their request and warning, and despite some genuine efforts of some members of the House, the Congress ultimately DID NOT use the power of the purse to put an end to DEI policies, programs, and funding in the recently approved NDAA.

The men and women who sent that letter raised the warning voice and tried their best to respectfully influence our Nation’s lawmakers.

Both of these exhibits I have mentioned are publicly available at the STARRS.US website.

I said in my book that if we did not abandon the diversity and inclusion trainings, then we would see unprecedented “recruitment and retention woes.”

That has been true and we have seen as a Nation that it is not getting any better.

I also said that unless we abandon our present hate-filled and divisive path, and repent as a nation, we will destroy ourselves.

I reaffirm that view here today, and I’m grateful to answer any questions the committee may have for me.

1. “What Military Service Members, Veterans and Parents Are Saying: Evidence that the CRT/DEI/Woke agenda being pushed in the military is harming morale, recruitment and retention” (100 pages)
2. Flag Officers 4 America Letter, dated May 20, 2023
3. Lt Col Lohmeier_Summary of Military Record (ranked #1/753 Space Force officers at time of promotion to Lt Col)
4. Lohmeier_Civilian CV
5. Lt Col Lohmeier_Space Force IG Complaint Citing Marxist Teachings
6. Lt Gen Stephen Whiting’s Dismissal of the IG Complaint
7. Heritage Foundation’s 2023 Index of US Military Strength Report

Full Statement with Exhibits (pdf)


Watch his statement (starts at 35:48 mark):