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Relieved of command after he spoke out against DEI initiatives

By Harold Hutchison

Cadets toss their hats in the air as the Thunderbirds fly over Falcon Stadium at the U.S. Air Force Academy Commencement ceremony, Thursday, June 1, 2023, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith)  A former United States Space Force officer said Saturday morning that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is enforced by a “separate chain of command” at the Air Force Academy.

Former Space Force Lieutenant Colonel Matt Lohmeier, who was relieved of command after he spoke out against DEI initiatives in the military in 2021 and says he lost his pension, told guest host Joey Jones on “Fox and Friends Saturday” that the academy “has diversity and inclusion cadet officers” who “report to a separate chain of command.” Jones had referred to an Arizona State University study that found service academies encourage reporting “private conversations that challenge DEI precepts,” asking Lohmeier if he had similar experiences.

“In fact, come to think of it, I did experience that. A fellow commander informed me that they’re aware of my kind of politics and that they’d be happy to turn me into the base commander if I continued to privately criticize our diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives,” he said. “But this problem has grown far beyond what I experienced, personally and professionally in the military workplace.”

“My own alma mater, the U.S. Air Force Academy, has diversity and inclusion cadet officers who wear a special insignia within their cadet squadrons, they wear purple braided rope over the shoulders and they report to a separate chain of command other than their military chain of command, relating to diversity and inclusion issues,” he continued. “It reminds one of Soviet political commissars that have been established both in the Soviet Union and in other Marxist revolutionary efforts throughout the last century.”

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Lohmeier called DEI a “very dangerous, very divisive ideology” that is treated “like it is a protected religious worldview” that “others ought to step in line with and support in their words and actions, otherwise face consequences.”

The former commander spoke earlier in the segment about allegedly being fired over his concerns.

“Unfortunately for the American people and for all of the men and women in uniform, it’s been considered for a number of years now to be politically partisan to speak up against diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives,” Lohmeier told Jones. “And of course, anyone who looks into this matter knows it shouldn’t necessarily be considered a partisan issue. I wasn’t interested in being politically partisan while I wore the uniform of the country and was in command of a space force unit, but of course, senior military leaders, especially under the current administration, decided that because of the climate of fear that we had created for ourselves they ought to treat my criticism of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives as partisan and, quote unquote, hold me accountable for speaking out against it.”

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