- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The Pentagon needs to concentrate on preparing to fight wars rather than imposing political beliefs on the troops, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee said.

Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama said he was concerned about reports of conservative voices within the Department of Defense being silenced while Pentagon leadership protects those with liberal leanings.

“My Republican colleagues and I hear regularly from active-duty and retired service members that even holding conservative values is now enough to endanger a servicemember’s military career,” Mr. Rogers said.

Space Force Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier was sacked last week by Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command, after making comments on a podcast critical of the Pentagon’s push for diversity and inclusion which he said was rooted in neo-Marxism and theories that put racial tensions at the center of American history.

Lt. Col. Lohmeier had been commander of the 11th Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. at the time of his firing. Lt. Gen. Whiting also ordered an investigation into whether his comments constituted prohibited partisan political activity.

Rep. Rogers said the issue needs to be addressed in this year’s defense authorization bill.

I “look forward to working with my Republican colleagues on the committee and any free-speech minded Democrats interested in joining our cause,” he said.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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