Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, which oversees the United States military, said Wednesday that he is greatly concerned by numerous press reports of conservatives being silenced in the military.
“I am greatly concerned by numerous press reports of conservative voices being silenced in the Department of Defense while Departmental leadership defends and protects left-leaning voices,” he said in a statement.
“The United States Armed Forces should be focused on preparing to face and win any battles against the threats posed by China and other foreign adversaries and not imposing political beliefs on those who chose to serve in uniform,” he said.
The statement follows reports that Air Force lieutenant colonel Matthew Lohmeier was fired from his position in the U.S. Space Force after he gave several interviews on his new book where he discussed Marxism and critical race theory spreading within the U.S. military.
In addition, an Army chaplain at Fort Hood is fighting a reprimand he received for criticizing transgender persons wanting to serve in the U.S. military.
Chaplain Maj. Andrew Calvert came under command investigation in January after he commented on a news article about Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s support for President Joe Biden ending a service ban on transgender people, according to Army Times.
Calvert commented on January 28 on Facebook:
How is rejecting reality not evidence that a person is mentally unfit, and thus making that person unqualified to serve. There is little difference in this than over those who believe and argue for a ‘flat earth,’ despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
“The motivation is different,” he added, “but the argument is the same. This person is a MedBoard for Mental Wellness waiting to happen. What a waste of military resources and funding!”
An Army 15-6 investigation concluded that Calvert violated Army policy on discrimination and prohibitions against online misconduct and a Defense Department directive limited political speech by active duty troops.
The April 22 letter of reprimand from his commander, Army Lt. Gen. Robert White, said:
You are hereby reprimanded for violating military equal opportunity policy and violating Department of Defense policy on political activities … . Your actions cast serious doubt upon your character and future as a leader in the Army.
Rep. Rogers said he and his Republican colleagues “hear regularly” from active duty and retired service members about conservatives being punished for voicing their views and vowed to address this in the committee’s yearly defense policy bill that authorizes Pentagon spending and activities.
“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,” he said.
“I believe that this is an issue that must be addressed in this year’s [National Defense Authorization Act] and look forward to working with my Republican colleagues on the committee and any free-speech minded Democrats interested in joining our cause,” he said.