Published on: August 22nd, 2022

Hillsdale College in D.C. Hosts Thomas Spoehr for Lecture on Wokeness in the Military

HILLSDALE, Mich. — National defense expert Thomas Spoehr delivered a lecture titled “The Rise of Wokeness and Decline of Readiness in the Military” at Hillsdale College’s campus in Washington, D.C., on July 20. The event was a part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series. Faculty and media attended the speech and the reception that followed.

“We were honored to host Thomas Spoehr,” said Matthew Spalding, vice president for Washington Operations. “He clearly explained how the cultural dangers we face at home impact our nation’s safety abroad.”

During his talk, Spoehr argued the greatest threat facing the U.S. military is not a rising generation of unpatriotic, undisciplined citizens but the infiltration of wokeness into military instruction.

“Wokeness in the military is being imposed by elected and appointed leaders in the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon who have little understanding of the purpose, character, traditions, and requirements of the institution they are trying to change,” said Spoehr, a published expert on national defense policy.

Spoehr also suggested the timing of decreased military readiness is particularly unfortunate. “These costs come at a time when the current administration is not even proposing to fund the Department of Defense to keep up with the rate of inflation—and a time when serious threats from China and other adversaries have never been greater.”

Thomas Spoehr served in the United States Army for 36 years, attaining the rank of lieutenant general. His work has been published in civilian and military media outlets. He has also provided testimony on defense strategy before the United States Congress. Later in his career, upon working in leadership positions at the Pentagon, Spoehr developed a passion for military economics and sought to develop equipment modernization strategies to increase efficiency. Spoehr now lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife Cynthia, and serves as the director of the Center for National Defense at the Heritage Foundation.

For photos from the event, click here.

Spoehr’s remarks were adapted and featured in Hillsdale College’s monthly speech digest, Imprimis. To read them, click here.

For a high-resolution copy of the Hillsdale College clocktower logo, click here.

About Hillsdale in D.C.

Hillsdale in D.C. is an extension of the teaching mission of Hillsdale College to Washington, D.C. Its purpose is to teach the Constitution and the principles that give it meaning. Through the study of original source documents from American history—and of older books that formed the education of America’s founders—it seeks to inspire students, teachers, citizens, and policymakers to return the America’s principles to their central place in the political life of the nation.

About Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College is an independent liberal arts college located in southern Michigan. Founded in 1844, the College has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 5.7 million. For more information, visit