Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chair Gen. John Hyten said Monday that military leaders work hard to stay out of politics, despite some critics charging that the Pentagon has tilted left under the new administration.

“I can guarantee you that we believe in an apolitical military,” Hyten said at a Brookings Institution event. “We believe that as one of the strongest elements of our country. And we want to do everything humanly possible to stay apolitical as we go through this. We’re living in a difficult time right now.”

But Hyten also said he feels the country can re-unite.

“I love the state of Alabama. I’m proud to be from there,” he said. “But in the 60s, oh, my gosh, the things I saw, the things I experienced – how would this country ever come together in the face of that? And we did. And I fundamentally believe that we’re going to do it again. And part of the thing that will enable that is an apolitical military.”

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