In his year overseeing personnel policy at the Pentagon, Brad Carson helped open all combat jobs to women, expanded maternity leave to 12 weeks and pushed to open the door for transgender troops — and he had grander ambitions to make the military’s culture more “compatible with the ambitions of the millennial generation.”

But the former Democratic congressman and Iraq War veteran ran into a buzz saw of opposition, both inside the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill. He stepped down this month as the Pentagon’s acting personnel chief following a combative confirmation hearing, in which Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe — a former Oklahoma political rival — stunned him with anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations that he fostered a “hostile work environment.”

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