Defense Minister says: National Guard is not exempt from vaccination duty

Lloyd J. Austin IIIThe Secretary of Defense, having written a letter to seven Republican governors, denied their request for an exemption from the coronavirus vaccination duties for the National Guard troops of their states.

The refusal — sent to the governors of Alaska, Oklahoma, Texas, Idaho, Mississippi, Nebraska and Wyoming, who sought to allow their protective troops to refuse the vaccine with no consequences — generates money subject to a potential legal battle.

“In making the decision to require vaccination against Covid-19 for service members,” Austin wrote: “I considered thousands of service members hospitalizations and hundreds of deaths. , civilians and their families are related to Covid-19. Covid-19 takes our service members out of action, temporarily or permanently, and jeopardizes our ability to meet mission requirements. ”

“A member’s failure to do so will result in being barred from participating in exercises, training, and other duties conducted pursuant to Title 32 and will jeopardize the member’s status in the National Guard. National Guard,” Austin added.

Federal officials have long said that governors do not have the legal status to allow Guard members to refuse to comply with the military’s vaccine regulation. However, state officials and some legal experts believe that unless National Guard members are deployed federally, they will fall under the jurisdiction of their state’s governor and therefore not comply with federal mandates. It will be up to the governors to see how far they want to push this dispute.

About 97 percent of the 1.3 million active-duty members of the U.S. military have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, but the rate is much lower for the Guards and Reserves, who who still has the compliance period before the deadline later this year. The deadline for active duty forces passed late last year, with fewer than 100 members of the military being separated for non-compliance. For example, not a single soldier in the Army refused to shoot.

The number of exemptions from quests is small and usually temporary. Two members of the US Marine Corps were recently given religious exemption from the Pentagon’s vaccination duty, the first of their kind since the mission was announced this summer. last year. Defense Minister says: National Guard is not exempt from vaccination duty

Fry Electronics Team

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