In August, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued a memorandum mandating that military personnel take the Wuhan vaccine…and their chances with blood clots and myocarditis…or be dismissed from the Armed Forces.
That demand is being resisted in some quarters; for instance, ‘hundreds' of Navy SEALs are reported to have refused. There are only 2400 SEALs, and such a number of refusals means that Naval Special Warfare capabilities will be severely constrained for a decade before these losses to a mindlessly stupid policy can be made whole. The policy also hit the National Guard. What makes the Guard different is that recruiting and retention is already difficult, and the troops know it, giving them some bargaining power. No one will take much of a financial hit by being discharged, and the policy's existence will deter others from joining. The fact that some commanders in the Guard are known to have been employed or supervised by one of their troops when at their day job also makes for some interesting command relationships. What also makes the Guard different is that it is governed by Title 32 US Code, titled “National Guard,” not by Title 10, US Code, titled “Armed Forces.” The practical impact of this is that the National Guard is under the command of the Guard as exercised through the State Adjutant General except when called into federal service.
The first cracks in the Defense vaccine mandate have now appeared in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and Attorney General John O'Connor have been at the forefront of combatting Biden's illegal and immoral vaccine mandate. Shortly after Biden announced that his henchmen at OSHA were going to issue a regulation, they urged businesses in the state to disregard it. This is from October 14.
I've heard from many Oklahomans who have concerns about President Biden's vaccine mandate for businesses.
I want to address those directly.
This action is not just federal overreach. It's unconstitutional.
I've talked about this with our Attorney General, John O'Connor., and I know he's on our side. He's ready to take President Biden to court the second the rules are made public.
President Biden's administration has no respect for individual freedoms. I cannot believe we have a president who wants to force Americans to choose between a vaccine and their job.
The people this is affecting aren't just statistics, they're real Oklahomans with real concerns. They're brave nurses and caretakers. They're expecting mothers and fathers. They're first responders and brave law enforcement.
Getting the vaccine is a personal choice. Period.
Listen, I got the vaccine after talking with my doctor – because that was best for me. Many are choosing to do the same. In fact, over 71% of Oklahomans 18+ have chosen to get the vaccine. And among our most vulnerable population, Oklahomans 65 and older, 93% have made the decision to receive the vaccine.
We know the COVID vaccine is our best defense against severe illness.
But static, one-size-fits all mandates simply do not fit the reality we are in today.
In Oklahoma cases and hospitalizations are down nearly 50%.
As this virus evolves, so does the science and the treatments available, including natural immunity.
That is one reason why, as I have stated before: I don't believe it's the government's job to dictate policies to private companies.
Just as I believe Joe Biden can't tell businesses they have to mandate a vaccine -I don't believe the government should tell a company they can't. Businesses should have the freedom to make decisions based on their circumstances. When the government starts to pick winners and losers, we're headed down a slippery slope. I've heard from thousands of employees across the state who feel they've been dealt an unfair hand. I've heard from pregnant, soon-to-be mothers who are faced with an impossible choice: Get the vaccine or lose your job.
I ran a business before I became Governor. And I can't understand putting my employees – my friends – in that position. Companies should allow exemptions for religious, medical, or personal reasons.
Let's put Oklahoma common sense before DC politics.
We live in the greatest country in the world where our Constitution protects individual freedoms.
And as your Governor I will always stand up for your Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness.
God bless you.
And God bless the great state of Oklahoma.
Apparently, Stitt and the Oklahoma Adjutant General, Major General Michael Thompson, had come to a parting of ways over this policy. On October 21, Stitt directed Thompson to retire with an effective date of January 15, 2022. But Thompson, following the example of such notables as General Mark “White Rage” Milley, decided that his ego demanded that he publicly stick a finger in his boss's eye. So on October 27, he issued a memo telling all members of the Oklahoma Guard to get the vaccine or face the consequences.
“These consequences will vary depending on the individual's status,” said the old policy, issued Oct. 27 by Thompson. “Consequences may include but are not limited to: an inability to mobilize, promote, or receive training at, or access to, federal military installations.”
On November 4, Governor Stitt appealed to Austin for an exception to the policy for Oklahoma National Guard units.
“It is irresponsible for the federal government to place mandatory vaccine obligations on Oklahoma national guardsmen which could potentially limit the number of individuals that I can call upon to assist the state during an emergency,” Stitt wrote in a Tuesday letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Stitt said he estimated that 10% of the guard “have not and do not plan on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Austin did not bother to reply. He probably thought it beneath his dignity to even acknowledge the existence of some racist anti-vaxxer RedState yokel out on the edge of nowhere.
The Oklahoma Adjutant General's office, with or without the permission of Thompson, put out the word that they did not support the governor and, in fact, they liked the vaccination policy as it was.
A military official with knowledge of the situation who requested anonymity because they were unauthorized to speak publicly told Public Radio Tulsa the state guard had not asked for the letter and the governor had acted on his own. The official said they had received “hundreds” of mandatory vaccines over the course of their military career without the opportunity to opt out of any of them without facing discharge.
That went over with Stitt like a fart in church.
On Wednesday, Governor Stitt called Thompson to thank him for his service and inform him that his service was no longer needed. Thompson said he found out he was fired from the governor but didn't learn the name of his replacement until it appeared on social media. Brutal.
The new commander of the Oklahoma National Guard has declared the organization will not enforce the Defense Department's COVID-19 vaccine mandate on its troops, according to local media outlets.
Army Brig. Gen. Thomas Mancino was announced as the state's new adjutant general Wednesday, though he has not yet been confirmed by the state Senate, according to a press release from Gov. Kevin Stitt's office.
The day after taking the reins from Thompson, Mancino issued a policy memo declaring that the state would not enforce the mandate on its troops when they are under state control. The move is an apparent rejection of DoD's orders to discipline and ultimately discharge servicemembers who reject the vaccine.
📝READ: One of first actions taken by new Oklahoma National Guard Adjutant Gen. Thomas Mancino: rescind the #COVID19 vaccine requirement for Guardsmen.
— Dan Snyder (@DanSnyderFOX25) November 12, 2021
The memo is entirely in keeping with the role of the National Guard as it has been understood from its founding until, arguably, the Iraq War. The state governor commands the state National Guard and only relinquishes that command when they are called into federal service. I suppose Biden could press the issue by federalizing the Oklahoma Guard for as long as it would take them to purge the unvaccinated, but I'm not sure what real purpose it would serve. Then, again, I was never quite sure what purpose was served by leaving several hundred US nationals behind in Afghanistan, yet here we are.
It would be great if Greg Abbott or Ron DeSantis or some other solidly conservative governors jumped on this bandwagon as well and started a groundswell of massive resistance to the tyranny Biden is imposing under the guise of public health.
I'd be happier if the fourth frame involved a head on a pike.
— streiff (@streiffredstate) November 11, 2021