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Austin Orders All National Guard, Reserve to Get Vaccinated or Face Pay Loss

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Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered all members of the National Guard and Ready Reserve to get a COVID-19 vaccination or not get paid.

In a Tuesday memorandum, Austin wrote no payment for duties performed will be made “for members of the National Guard who do not comply with Department of Defense COVID-19 vaccination requirements.”

“No credit or excused absence shall be afforded to members who do not participate in drills, training, or other duty due to failure to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” the Defense Secretary added.

Austin’s memo came after Oklahoma GOP Gov. Kevin Stitt wrote a letter to him in early November requesting the DOD suspend the vaccination requirement for Sooner State’s National Guard.

“This mandate violates the personal freedoms of many Oklahomans, as it asks them to potentially sacrifice their personal beliefs in order to not lose their jobs. All of our national guardsmen take this calling very seriously,” Stitt said.

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“These are patriotic citizens who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect others in our communities during times of greatest need.”

The governor recounted that his state needs the full contingent of its Guardsmen to face potential natural disasters like the ice storms and tornadoes that occurred within the last year.

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“According to Stitt’s office, more than 1,000 Army and Air Force Guard members, or about 13% of the state’s 8,200 troops, have indicated they won’t get the vaccine, according to an internal survey,” The Associated Press reported.

Austin responded to the governor’s letter on Monday, writing, “In making our decision to require vaccination for Service members, we considered the thousands of hospitalizations and the hundreds of deaths, among Service members, civilians, and their families.

“COVID-19 takes our Service members out of the fight, temporarily or permanently, and jeopardizes our ability to meet mission requirements.”

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The secretary further stated total force vaccination is essential to maintaining military readiness.

Austin warned that failure to get vaccinated may “jeopardize the member’s status in the National Guard.”

The AP reported that the Oklahoma Air Guard is expected to reach a 95 percent vaccination rate by this week, according to a military official.

Stitt’s spokeswoman, Carly Atchison, told the news outlet currently about 40 percent of Oklahoma’s Army Guard members are vaccinated.

The Army Guard has until next June to get the shot.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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