STARRS LTG Rod Bishop was quoted in an article in the Daily Caller:
The Army’s latest guidance on COVID-19 states that a provision in Congress’ defense bill overturning the service-wide vaccination mandate does not apply to orders given to the National Guard or Reserves, according to documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The 2023 National Defense Authorization Act ordered the Department of Defense (DOD) to rescind the Aug. 24, 2021 memo ordering full COVID-19 vaccination for military servicemembers, including the Ready Reserve and National Guard. However, an update to the Army’s virus policy, dated Dec. 22, says the provision does not address a second memo from November applying the mandate to the National Guard and Reserves and preventing unvaccinated members mobilized under state, rather than federal, orders from being paid, the documents show.
“The FY 2023 NDAA does not address the Secretary of Defense’s directive regarding COVID-19 vaccination for members of the national guard and ready reserve (Annex AAAA),” according to FRAGO 35, an update to HQDA EXORD 225-21, which describes the Pentagon’s COVID-19 policy, that was obtained by the DCNF.
“Commands will continue to adhere to Annex AAAA and to paragraphs 3.D.21-3.D.23 unless and until Annex AAAA is superseded or rescinded by the Secretary of Defense,” the document stated.
Annex AAAA refers to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s Nov. 30, 2021 memo addressing continued resistance among National Guard troops to comply with the vaccine mandate. . . . .
. . . . . .“I feel fairly certain that most of America, and certainly most of the congressmen I would think that supported that lifting of the mandate, thought it applied to the Guard,” retired Lt. Gen. Rod Bishop, who serves as chairman of Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services and lobbied with Congress to have the mandate repealed, told the DCNF, referring to the Army’s guidance. “This is pretty egregious.” . . . (read the article)
Former Army Intelligence Officer Jeremy Hunt on bringing back soldiers kicked out the military for not taking the vax and combating low recruitment in the military
Op-Ed: The NDAA won’t stop Biden’s back-door military vaccine separations (Pelican Institute for Public Policy on Center Square, 29 DEC 22)
This past week, many rejoiced that a National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) that eliminates the COVID-19 military vaccine mandate was signed into law. That mandate resulted in the separation or threat of separation of thousands of service members who chose not to take the COVID-19 vaccine because of their sincerely-held religious beliefs.
But Army Master Sergeant Rob Galey was not rejoicing. Although the same week that the NDAA was signed we filed a lawsuit on his behalf, he received word from his unit that they were proceeding with a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand (GOMOR) in his record which will trigger separation from service anyways, subverting the intent of Congress in ending the mandate. This action reveals a back door administrative mechanism the Biden Administration can use to separate religious service members going forward and the continued need to fight this overreach in court. . . . (read more)
Leak: Pentagon not planning to reinstate 8,000+ fired troops who refused COVID vax, says report (American Military News, 28 DEC 22)
A Defense Department public affairs guidance document exclusively obtained by investigative reporter Jordan Schachtel shows that while the military Covid-19 vaccine mandate has ended, the Pentagon has no plans to reinstate thousands of service members who were discharged for refusing to take the vaccine. . . . . (read more)
A Texas federal judge has granted relief to 10 military service members after the Army denied their religious accommodations from the COVID-19 shot mandate. The Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit on behalf of six U.S. Army soldiers and four Army West Point cadets who requested an exemption to the Army’s shot mandate due to their religious beliefs but were denied. Meanwhile, the Army continued to grant medical and administrative accommodations to the COVID vaccine mandate. . . . . . (read more)
Unvaxxed Troops Face Recrimination Even Without the Vaccine Mandate (Liberty Nation News, 2 Jan 23)
. . . . No such language addresses non-judicial, administrative punishment for troops having refused the vaccine but who were not immediately discharged. Letters of Reprimand still hang over many. “A Letter of Reprimand (LOR) is an administrative warning, or censure, given to a Soldier [Sailor, Airman, Marine, or Guardian] for failure to comply with established standards or policies. A LOR may be filed either locally or in your permanent personnel file,” reads the US Army definition. The other services’ definitions read similarly. Additionally, a LOR is a statement of “unfavorable information.” Unfavorable information is the kiss of death for any service member wishing to make the military a career.
Since the FY2023 NDAA does not include those military members previously discharged, or with administrative punishment in the works, the Department of Defense may believe the intent of Congress does not apply. Consequently, those already discharged with “General Discharges,” (less than honorable) are also left without recourse in the recent authorization legislation. What does the Pentagon do with these folks? No one should be surprised if the 30 days the secretary of defense has to implement the NDAA language comes and goes with little or no action. . . . (read more)
GOP Reps Rip Army’s ‘Galling’ Decision Not To Repeal Vaccine Mandate For National Guard, Reserves (Daily Caller, 3 JAN 23)
. . . .Republican members of Congress who fought to include the mandate repeal in this year’s defense bill reaffirmed the GOP’s intention to strike down the order for all members of the military in exclusive comments to the DCNF.
“The will and intent of Congress was clear,” Florida Republican Rep. Mike Waltz told the DCNF in an interview. “To try to parse out the National Guard from the rest of the military is galling. It’s offensive.”
“This year’s NDAA was clear: the COVID-19 vaccine mandate must be repealed for all servicemembers — including members of the [r]eserves and National Guard,” Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin told the DCNF. . . . . (read more)