There have been a number of heroic officers and NCOs who have publicly spoken out and put their careers on the line in the face of the COVID vaccine mandate, however. Bradley Miller, a former Army Lieutenant Colonel, is one of those individuals.
Miller took command of a battalion in the 101st Airborne Division in June of 2021. Prior to taking command, Miller graduated the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), a highly selective graduate-level education program taught at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. Miller was in the program when the COVID vaccine was brand new and had just been approved as an Emergency Use Authorized (EUA) vaccine for the general public.
He had no intention of taking the vaccine, which at the time was voluntary for servicemembers in accordance with the law, and he made this fact known to his Brigade Commander as he entered into his new job. His commander was respectful and told him it was voluntary, so he wouldn’t press the issue.
However, it’s important to note that the military has a culture of being a team player, and this ESPECIALLY applies to officers. Miller knew that not getting the shot was a likely death knell for his career since it was just a matter of time before it became mandatory and he was ordered to take it.
Miller was a hard refusal; this means that when the vaccine became mandatory, he didn’t seek an exception to the policy through administrative means. While tens of thousands of servicemembers have sought exceptions for medical or religious reasons, with many seeking Religious Accommodations (and receiving rubber stamped denials), Miller purposefully chose not to seek an exception to the policy because he felt like it was wrong to have an individual exemption while the hundreds of soldiers in his command did not. . . . .(Read the rest of the article)