In a stark change from military official and Pentagon stances given over the past few months, all military members will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine currently being distributed under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stated that the deadline will be Sept. 15, 2021 but that date may be moved forward if the FDA officially licenses the vaccine prior to the deadline.1
Associated Press reports that FDA approval for the Pfizer vaccine may be granted in early September. Refusal of the vaccine by military members could constitute failure to obey an order and may result in disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.2
Air Force Times reported that, as recently as July, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby was “adamant” that the vaccines would remain voluntary, at least until the products were no longer under Emergency Use Authorization. If no approval is reached by Sept. 15, Secretary Austin will need a waiver from President Joe Biden, who is supportive of mandating the still experimental biological product for military members.3 4
U.S. Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) of the House Armed Services Committee said:
Some may try and criticize the Secretary’s decision, using anti-vax arguments that are not supported by facts or science to politicize the conversation. These desperate attention seekers must be ignored.1
Federal Judge Ruled Against Unapproved Vaccines for Military Members in 2003
Both criticism and skepticism surrounding the vaccines is prevalent worldwide, but additional distrust amongst service members may stem from familiarity with the anthrax vaccine, which was originally licensed by the FDA in 1970 for protection from anthrax acquired through the skin but had never been licensed for use against weaponized inhalation anthrax when it was administered to selected US military personnel during the Gulf War in the 1990s. After Sept. 11, 2001, the anthrax vaccine was mandated for all active military personnel in response to controversial reports that other countries hostile to the U.S. had developed “biological weapons of mass destruction” that included weaponized anthrax.5
Following disabling anthrax vaccine adverse reactions among U.S. pilots, soldiers and other service members, some began refusing the vaccine altogether and either left the service or were “other-than-honorably” discharged. In 2003 in response to a lawsuit brought by anthrax vaccine injured pilots, a federal judge in Washington, DC issued an injunction requiring the Department of Defense (DOD) to allow members of the U.S. military to exercise voluntary, informed consent to use of anthrax vaccine, ruling that the DOD could not legally administer a vaccine unless it was fully licensed.6 This action halted the DOD’s anthrax vaccine program until the FDA licensed the vaccine in 2005 for use against any type of anthrax, including inhalation anthrax.3
Upon ruling, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan stated:
The women and men of our armed forces put their lives on the line every day to preserve and safeguard the freedoms that all Americans cherish and enjoy. Absent an informed consent or presidential waiver, the United States cannot demand that members of the armed forces also serve as guinea pigs for experimental drugs.4
According to Associated Press, these legal battles may be one reason why the DOD and current administration has been cautious about mandating an unapproved COVID vaccine for military personnel.3
In June, U.S. Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky introduced a bill that would prohibit mandatory requirement of the vaccine for any Armed Forces. The bill currently has 30 cosponsors.7
Active Duty Troops At 70 Percent Vaccination Rate
Defense Health Agency director Army Lt. Gen Ronald Place estimated that the Armed Forces would achieve a 100 percent COVID-19 vaccination rate by mid-July 2021, but a more modest goal of 80 percent vaccination rate was set by Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen Scott Dingle a few weeks later.8
Secretary Austin stated that 70 percent of active duty troops have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of July 9.8 The national vaccination rate for eligible U.S. citizens was 56.9 percent by July 18.9
As of June 30, the Navy had the highest vaccination rate (77 percent), followed by the Army at 70 percent vaccination rate, the Air Force at 61 percent and the Marine Corps at 58 percent.10
Recent Marine Corp-issued guidance states that Marines who were not vaccinated as of July 9 would be required to continue wearing masks in both indoor and outdoor settings. The guidance states that “commanders have the authority to verify vaccination status” and “unmasked Service members must be prepared to show proof of vaccination status.”11 12
Military Officials Working to Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy
Military officials continue to promote the COVID-19 vaccine and take action to counteract what they term as “misinformation” that is coming mainly from social media. Marine Lt. Col. Thomas B. Turner said:
We have to inoculate the force from the virus, and we have to inoculate the force for vaccine misinformation.13
Veteran Affairs Department Becomes First Federal Agency to Mandate Vaccines for Frontline Workers
On July 26, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) announced that all VA medical facility employees will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, setting the precedent as the first federal agency to issue a mandate. Employees have eight weeks to show proof of vaccination status. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough stated:
Whenever a Veteran or VA employee sets foot in a VA facility, they deserve to know that we have done everything in our power to protect them from COVID-19. With this mandate, we can once again make—and keep—that fundamental promise.14
Medical and Administrative Vaccine Exemptions for Military Members
Newsweek reports that “although vaccinations are controversial in some communities, it is legal for the military to require its service members to get them.”9 According to Health.mil—the official website of the Military Health System, both medical exemptions and administrative exemptions exist for military members. The website reads:
A medical exemption is a function that can only be validated by a healthcare professional. An administrative exemption is a non-medical function that is usually controlled by the individual’s unit commander.15
Religious exemptions may fall under the administrative exemption category.
Temporary medical exemptions up to 365 days may also be granted for conditions such as pregnancy, treatments causing immune suppression, or acute illness.15
The Pentagon released guidelines for religious exemptions to the COVID vaccine following the initial announcement. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said that service members who seek a religious exemption will be counseled by a medical professional and commander about the risks of not receiving the vaccine, as well as discussion about future eligibility for deployment and assignments.
We take freedom of religion and worship seriously, in the military, it’s one of the things that we sign up to defend, and so it’s something that’s done very carefully.16
Unvaccinated Federal Employees to Be Tested Regularly
President Biden recently announced that non-military federal employees and contractors will be required to get the vaccine or submit to weekly testing as well as other safety measures including mask wearing and quarantine.17
An attestation form15, which was released on Friday through Saferfederalworkforce.gov, will require federal employees and contractors to confirm their vaccination status adding “legal teeth” to the mandate. The form, which is publicly available online, states that false confirmation of vaccine status is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. The form also states that providing information is voluntary, however failure to provide information will result in being “treated as not fully vaccinated.”18
In December 2020, President Biden said that he didn’t think the COVID vaccine should be mandatory but he would do everything in his power as president to encourage citizens to do the right thing. “My hope is they will then be inclined to say it’s worth the patriotic duty to go ahead and protect other people,” Biden said. 19
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1 Baldor L. COVID vaccines to be required for military under new US plan. AP News Aug. 9, 2021.
2 Losey S, Kime P, Beynon S. Pentagon eyes possible mandatory COVID-19 vaccine as FDA weighs approval. Military.com July 6, 2021.
3 Watson J. Potential military vaccine mandate brings distrust, support. AP News Aug. 6, 2021.
4 Roos R. Judge orders DoD to stop requiring anthrax shots. Center for Infection Disease Research and Policy Dec. 23, 2003.
5 National Vaccine Information Center. Anthrax and Anthrax Vaccine.
7 Congress.gov. H.R. 3860- To prohibit any requirement that a member of the Armed Forced receive a vaccination against COVID-19. June 14, 2021.
8 Losey S. Military’s COVID vaccination rate lags behind Pentagon’s hopes. Military.com July 16, 2021.
9 Deliso M. Statistics show the stark risks of not getting vaccinated against COVID-19. ABC News July 19, 2021.
10 Myers M. The Navy is the service most vaccinated against COVID-19. The Marine Corps is the least. Military Times June 30, 2021.
11 Pedroja C. US Army could require COVID vaccinations of all soldiers by September. Newsweek July 1, 2021.
12 Toropin K. Marine Corps Lets Fully Vaccinated Marines Stop Wearing Masks. Military Times July 9, 2021.
13 Harkins G. 48,000 Marines have turned down the COVID-19 vaccine, corps say. Military.com Apr. 13, 2021.
14 Egan L. Veterans Affairs becomes first federal agency to require so staff be vaccinated against COVID. NBC News July 26, 2021.
15 Immunization Exemption Guidance. Health.mil. Accessed on July 28, 2021.
16 McFall C. Pentagon releases religious exemption guidelines for bypassing mandatory vaccine. Fox News Aug. 10, 2021.
17 The Associated Press. Federal workers who lie about COVID vaccination could face prosecution. Aug. 6, 2021.
18 Certification of Vaccination. SaferFederalWorkForce.gov. Accessed Aug. 8, 2021.
18 Joe Biden: Covid vaccination will not be mandatory. BBC Dec. 5, 2020.
HOw can they force an experimental product onto the military? Where does one turn to have the Nurnberg laws set and respected?
Q: How do you know when a politician is lying? A: Their lips are moving.
Anyone ever wonder why the people in the higher up echelon of the ‘health department’ have ‘military rank’ titles, like the “Surgeon General”? Because it’s all about OBEYING. Just like being a grunt, you don’t think, you just DO.
At least in Alberta Canada they have stopped the mask and vaccine mandate up there, thanks to one brave guy, Patrick King!
Oh, also the men and women of the armed forces have already served as guinea pigs for testing vaccines, just look at the book by Gary Matsumoto, “Vaccine A”. And the guys and gals who were in the Gulf War, got that strange “syndrome” from something. Not just the ‘fire retardant” they were spraying. Then look at Agent Orange, Agent Purple, etc exposure during Vietnam.
What happened to “my body, my choice” option???? Congress & Biden always agreed with that when it comes to murdering babies in the womb!!! It is even more important when someone is forcing you to inject something into your body!! That should be YOUR CHOICE, NOT THE GOVERNMENT NOR ANYONE ELSE’S DECISION!!
It’s all about murder, Pat Williamson. They want to do the “commands” of the elite devil worshippers ala the Georgia Guidestones. Anything that helps kill off the majority of humans gets their go ahead. That is why there are no real “cures” for ANY diseases out there. Sure, they mapped the human genome, they can alter DNA, but any cures for ‘disease”? Fuggedaboutit! But keep giving these “researchers” loads of cash so they can “look” for a cure. They won’t find one, but they sure will look, won’t they?
The fact that these vaccines are experimental still and there have been injuries and some serious reactions from these jabs, even death. However, Fauci and Biden don’t want to hear any of that. Not being responsible for any injuries caused by these experimental shots is quite a gift. Just don’t listen to all the facts, and demand that only your view be followed and allowed. All other proof of harm caused being hidden and denied. Yet, as time goes BY, the effectiveness of these COVID-19 jabs is being more and more questioned. Things just don’t add up to their conclusions. People do know how to analyze the facts, even though many of these folks in power think they can just DICTATE to us and we will cower in fear and do as they say; not always DO WHAT THEY DO??? Using human beings as the guinea pigs for their experiments and then the fact that these jabs cause protein spikes.throughout the body and the blood clotting issues should be a concern and should be looked into. Before, they force these jabs on the unsuspecting kids some who have already suffered from heart issues from these vaccines; we parents should demand answers before they do any more damage to these innocent children. The mentality of this “willy nilly” approach reminds me of the way they’re treating the abortions and deaths of so many babies. These folks seem to have the same beliefs that Hitler shared in Nazi Germany. There, they killed any child that was deformed or inferior to their warped way of thinking. I thought doctors were suppose to go out of their way to protect life and DO NO HARM!!!
This is not the way these vaccines are being handled. Scaring people into submission they think will work. Yet, the more time that goes by, the more ineffective these vaccines seem to be. TIME WILL TELL and the TRUTH will find its way to the HEADLINES. But, let’s hope they don’t hide the facts from the people, just to push forward their agendas.
There needs to be a mass leaving of the military by the enlisted. But, since you really can’t get anybody to stick together regarding anything, this probably will not happen. Oh, they’ll talk real big, but when it comes right down to it, they’ll roll up and sleeve and ruin their health. Did they not learn from the Anthrax vaccine? Where do you think Gulf War Syndrome came from? Vaccines.
Bioweapon designed to take out our military parents stop your children. Better to be discharged.
Our brilliant officials are mandating all military personnel get ‘the jab’. What about all our allies? Are they requiring the same of their military? How about those countries not friendly with the US (can’t say ‘enemies’, that’s not PC, don’t want to upset the snowflakes!)? Is China, Russia, North Korea, Iran mandating their military personnel get the experimental drug?? My guess is no. So while our military personnel are possibly incapacitated by this experimental drug over the next couple of years, our enemies walk right in to the USA uncontested. Who said back in the 50’s they would take over the US without firing a shot???
For everyone out there saying ‘tin foil hat’ , you don’t have to believe these ‘conspiracy theories’, just use your own brain and THINK FOR YOURSELF!! Don’t just take CNN for gospel.
Our enemies control both sides of the equation. They’re the globalist devil worshippers and their front men are Rockefellers, Rothschilds, DuPonts, Georgie Soros, Kissinger and many other evil illuminati detail men and women.
Hypocrisy at its best! Good for thee but not for me.
Military personnel have always been (and will continue to be) dispensible. That is their purpose. To be mindless drones who follow orders. They are trained to not think for themselves–Basic Training is phenomenally effective at transforming a free-thinking American civilian into a simple cog in a huge machine. As a child of a military family shattered by my father’s experience in Vietnam, I joined the Army and became part of our front-line defense in Germany 1970s. Before that I was a peace-loving tree-hugger and in a matter of months I was ready to “defend the free world” from the Russians and East-Germans without question. While I was aware of the contradictions, I also knew that I would have followed orders. It was only years (and years) later that I understood the potential evil of that kind of control over a group of people who have relinquished their personal freedoms for the greater good. Military personnel trust that they will not be victimized by the very government and people they have sworn to protect, yet they are. Always. In the past, present, and future. Ask any veteran if they’re surprised that all military personnel are going to be forced to be vaccinated with an experimental vaccine that other governments are reporting as flawed and dangerous at worst and ineffectual at best.
Lisa Allen, US Army 1977-80