Five governors call on Pentagon to rescind COVID vaccine mandate for National Guard members

Biden’s failing vaccine mandates

He fought the law, and the law won.

Five Republican governors have sent a letter to the Pentagon asking the Department of Defense to remove its coronavirus vaccine mandate on National Guard members.

“We write to request you withdraw part of your and the Service Secretaries’ directives to National Guard members in their Title 32 duty status concerning the COVID-19 vaccine,” the letter states. “We acknowledge your right to establish readiness standards for the National Guard for activation into a Title 10 status. However, directives dictating whether training in a Title 32 status can occur, setting punishment requirements for refusing to be COVID-19 vaccinated, and requiring separation from each state National Guard if unvaccinated are beyond your constitutional and statutory authority.”

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pauses while speaking during a media briefing at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) 
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The letter was signed by Governor Mark Gordon of Wyoming, Governor Mike Dunleavy of Alaska, Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi, and Governor Pete Ricketts of Nebraska.

The letter continued, “The U. S. Supreme Court has for decades affirmed in cases, such as in Perpich v. Department of Defense, 496 U.S. 334 (1990), that the National Guard is under the command and control of the Governor of each state unless those members are called to active service under Title 10. The Militia Clauses found in Article 1, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution clearly state, ‘…reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.’”

FILE – In this file photo, a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is displayed at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y.(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

National Guard members answer to the governor of their respective state unless activated for federal servers which has put governors at odds with the Biden administration regarding his vaccine mandate for members of the military.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.

Last month, Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt also asked Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to suspend a requirement that Oklahoma National Guard members receive the COVID-19 vaccination, noting 800 soldiers, or 10% of the guard, had not yet been vaccinated for COVID-19 or don’t intend to get the inoculations.

Additionally, the new leader of the Oklahoma National Guard said none of its members will currently be required to become vaccinated for COVID-19, a step that contradicts with the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for the military. 

President Biden waves as he walks to board Air Force One, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Unless federally mobilized, the Guardsmen will not have to become vaccinated for COVID-19, according to an order issued by new Adjutant General Thomas Mancino. No negative administrative or legal action will be taken against Guardsmen who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine. Oklahoma command will continue to process federal vaccine waivers in accordance with the Department of Defense policy.

Biden’s attempts to implement vaccine mandates across the country have been struck down in various courts but his administration has insisted that it remains “confident” the mandates are on solid legal footing.

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report

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