Last November, National Guardsmen and reservists who refused the COVID-19 injection were warned by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that they would no longer be eligible for federal training or compensation.
The US Army revealed last week that 22,000 reservists and about 40,000 National Guard members would not be allowed to report for duty because they had chosen not to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The combined 62,000 troops are no longer eligible for pay or benefits, and Austin’s decision prevents them from engaging in active duty or even training.
This completely contradicts the idea of “total force.” We lack a complete fighting force without the National Guard and our reserve military troops.
According to The Western Journal, “1,148 active-duty soldiers have been fired from the service over the vax mandate. But that number is sure to balloon to tens of thousands in the near future unless the vax mandate is canceled.”
The attempt to stop military pay and benefits would be reckless at any time, but it is particularly reckless and dangerous right now because it threatens the security of our country and our all-volunteer military.
We should respect the decision of these service members if they choose not to receive the vaccination. The last thing we want to do is offer young people additional excuses for not joining the military, yet the Biden program has the opposite effect.
Army recruiting is already extremely difficult. “The Reserves’ recruiting target for the fiscal year 2021 has only been attained to a 73.6 percent rate. According to the Washington Examiner, “The National Guard achieved 80.6 percent of its 2021 goal and, thus far, 48.1 percent of its 2022 goal.
Fears of the military conscription being reinstated have been fuelled by the recruiting difficulties. The viability of the all-volunteer force will be called into question in 2022, according to retired Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr of The Heritage Foundation, who recently spoke with NBC News.
There’s been opposition. Since the Defense Department initially issued the order, threats to fire and reduce benefits for National Guard troops have outraged Republican leaders. Several governors have pledged to tell their particular National Guard units to disregard the mandate, though it is unclear what that entails.