The army has issued a command to approximately 40,000 National Guard members alerting them that failure to take the Covid vaccine, absent an exemption, will result in members not being able to participate in training, receive pay, or retirement credit.
This comes at a time when the Army is desperate for recruits. Current projections show that the 2022 goals for new soldiers are in danger of not being met for every branch of the armed forces. The Pentagon has been forced to forego the requirement for a high school diploma, or an equivalent GED, in the hopes that lowering standards will help ease the shortfall.
The vaccine mandate is particularly unnecessary for service members given the new information that has been gained over the last two years. The vaccine does not stop transmission of the virus, nor does it prevent a person from contracting it.
Many National Guard members in the affected group have already had Covid. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is finally recognizing that natural immunity does indeed provide protection for people. But the Pentagon refuses to acknowledge that fact.
Republican members of the Armed Services Committee have asked President Biden and the Pentagon to relent on the mandate to no avail.
The Pentagon is one of the last few holdouts regarding this issue. Most states and businesses have rolled back the mask and vaccine mandates.
Finally, the Pentagon’s stance on the shots is puzzling, considering the current international tensions. Instead of decreasing our readiness, the people in charge of our armed forces should be holding on to every abled man they have.