Newly appointed Oklahoma General Thomas Mancino has ended the vaccine mandate for National Guard as long as the troops are serving in the state.
American Military News reported that General Mancino issued a memo on Thursday notifying that no Guardsmen will be ordered to take the COVID-19 shots and those who refuse to take a shot won’t be punished with any legal or administrative actions. The story added that the General’s notification reminds that Guardsmen are not protected from mandatory COVID-19 vaccines if they “attend any military school or training activity run by an active duty component or the Department of Defense.”
The Oklahoman pointed to the role of the ongoing political fight at play in this development over vaccine mandates. The story wrote that the conservative governor of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, appointed General Mancino to replace former Adjutant General Michael Thompson, a vocal advocate of COVID-19 vaccines.
Stitt’s office has denied that Thompson was replaced due to his opinion on vaccine mandates, and said the change in command was in the works since October.
Pentagon’s Response to Top Oklahoma General
Reporting the development on Friday, Army Times called Oklahoma’s top general’s decision “rogue” and cited a Pentagon spokesman John Kirby as:
The Defense Department is aware of the Mancino memo and Stitt’s letter and “will respond to the governor appropriately.
The story wrote that it’s not clear whether General Mancino’s memo will affect federal funding for Oklahoma’s National Guards. But it cited two titles from the U.S. Code pertaining to National Guard – Title 32 and Title 10 – which specify whether the guards are serving state (32) or serving in federal capacity (10). Air Force Maj. Matthew Murphy was cited clarifying as:
In most instances, the guardsmen are in their Title 32 capacity, which means they’re on state duty. In order to be federalized, they have to be on Title 10.
The news of Oklahoma General Thomas Mancino has added fresh air of military’s resistance to Biden’s vaccine war on Americans.