Sunday, October 1, 2023
HomePoliticsOklahoma National Guard first state to defy Pentagon on vaccine mandate

Oklahoma National Guard first state to defy Pentagon on vaccine mandate

A statement by the Brigadier General of the Oklahoma National Guard makes it clear that it’s not OK for the federal government to force the Covid-19 vaccine on the men and women of the Sooner State’s National Guard.

In a statement posted on the Oklahoma National Guard website, Brig. Gen. Thomas H. Mancino, the adjutant general for Oklahoma, said:

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“This policy is not anti-vaccine. I and the Governor are both vaccinated. I encourage all our Oklahoma Guard Members to get vaccinated if they choose to do so. We want to educate and inform our Soldiers and Airmen so that they can make an informed decision regarding the DoD Vaccine Mandate,” Mancino said in the statement.

“Under Title 32, Congress established a dual framework for the National Guard. The states receive federal funding in return for being made available to the federal government when called to active duty by the President.

“Under Title 32, the Oklahoma National Guard is a state-controlled and federally-funded entity and takes orders from the Governor and his designated chain of command. When mobilized by the President, under Title 10, the Oklahoma National Guard takes all orders from the President and his designated chain of command.

“Failing to follow the Governor’s lawful orders while on Title 32 would be both illegal, unethical, and against our sworn oaths. Nothing in this order prevents anyone from taking the vaccine. Also, nothing in his order eliminates the Federal Requirement. The Governor is hoping for Federal Relief from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and in the interim has granted state relief from this requirement,” he wrote.

Until a Guardsman is activated under Title 10, Mancino said they follow the lawful commands of the governor of the State of Oklahoma, who has not mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for Oklahoma Guard Members. Once activated to title 10 status, Guardsmen are subject to all Title 10 laws and mandates until returning to Title 32 status.

“If you [Oklahoma Guard Members] are not mobilized on Title 10 orders, the only entity that can give you a ‘lawful’ order – that is an order backed by the authority of law – is the Governor and his designated State chain of command.  That ‘law’ is Title 32 U.S. code,” Mancino said. “This is easily seen by the fact that the UCMJ does not apply to you in Title 32 status. Instead, you are governed by the Oklahoma Code of Military Justice (OCMJ).”

Brig. Gen. Mancino provided clarity to Gov. Kevin Stitt’s order that soldiers and airmen in the Oklahoma National Guard are relieved from this requirement until mobilized in accordance with the Constitution, the Law, and sworn oath, the statement said.

“The Governor’s request is with Secretary Austin for decision, and the National Guard Bureau has indicated it will conduct a legal review of our position,” Mancino said. “The proper venue for the resolution of these issues is the Governor’s office, Congress, and the Federal Executive branch. Not the court of public opinion in the press or on social media,”

The order came one day after the governor replaced the adjutant general, after Maj. Gen. Michael Thompson, who had served as adjutant general since November 2017, said he would enforce the order from the Pentagon.

On Nov. 2, Gov. Stitt had written to Department of Defense Sec. Lloyd J. Austin III, asking him to suspend the vaccine requirement for Oklahoma National Guard personnel. He said the mandate violates the personal freedoms of many Oklahomans, as it “asks them to potentially sacrifice their personal beliefs in order to not lose their jobs. All of our national guardsmen take this calling very seriously. These are patriotic citizens who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect others in our communities during times of greatest need.”

The Pentagon said that it would have a response, and said that a vaccinated force is a ready force. Sec. of Defense Austin could respond by activating the force, and thereby bringing them under his command and forcing the vaccine. But there would likely be a heavy political cost to doing so.

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


    • True military leadership. Good Job Brig.General !
      Good job Governor Stitt .
      Standing for law and the constitution as should our other leaders both military and political.
      A military man and a governor Standing up for the rights and honor of your fellow countrymen and soldiers.
      God bless you ! Strong men indeed!!
      Brandon has created an all time mess!

    • “Immoral”? Maybe wrong or overbearing but Biden’ s desire to SAVE lives is a good thing and, except within you, is ethical and moral.

      • And rainbows, warm fuzzies, pink bunnies, and cotton candy unicorn farts to you as well.
        This is a Marxist push for control. Nothing more.
        The clot shot is dangerous and nearly useless.
        It is also funny that those that love abortion and legal self murder with the help of a doctor are so very willing to force the clot shot on people that don’t want it.

      • If Biden wants to SAVE lives then he needs to outlaw smoking, alcohol, McDonalds (and all fast food), automobiles and illicit drugs. If he really wants to save lives, them he must immediately MANDATE an oatmeal and grass diet for all Americans without medical or religious exemptions. If he really wants to SAVE lives.

      • Forcing your will upon another is neither moral nor ethical. Forcing a vaccine upon another is rape with a needle.

      • No, Biden’s not moral and no, I don’t believe his intent is to save lives either. He and his ilk satisfied their lust for power by using fear to manipulate public processes.

        It is far more dangerous in both a moral and physical sense to remove the legitmacy of government and disenfranchise so many.

        No moral man would do this, use a treatable virus with less than a one percent mortality rate just to gain power.

        So No, Biden and his ilk are NOT moral.

      • Save lives, at what cost to our society, prosperity and freedoms, Evan?
        THAT is the question that you kneejerk leftist authoritarians never answer — nor are ever willing to even ask. Again, your every kneejerk authoritarian response to every situation consistently fails to consider the context of, or any rational perspective towards, your invariably freedom-reducing mandates and laws, nor are those authoritarian responses EVER followed-up by any meaningful evaluation of their putative effectiveness. As long as they make you bitter, irrational and hateful radical leftists FEEL good, that is all that matters, right?
        Is it worth ‘saving some lives’ by turning ourselves into an Orwellian, totalitarian society? Any sane and rational person would answer “no”, but as we can clearly see, many people today (particularly those who are conformists and automatically subservient to authority) are not sane and rational.

  1. Fighting this is the only patriotic response whether someone believes in this clot shot or not.
    (Full disclosure: I don’t.)

  2. I have to wonder…….if the law is as clear cut as Gen. Mancino alleges, then why bother asking Sec. Austin to reconsider ? Just defy the order.

  3. As a GI, I was forced to become a human pincushion for whatever the military wanted to give me. The swine flu vaccination in 1976 put me in the hospital and killed a lot of people as well. After that, I made friends with the guys who stamped my shot records. Amthrax was another great idea. Lots of data on the side effects of that one. My family has a history of blood clots (strokes). Not from clogged arteries or obesity, it’s genetic. I served my country, never got any of the sicknesses that were a concern and learned that the government really was not the best source of information regarding my health. I never felt that any shot should be mandatory. If you don’t want it, it’s your risk. Your body.

  4. A real military leader that knows when the Federal Government has crossed a line. Thank you sir for standing your ground for the troops! When Trump is back in office, he should give you General Miley’s job!

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