The Oklahoma National Guard Refused the Vax Mandate. The Pentagon Is Not Pleased.
In a surprising development, Republican Governor Kevin Stitt has refused to implement the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate. This has placed the Governor directly at odds with Pentagon brass and with the White House as it aggressively attempts to enforce its latest vaccine mandate for all military personnel. The Washington Post sums up the situation:
Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) last week removed the state’s adjutant general, who had directed troops to comply with the vaccine mandate, and replaced him with a new commanding general who promptly issued the order rejecting it. In his memo, Brig. Gen. Thomas Mancino, the state’s new National Guard commander, said personnel could sidestep the policy with no repercussions unless they are put on federal duty.
The legal situation is complicated. As originally imagined by early Americans, the state militias are supposed to be independent military units unless called into national service during wartime. Moreover, state governors have at times exercised a de facto veto over federal control of state troops.
[Read More: “Decentralize the Military: Why We Need Independent Militias” by Ryan McMaken]
Since the National Defense Act of 1933, however, National Guard Units have been deemed members of both the state’s National Guard and the federal military. Moreover, over time, the federal government has gradually eroded the authority of state governors in controlling the deployment and use of state troops. By 1990, governors had lost virtually all of their independence.
National Guard troops in each state nominally remain under the command of the respective governors unless activated by the US president. Thus, it appears that Gov. Stitt is attempting to take advantage of these few remaining powers in order to refuse mandating vaccines for state troops.
Not surprisingly, this has led to resistance from the Pentagon—and if past experience is any indicator—the Pentagon will not hold back in devising ways to punish Oklahoma and its National Guard chain of command unless it quickly falls into line.
Who’s In Charge of Oklahoma’s Troops?
Over the weekend, Oklahoma’s adjutant General issued a statement on the state’s Guard vaccine policy:
Under Title 32, Congress established a dual framework for the National Guard. The
Article from Mises Wire