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5 governors call on Pentagon to reconsider National Guard vaccine mandate

Lloyd Austin
Posted at 4:25 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 22:05:17-05

The governors of Wyoming, Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, and Nebraska have asked the Pentagon to reconsider its vaccine mandate for the National Guard.

In a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, the governors claim the mandate is an overreach of authority. They believe members of the National Guard are not under the federal purview unless they are ordered to conduct federal duties.

Austin mandated vaccines for the entire military. However, he allowed each branch to set its own deadlines.

Army Guardsmen have until June 2022 to become compliant. The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve had until Dec. 2 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Austin has said that National Guard members who are not vaccinated risk losing pay.

The letter is the latest dispute between the Pentagon and governors over vaccine mandates.

Oklahoma has filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the vaccine mandate for the National Guard.

The Pentagon has not publicly responded to the governors' letter.