Lloyd Austin: Covid Vaccine Mandatory for Military

Lloyd Austin: Covid Vaccine Mandatory for Military

Lloyd Austin: Covid Vaccine Mandatory for Military

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be making the Covid vaccine mandatory for active duty military, according to reports. That means that he will be asking President Biden for a waiver, since the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t yet approved the shots.

At first the Pentagon was waiting for FDA approval before making making the vaccines mandatory; however, that hasn’t happened. But on July 29, Biden said he would ask the Defense Department “how and when” the shot would be required. After Biden’s comments, the Joint Chiefs met to discuss a vaccine plan.

Then, while traveling in the Philippines last week, Lloyd Austin said:

“The President directed us to do something and we’ll get after it.” 

Last week Biden also directed that federal employees give proof of vaccination or face regular testing or masking. So apparently Austin decided that this would be a good time to make his move.

The military already has a pretty solid vaccination rate, according to this video from early July. Of the four main branches, the Navy has the biggest percentage of vaccinated personnel, with the Marines bringing up the rear.

Of course some in Congress won’t be happy about Lloyd Austin making this step toward mandatory vaccines. Like Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), as seen in the video.

Last month, when rumors started to swirl about the shots, Massie tweeted that military members told him they would quit if they had to take the shots. So he sponsored a law to prohibit the requirement.

Except that’s not how it works. You just can’t give the military your two weeks notice.

Lloyd Austin/covid vaccines


But Denver Riggleman (R-VA), who retired from Congress in 2020, schooled Massie on that point. And Riggleman knows a thing or two, since he served in Air Force Intelligence.

And as for Massie’s bill, HR 3860, as of this writing it has 29 cosponsors. It also has a 1% chance of being enacted into law, so good luck with that.

But back to Austin’s push to make Covid vaccines mandatory. . .

I view Lloyd Austin with some suspicion, since he seems more focused on racial diversity than military readiness. However, I agree with him on Covid vaccines being mandatory for military personnel, and here’s why:

  1. Military members do not possess the same level of freedom as civilians. Instead, they serve according to the needs of the service. Once a soldier or sailor takes the oath of office, the military directs them where to live, and when and where they will deploy for duty. And while I do not support mandatory Covid vaccines for civilians, I find them appropriate for soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.
  2. Military members already take lots of vaccines. Denver Riggleman pointed out in his rebuttal to Thomas Massie that “military personnel are mandated to receive many vaccines.” And all you need to do is to check out this link from the US Army. It gives a long list of vaccines that Army enlistees receive, including flu, rubella, measles, mumps, meningitis — even cholera, small pox, and anthrax, depending on where they travel. If they don’t want the vaccines — too bad. They’re in the Army now, for which they volunteered.
  3. Excess sickness among military members puts national security at risk. This, to me, is the biggest reason why I agree with Lloyd Austin here. My son-in-law, an active duty Navy Commander, explained to me how Covid can impact the nation’s military readiness:

Currently “R” is on shore duty on the East Coast, but in 2020, when Covid hit, he was on sea duty as the executive officer of one of the crews on a guided missile submarine. In March, when it was time to switch crews, the oncoming crew had an enlisted man who developed Covid. Of course the virus spread among other members, and the sub was not able to deploy. So R and his captain quickly had to contact certain members of the previous crew and order them back on the boat. They had to work fast.

R later told me that if too many people are sick, and boats and ships can’t deploy, that risks our national security. Now, extend that out to soldiers, or pilots, or the personnel who maintain the fighters and bombers, and on and on — and you can see how illness can quickly become a dangerous situation. As a civilian, I had never considered that before.

Those of us who cherish liberty condemn a government that seeks to force the Covid vaccine on American citizens. We find it abhorrent that Mayor Bill de Blasio is forcing vaccine “passports” on New York City residents, and worry that they’ll come to our towns too. Fear of a disease is making it too easy for government to take our rights.

So it makes sense that many Americans might also rail against making our military take the Covid vaccine. But it’s not the same. After all, when they took the oath of office, our military personnel also agreed to give up many of their liberties to protect ours.


Featured image: Fort Huachuca Public Affairs/flickr/cropped/CC BY-ND 2.0.


Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

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  • Jane says:

    Kim, Kim, Kim. I enjoy reading your pieces, but on this one, you miss the boat. You wrote, “Fear of a disease is making it too easy for government to take our rights.” Yet, you so willingly volunteer others to be given a vaccine that is not approved because you are afraid of national security failures. Yes, our military members give up rights when they volunteer, but they did not agree to be part of a medical study.

    Just look to Vietnam and we already know our government does not properly take care of those it puts in harms way. These men and women are brave and deserve better than to be test subjects!

    • Kim Hirsch says:

      Jane, thank for your kind remarks.

      You write:

      Yet, you so willingly volunteer others to be given a vaccine that is not approved because you are afraid of national security failures.

      Yes, I am more afraid of national security failures. I am very concerned about an increasingly aggressive China which has encroached into Bhutan, taken over Hong Kong, and threatens Taiwan. China has also harassed our own ships in the Pacific. China worries me more than any vaccine.

      Anyway, thank you for reading!

  • Scott says:


    As prior military, and currently public safety, I’ll agree with you that having a significant portion of the force down can affect readiness. We recently have one crew come down with the ChiCom virus, and it took some fast moves to get overtime to cover it.
    Other fire departments in the state are mandating the shot, even though it’s still under emergency auth, not fully approved, and so far has a horrible track record of side effects and adverse reactions, including over 11k deaths. These other departments are much larger, and can more easily absorb a crew being down, as they have the numbers to backfill more easily. That being said, I thank God that our Chiefs have made it clear they will NOT mandate the shot, and resist all attempts by or governor should he try to mandate it.
    As to the military, there is no question that they have fewer rights than civilians while they’re in. They can be ordered to do many things that would not fly for civilians, and once the shots have full approval, I’ll consider that getting the shot is a cost of serving. But until then, not a chance! In addition, we have to remember, that among a young, healthy population, this disease is no more dangerous than the seasonal flu (and often significantly less). We don’t consider the flu a national security risk, so I’d submit that the current reaction by the military to infection is a more serious risk than the disease itself.
    And Austin is nothing but a race baiting political hack. His ribbon rack shows that hasn’t always been his default, and for that service, i respect him, but at this point, he’s just a democrattic shill, and is injecting politics into the military in a way never seen before. It will NOT end well..

  • GWB says:

    Military members already take lots of vaccines.
    And there have been controversies in the past related to mandatory experimental vaccines. The question is how to execute a realistic Risk Analysis. And the DoD regularly screws that up by over-estimating risk impact. (I was active-duty during the anthrax and hepatitis vaccine controversies.) And it gets continually worse as political desk jockeys become ever more promotable by demonstrating Zero Risk mentality.

    Of course the virus spread among other members, and the sub was not able to deploy.
    I would like to understand how that happened. Did he board sick and spread the disease during work-ups? How symptomatic was he? How symptomatic was everyone else? How long do those work-ups take? Perhaps there’s another way to screen members* before being stuffed into a sausage tube together? What is the difference between a submarine, a surface ship, an army unit, and an air force deployment – in terms of close physical contact, infection rates, impact of illness on deployability, etc.?
    (* You know, it would seem pretty easy to quarantine the entire crew together before the work-ups, to encourage any contagion to spread and be treated, then they’re a nice little immune herd going to sea together. But nobody likes my practical solutions.)

    among a young, healthy population
    Not all of our military is as young and healthy as it used to be, sadly.

    We don’t consider the flu a national security risk
    Ummm, actually, we do. Flu vaccines are mandatory every dang year.

    And, yes, the mRNA vaccines are different from most vaccines the military is forced to endure.

    • The flu vaccine, however, is approved – and the biotech to produce it is well known. It also has a wildly varying effectiveness. When the “educated guess” about what strain is going to become prevalent this year is wrong, it can be virtually useless – only effective in 30% or less of exposures.

  • SFC D says:

    After the circus that mandatory anthrax vaccinations created (another experimental, non approved drug), fedeeral law was passed that states that the military cannot be required to receive an experimental vaccination. It doesn’t say that can’t take it, it says they can’t be forced. I’m wondering how this “waiver” works. There are waivers for federal law? I don’t think so. Chief Diversity Officer Austin can go piss up a rope.

    • liz says:

      My spouse and I lived in the ROK when those anthrax vaccines were mandatory. They ran out of supply and made him start the series over toward the end of his tour…knowing he couldn’t finish. Now our son is in the military and I am very concerned.

      The FDA’s own legislation states clearly EUA vaccinations cannot be coerced or mandatory, and the fact that they are not approved must be advertised clearly and unequivocally.

      FDA must ensure that recipients of the vaccine under an EUA are informed, to the extent practicable given the applicable circumstances, that FDA has authorized the emergency use of the vaccine, of the known and potential benefits and risks, the extent to which such benefits and risks are unknown, that they HAVE THE OPTION TO ACCEPT OR REFUSE THE VACCINE, and of any available alternatives to the product.”

  • ROP says:

    After knowing about the spike proteins and having a degree in biology. And wading through a lot of literature,
    Don’t take it !
    I was involved as a test in 1986 vaccination by the ARMY with 99% debilitation rate, and heart inflammation etc.
    This COVID vaxx WILL KILL YOU!
    You are better to get the disease it is 99.99% treatable with current drugs ,
    He who has ears let him hear!
    As for the military career a dishonorable is better than being dead, as most of those who have been forced into this experiment will find out.

    To the Traitorous General and President, that say quit or get the vaxx, SEE YA!

  • Jimmy says:

    Based upon the assumption that the vaccine actually works and does something beneficial.

    On the other hand, since everyone will be forced to take the shot weather they want it or not, it is best to get it in the military. Why? Because any long term side effects will be covered by the VA as a service connected injury. The rest of America will be S.O.L. in addition, there will be lawsuits. Civilians cant sue for being harmed but I see lawyers on TV wanting to sue for hearing loss/ ear plugs.

  • […] positive for COVID the day before. The same Secretary of Defense who said Joe gave the direction to vax everyone, so he’ll “get after […]

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