When the monstrous 2023 National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law by Joe Biden on December 23, one of the provisions in the act was to overturn the Defense Department policy of administratively punishing and discharging members of the Armed Forces who declined to participate in what can only be described as an involuntary clinical trial of the COVID vaccine where nothing approaching informed consent was ever sought.
One thing Congress never counted on was the intransigence of the Branch COVIDians who control the US Army.
When you cut through the gibberish, you find the Army is saying, okay, the NDAA refers to the August 24, 2021 memo, but it don’t say squat about the November 30, 2021 memo that prevents Reservists and Guardsmen called up under state authority from being paid unless they are vaccinated.
It isn’t enough that all components of the Army are facing a crippling manpower shortage as fewer and fewer men are willing to serve in an institution that is overtly hostile to straight white guys, particularly those from working class and Southern backgrounds, but the 10 percent of serving Guard and Reserve soldiers who’ve declined to be guinea pigs will not be paid when on duty thereby accelerating attrition those components can’t afford.
This is not an error. The November memo was explicitly aimed at state governors who refused to allow enforcement of the federal vaccine mandate (see Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt Dropkicks National Guard General Who Kowtowed to Lloyd Austin’s Stupid Vaccine Mandate and Pentagon Threatens to Downgrade Oklahoma National Guard to a “State Militia” Unless It Complies With Vaccine Mandate). The Army has been forced to back off the active duty mandate but refuses to concede the fight on the Reserve and Guard mandate. Because to do so would make the people who supported this policy much more of a laughingstock than they currently are.
Eventually, the Army will have to back off this exotic interpretation of the NDAA. The Department of Defense will not buck a new and potentially hostile House majority over something this trivial because a) if Defense doesn’t do it voluntarily, they will be told to do it, and b) no one in Congress of either party likes to be told to FOAD by an executive department.
All of this goes back to two problems. Since Desert Storm, the Defense Department has been pampered by Congress and allowed to throw tantrums and have its way. General officers are given incredible deference by both parties and frequently, in my view, drive erratically outside their lanes on a lot of issues. At the same time, the military leadership has adopted any and all progressive claptrap from Critical Race Theory and Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity programs to actively promoting transgenderism. This sense of entitlement combined with fealty to whatever the progressive left is pushing at the moment has destroyed the ability to recruit and called into question the ability of the US military to do its job.
The Army refusing to do the right thing and obey Congressional intent spelled out in the NDAA is not a problem; it is the symptom of a much larger problem. The Department of Defense has become unaccountable. The new Republican House needs to take steps to stop the problem from getting worse. The next Republican president must take a page from George C. Marshall’s playbook, ignore rank and seniority, and immediately fill the military’s upper ranks with men focused on fighting and winning wars instead of the princely class that runs the Pentagon today.