Vaccine Mandates Threaten Military Readiness

How can a vaccine, that is supposed to keep soldiers healthy, be a threat to military readiness? When a vaccine mandate forces soldiers to choose between their health and their military service.

It seems our military is not exempt from the woke policies of the Biden Administration and the nation’s military readiness is at stake. That’s not my opinion; it’s the opinion of Maj. Gen. James O. Eifert, commanding general of the Florida National Guard. Writing in The Wall Street Journal, General Eifert is sounding the alarm on vaccine mandates that are devastating our military.

Just how bad is this situation?

General Eifert says, “I’ve never been more worried about the future of the U.S. armed forces than I am right now. I say that as a concerned citizen who has served for more than 40 years, the last three of which have been as the adjutant general of the Florida National Guard. One of the military’s most foundational duties is to recruit and retain men and women willing to defend their country. Unfortunately, current federal policy is rendering that goal unattainable.”

How did it come to this?

The Defense Department has implemented a rule that all service members receive a Covid vaccine. The Army secretary’s deadline for all reserve component soldiers to be vaccinated expired on June 30, leaving almost 40,000 National Guard members and 20,000 Army Reservists nationwide at risk of involuntary termination.

General Eifert says, “My Florida National Guard formations face the potential loss of about 1,000 unvaccinated guardsmen out of 12,000 total airmen and soldiers. That leaves us shorthanded as our state enters hurricane season, while more than 1,000 soldiers and airmen are also deployed on federal missions around the world.”

Was this really necessary?

General Eifert tells us that since March, 2020, even before the vaccine was developed, none of his military units suffered any reductions in readiness as a direct result of the virus. The only loss in military readiness we’ve experienced has been the result of quarantine requirements, wholesale base lockdowns, travel restrictions and training cancellations. Sounds like the cure is worse than the disease!

To make matters worse, the benefits of the vaccine are limited, especially in healthy young men and women. Experience with the vaccines has informed us that many people still get infected with the virus, though their disease symptoms are usually less severe. This is especially true with the latest Covid variants of Omicron, which is more infectious, but less deadly than earlier virus variants.

Statistics bear this out. Eifert tells us there have been only 95 U.S. service-member deaths attributed to Covid from a total military population of 2.154 million. That’s a mortality rate of 0.004% – and a case survival rate of 99.98%, based on the 421,807 infections the Pentagon has reported as of July 1, this year. By contrast, the military’s suicide rate during 2020 was about seven times as great (0.027%).

To make matters worse, we are not only losing service members who refuse to be vaccinated, we are failing to meet recruiting goals. General Eifert tells us only 23% of recruitment-age Americans meet eligibility requirements, and fewer still are even interested. He asks the pertinent question: “Why should we further damage military readiness by discharging honorably serving military members and shunning unvaccinated new recruits?”

With the risk of Covid this small, and recruitment needs unmet, it would seem the Defense Department has forgotten its primary objective – defending our country.