Oklahoma National Guard Adjutant General Goes Off the Biden Reservation: No Vax Unless Federally Deployed

oklahoma national guard
Screenshot of Army BrigGen Thomas Mancino

The new Adjutant General of the Oklahoma National Guard issued a letter that rescinded the previous commander’s ruling that all troops have to be vaccinated. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt previously asked the DoD not to enforce the vaccination mandate on Oklahoma Guard members. Army Brig. Gen. Thomas Mancino rescinded the memo by Army Maj. Gen. Michael Thompson requiring the vaccination. Mancino just received the Adjutant General appointment on Wednesday. He hasn’t been confirmed by the Oklahoma Senate as yet, according to the Military Times.

UPDATE: the Pentagon stated they have the legal authority to overrule the State of Oklahoma. Whether they actually do have that authority or not is questionable. (Military.com)

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Oklahoma National Guard

covid vaccine

The change of command was sudden. Maj Gen Thompson had turned in his resignation, but the change of command was to be held in January. He told news media that he was informed of the name of his successor on Thursday via social media. Brig Gen Mancino issued the new order less than 24 hours after he was named.

Gen Mancino has been with the Oklahoma National Guard for many years, and has a law degree as well as others. He’s not a novice, so hopefully he knows what kind of hornet’s nest he stirred up.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby stated that they were aware of both the memo and the letter from Governor Stitt and would respond in an “appropriate” manner.

Under Title 32, National Guard troops are under the control of the Governor of each state. In this case, Gov Kevin Stitt, who is highly unhappy with the mandate. If they are called up under Title 10, however, then they are under the auspices of the President. The memo Gen Mancino sent reflects that difference. But it doesn’t address any training that may require troops to attend under the DoD or in conjunction with active duty troops. They may be stuck (no pun intended) either way.

The Governor stated in his letter that at least 10% of the Oklahoma National Guard troops were refusing the Covid vaccine, and that the mandate was irresponsible. Which, as we have seen from this President will likely not only make him angry, it may invoke some sort of punishment for Oklahoma.

The entire memo may be what some analysts called a “legal gray area” that could affect the funding of the Oklahoma National Guard. Most National Guard funding comes from the Federal Government.

For now, nobody’s talking or making statements about the situation. It is likely there will be fallout of some sort, as neither Biden nor SecDef Austin will make an exception.

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Featured screenshot of Brig Gen Thomas Mancino – Oklahoma National Guard

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