The commander of the Guard said that he would not require vaccination, despite the order of the U.S. Secretary of Defense.

The Pentagon may require members of the Oklahoma National Guard to be vaccinated against COVID-19, despite the fact that the state’s most senior military official said he would not require them to be vaccinated.

This was stated by a representative of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “has the necessary authority to require vaccination of all military personnel, including the National Guard,” spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

“The servicemen of the National Guard received a legal order to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This is a legitimate order–” Kirby said later. – Refusal to do this in the absence of an approved withdrawal puts them in the same position [regarding punishment] as active military personnel who refuse to be vaccinated.”

In mid-September, Austin demanded that all military personnel undergo vaccination, although its timing varies depending on the type of troops.

However, last week, the newly appointed commander of the Oklahoma National Guard, Brigadier General Thomas Mancino, sent a memo stating that no National Guard soldier would be required to undergo vaccination.

Mancino also pointed out that “negative administrative or legal actions” will not be taken against the guards who refuse to be vaccinated.