facebook linkedin twitter

Pentagon to Require Military to Get COVID-19 Vaccine

August 9, 2021 by Dan McCue
Vaccination. (Photo by Christophe Morel U.S. Army Garrison Benelux)

The Defense Department will require members of the U.S. military to get the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 15, though the deadline could be pushed up if infection rates continue to rise.

The decision was revealed in a memo to troops  initially acquired by the Associated Press.

In the memo, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says he will “seek the president’s approval to make the vaccines mandatory no later than mid-September, or immediately upon” licensure by the Food and Drug Administration “whichever comes first.” 

“I will not hesitate to act sooner or recommend a different course to the president if I feel the need to do so,” Austin added.

Austin’s decision comes just over a week after President Joe Biden told defense officials to develop a plan requiring troops to get shots as part of a broader campaign to increase vaccinations in the federal workforce. 

Austin said in the memo that the military services will have the next few weeks to prepare, determine how many vaccines they need, and how this mandate will be implemented. 

It also provides time for the FDA to give final approval to the Pfizer vaccine, which is expected early next month. Without that formal approval, Austin would need a waiver from Biden to make the shots mandatory.

The decision will add the COVID-19 vaccine to a list of other inoculations that service members are already required to get. Depending on their location around the world, service members can get as many as 17 different vaccines.

Austin’s memo also said the Pentagon will comply with Biden’s order for additional restrictions on any federal personnel who have not been vaccinated. Those restrictions will include wearing masks, social distancing and travel limits.

According to the Pentagon, more than 1 million troops are fully vaccinated and another 237,000 have received one shot. But the military services vary widely in their vaccination rates.

Military

September 9, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp
Philippines’ National Defense Secretary Says U.S.-Philippine Treaty Needs Update

WASHINGTON -- At an event on Wednesday, reflecting on the 70 years the U.S.-Philippines mutual defense treaty has been in... Read More

WASHINGTON -- At an event on Wednesday, reflecting on the 70 years the U.S.-Philippines mutual defense treaty has been in place, the secretary for national defense in the Philippines said the countries need a comprehensive review of the treaty. Chargé d’Affaires John Law, who is in the process... Read More

Biden Ousts 18 Trump Military Academy Board Appointees

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Wednesday removed 18 appointees named to U.S. military academy boards by Donald Trump... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Wednesday removed 18 appointees named to U.S. military academy boards by Donald Trump in the final months of the Republican president's term in office, according to the White House. Cathy Russell, director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office,... Read More

September 8, 2021
by Reece Nations
Pentagon to Address Supply Chain Issues Unveiled by Pandemic

WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense is establishing a supply chain resiliency working group to address systemic barriers that limit... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense is establishing a supply chain resiliency working group to address systemic barriers that limit “supply chain visibility” in addition to performing resiliency assessments and developing effective mitigation measures. In February, President Joe Biden issued an executive order directing government agencies... Read More

September 7, 2021
by Dan McCue
Congressional Gold Medal Eyed for Kabul Attack Heroes

WASHINGTON -- Just days after their remains were returned home to their families for burial, the 13 U.S. service members... Read More

WASHINGTON -- Just days after their remains were returned home to their families for burial, the 13 U.S. service members killed during a deadly attack at the Kabul airport last month appear likely to receive Congress’s highest honor. Reps. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., and Lisa McClain, R-Mich.,... Read More

Last Troops Exit Afghanistan, Ending America's Longest War

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan late Monday, ending America's longest war and closing a... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan late Monday, ending America's longest war and closing a chapter in military history likely to be remembered for colossal failures, unfulfilled promises and a frantic final exit that cost the lives of more than 180... Read More

Biden Vows to Finish Kabul Evacuation, Avenge US Deaths

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is vowing to complete the evacuation of American citizens and others from Afghanistan after... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is vowing to complete the evacuation of American citizens and others from Afghanistan after the deadly suicide bombing at the Kabul airport. He promised to avenge the deaths of 13 U.S. service members killed in the attack, declaring to the... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top