“President Joe Biden has signed the Fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act into law allotting $816.7 billion to the Defense Department…One of the more contentious items in the act is requiring the defense secretary to rescind the mandate that members of the armed forces be vaccinated against COVID-19.” Source: US DoD
In 1964 I spent a summer at what was then called Indiantown Gap Military Reservation to fulfill a training requirement to become a commissioned officer in the US Army through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. It gave those who attended a small dose of what a conscripted soldier would experience after induction. Part of that experience was to spend several days doing KP (Kitchen Police). One day I drew dish-washing, primarily coffee cups. I had just finished washing the cups (a few hundred) and was ready to rinse them when one of the cooks came by and looked at the cups. He said to me, “Rewash all of them.” He showed me the ring of grease around each cup that was floating in the “rinse” water and explained that that is what happens when the water is not hot enough and not enough soap is used. He also let me know that sloppy washing can put down entire battalions or more with intestinal maladies that can totally negate combat readiness.
Remember that Escherichia coli (e.coli) is not just a fancy Latin phrase, salmonella is not to be confused with salmon and you can’t move forward on the battlefield while seated on the porcelain throne. Diseases of all varieties, especially viruses such as COVID, are as major a threat to our armed forces as the opposing forces and certainly not to be self-inflicted, that is, until now as embodied in the 2023 Defense Bill. Sure soldier, skip the shot and let your fellow soldiers fend for themselves. It's all perfectly legal. Joe says so.
On my way to Viet Nam in 1968, I got every vaccination on the shelf and was delighted to do so. When I arrived there, I gobbled my malaria pills like holiday mints. I did it all for my health and for that of my fellow soldiers. It is called taking care of one another, a concept that is lost on the anti-vaxxer crowd. But then…
Congress in its fast-dwindling wisdom (the reservoir of critical thinking skills was not large to begin with) and Joe “The Pandemic Is Over” Biden decided that it was really OK after all to let the vaccine mandate slip into the memory hole and to condemn our service men and women (not to mention their families) to death and disability from one of the most dangerous viruses to come along in a hundred years. As for troop readiness? Who gives a rat’s ass? We can just lob nukes. Anyone can pilot a drone or push a button from a bed in the ICU.
Remember all this when next Uncle Joe tearfully finishes a speech with “And may God protect our troops”. But now he will have to add “…because I sure as fuck won’t do it.” The troops are on their own.
And Happy Holidays.
Ālea iacta est.
Comments by Readers
Mike SennettDec 26, 2022
Maybe “Uncle Joe” isn’t the “culprit”, or the only party responsible…..
D. CrookDec 26, 2022
I think of the struggles the VA already has in providing a proper standard of medical care with TBI, burn pits, and any other “you can’t prove your injury has anything to do with your service” accountability dodges. Will they do any better with long-covid?
Angelo TsoukalasDec 26, 2022
Man what are you talking about? When we took the Polio and Small Pox vaccines as kids we didn’t have to worry if Joe blows kid didn’t take it and hate them for it; nor did we have to worry about getting it and spreading it amongst the others that had taken it. I can’t say that about this unbelievable disgrace. How can anybody with a straight face say this is a “vaccine” when whole ships of “vaccinated” sailors spread it amongst themselves and were out of commission, or more “vaccinated are dying than non vaccinated? This is a joke and the joke is on us! Big pharma got filthy rich, including Faustian Fauci. Moreover, this walking cadaver, you refer to above didn’t listen to his generals on how to properly evacuate Afghanistan and good soldiers died. To mandate this lunacy and kick good soldiers out at a time we can’t fill enough positions in our military is rediculous, especially in light of the aforementioned predicaments.
Randy PettyDec 27, 2022
Good point by Mike Sennett. Bills passed are the result of much negotiation and compromise. Biden isn’t a king issuing laws without congressional input. I’ve also read that most current service members are already vaccinated.
”EXCLUSIVE: Conservative GOP senators are demanding that their party leaders in the Senate force a vote to eliminate the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the military in exchange for advancing a year-end military funding bill, amid discontent from some about Republicans allegedly compromising too much with Democrats.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who challenged Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for GOP leadership, is among those leading the effort, along with Sen. Rand Paul. R-Ky.
“I think on the NDAA one thing that’s going to be important is that we don’t give cloture unless they agree that we’re not going to keep kicking people out of the service for their – if they’re unvaccinated,” Scott told Fox News Digital of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). “I think that we’ve got to start standing up for people.”
D. CrookDec 27, 2022
Removed… Taking a cue from a leveler head.
I agree that nobody did our servicemembers any favors here.
Angelo TsoukalasDec 27, 2022
D. Crook if that’s your real name,
1. Everyone knows the majority of children vaccinated against Polio / Small Pox did not have to worry about catching it and/or spreading it.
2. Covid “vaccine” is NOT a vaccine if it was it would be like #1 above. It’s an experimental treatment that lasts a few months and works for some but has side effects and you can’t sue the big pharma developer if it causes you problems instead - Big RED flag! CDC even admitted a healthy immune system that beat covid is better.
2b. When Senator Rand Paul asked Faustian Fauci how much he and his collegues profited from the vaccines, he refused to answer citing an 1980s congressional law protecting them. No transparency = big conflict of interest if not worse.
2c. That’s been in the news where have you been? Use your google.
Good conclusion, same goes for our police force and any other occupation.
Carol FollettDec 27, 2022
Thank you for alerting us to this fact. Your article and some of the responses provoked some thoughts for me:
1) What country will welcome troops of unvaccinated people within their borders to endanger thier own citizens? For that matter, how will people in the US feel about having unvaccinated people moved all about the country potentially spreading disease?
2) We really need some good scientists within the specified field under discussion (for this issue, immunology) communicating to those outside the sciences to make sure we have the tools to reason through these decisions.
3) I am more than a little alarmed at the thought that this concession was made because mostly people with weak critical thinking skills are volunteering for the services. Educators are given the mandate to teach critical thinking skills, but it is evidently not working, so we need some help with this.
4) We need a big, loud, conversation about truth, integrity, and transparency in all walks of life. We are in this mess because intermittent reinforcement is the strongest kind of reinforcement. We, sometimes referred to by those with too much money and too much power as “the great unwashed,” have too often discovered “leaders” of every sort - corporate and political- lying to manipulate us, often the press has cooperated with those lies or sins of omission. Trust is essential and we have lost it, so we are adrift in information wars….Where are conversations about ensuing integrity and transparency happening?
Dick ConoboyDec 27, 2022
Leaving the choice of getting vaccinated or not for ANYTHING is a sure fire way to cause dissention in the ranks when unit cohesion is paramount in battle. Purposely shattering cohesion by your own commander is a form of friendly fire, being killed or injured as a result of your own actions. If you fail to understand this concept you do not understand the military.
I am not going to get drawn into all the other circular arguments, ad hominem statements and tired tropes about the COVID vaccine.
Carol FollettDec 27, 2022
I do understand your point, Dick. I am not in, nor have I been in the military, and have only my imagination to use in sympathy to your points. I do see that the President is the supreme head of the military and you hold him responsible. Your article brought some additional thoughts to my mind that it appears you do not want to discuss.
As far as the arguments about the vaccine etc., the danger of divisions within troops that need to act cohesively that you mention, is also a reflection of a dangerous divide in our citizenry that needs cohesiveness in response to crises. I would prefer that we act together with educated reason. That is what led me to the additional ideas about why we are in this pickle and what we might do to get out of it.
Dick ConoboyDec 28, 2022
I do very much agree with your points but did not want to turn this into a polemic on vaccine efficacy. Dialogue such as you suggest is my choice too, if such a dialogue is possible in this present atmosphere. I fear it is not possible and, believe me, I have tried it with friends and family. You say “educated reason” is necessary. Therein lies the rub. Barney Frank reminded us of that over a decade ago. View the clip here.