Gina Jones, the Under Secretary of the Air Force, gave extremely misleading testimony to Rep. Matt Gaetz when he was questioning her on topics surrounding the military vaccine mandate. According to Jones, the Air Force “did not discharge any officers as a result of them failing to obey the lawful order. For those that opted to voluntarily separate or retire in lieu of, they voluntarily did that.”
It’s technically not a lie
The issue with that statement is that a large number of Air Force officers were involuntarily moved to the IRR (Individual Ready Reserve) which effectively ended their careers. One of those officers was Lieutenant Colonel Brandi King. On February 22, 2022, Major General Jeffrey Pennington, Deputy Commander for Air Force Reserve Command, notified her through a memorandum which stated, “I am initiating an involuntary reassignment to the non-participating IRR in accordance with Department of the Air Force Instruction 36-2110… This initiation to involuntarily reassign you to the IRR is due to your non-compliance with the COVID-19 vaccination individual medical requirement.”
At nineteen and a half years of service, she was sent to the IRR which ended her income, healthcare and potential retirement. That’s a neat bit of word play, isn’t it? Department of Defense officials misleading Congress by saying they haven’t discharged officers ends the line of questioning on the spot without having to explain that the end conclusion is their career being over all the same.
The real “irony” here is that Lt. Col. King was contacted, along with many other non-discharged officers, and told she was “allowed” to go to a recruiter if she wanted to rejoin the Air Force. However, she’ll be subject to the same entry level standards as she was twenty years ago when she first joined. Between Congress being mislead and flat out lied to, it’s no wonder Congress has been led around by their nose by the DOD since the mandate was initially put in place.