In yet another addition to the repetitive back and forth “game” of the DOD getting caught breaking/trying to break the law, denying it, then changing what they wrote, the FRAGO 35 addition I wrote about last week has been rescinded with an updated FRAGO 36.
According to FRAGO 35, the vaccine mandate, which was rescinded in the FY23 NDAA, was in fact not rescinded for the National Guard and Ready Reserve. Not only did the shocking verbiage catch the attention of a number of publications (Daily Caller, Just the News), but the Army issued an official response through Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder who stated, “The NDAA requires that, not later than 30 days after enactment, the Secretary of Defense rescind the mandate that members of the Armed Forces be vaccinated against COVID-19.” He confirmed this applied to members of the National Guard as well.
One might believe this to be an innocuous error, or the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. I can assure you this isn’t the case, and it’s the reason why we’re quick to point out these fouls whenever the Pentagon tries to bury them in guidance they push out to the force which often lacks any congressional oversight.
While it’s important the guidance in FRAGO 35 is rescinded, it’s even more important that state TAGs (Adjutant Generals) remove the mandate as well. A Chief Warrant Officer 3 Guardsman we spoke to told us, “regardless if the SECDEF rescinds his 30 Nov memo threatening loss of funds to the Guard for lack of compliance, it has nothing to do with the individual states Adjutant General’s Orders which state members of the National Guard must be vaccinated. These TAGs would have to rescind their mandates independent from the DoD’s federal mandate for active duty.”
There is much to be done to officially remove the mandate, and we’ll be sure to comb through every bit of guidance to ensure it falls within the law.