It’s not a stretch to say the DOD’s rules and restrictions, pertaining to those who have refused to be lab rats for an unlicensed vaccine, are almost entirely subjective and cherry picked. Loose guidance, likely in place as nothing more than a “legal” framework and shiny coat of paint for public perception, is often interpreted differently based on whichever branch, installation or campus you reference. When someone asks me, “how can they get away with this,” my answer is consistent; as long as their agenda is pointed in the same trajectory as the lawless agenda of the DOD, your command could commit murder and probably get away with it under the pretense of “mission readiness” and “force protection.”
The cadet I wrote about who completed all of the requirements for their Physician’s Assistant Studies, but would not be allowed to commission or even graduate due to a stipulation between the university and the DOD, is a maddening example of how willing the DOD is to shoot itself in the foot to stick to their guns at all costs and prove a point. The cadet who messaged yesterday with an email from their command stating they weren’t allowed to ride in GSA vehicles because “the army policy is no official travel for unvaccinated service members. USACC clarified that since GSA is our mode of transportation for official travel for training, unvaccinated Cadets could not be transported” is perhaps the most arbitrary and loosely interpreted example of the rulebook I’ve seen yet.
However, maybe the most brain dead example of “we have no idea what we’re doing so we’re just making this up as we go,” is a Green to Gold cadet who is disenrolling from the program since they aren’t allowed to commission but will stay on as cadre with the program where they’ll be rated in a role they’re technically not allowed to fulfill.
“Jo” (that’s what I’m going to call her) served ten years on active duty and made Staff Sergeant (SSG) before she was accepted into the highly competitive Green to Gold program which takes active duty soldiers, educates them, and turns them into officers. Jo has an extensive background in specialized training (I won’t list here) which translates into a lot of money having been spent over her career to train her in a skillset requiring a lot of institutional work. Jo estimates over a million dollars has been spent on her training, and that seems fairly accurate based on what I know about the training involved.
Jo submitted a religious accommodation over a year ago for the vaccine, and just like 99% of everyone else, has not received a yes or no from the Army. (Surprise, it’s no, but if they don’t answer you, they can keep you in limbo and pad their numbers until they can kick you out at their leisure.) Jo has two years left on her contract and opted to disenroll from the program instead of “rotting away in the ROTC supply closet they’ve quarantined me in.” Jo would rather serve out the rest of her contract as a SSG.
USACC policy still states the unvaccinated can’t PCS , so Jo is stuck (despite the Army saying they can; see earlier when I said the rules are loose and commands just do what they want). This means Jo will stay with her current ROTC unit and join the rest of the cadre. She’ll be restricted from traveling in a GSA (like the cadet above) and can’t be present in the classroom with the other cadets to help instruct or participate in exercises (even though she just spent the last two years of ROTC and 30 days of Cadet Summer Training sharing space with these same, exact students).
To recap, cadets who don’t opt to participate in a global experiment can’t commission, can’t PCS, can’t graduate, can’t drive in a government vehicle, can’t be around the same students they trained with during the pandemic for the last two years if they disenroll, and can’t even leave the service because they still have a contract (whatever a contract even means anymore). In the meantime, the Army missed their recruiting quota for FY22 by 25%. This is akin to a man getting a vasectomy then wondering why they can’t have kids. If your head hurts trying to understand what you just read, know you’re not alone. Just do what everyone else is doing; turn on Netflix and forget the world is falling apart around you.