An Army National Guard Special Forces soldier recently spoke out against the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate and its negative effects on morale and recruiting, saying that unvaccinated soldiers feel as though they are “waiting with our heads laying in a guillotine.”
“Nobody can give us an answer on anything. And we’re just kind of waiting with our heads laying in a guillotine and unable to serve in a full time capacity. And it’s extremely frustrating,” Army Sgt. Lonny Posey recently told Fox News Digital in a video interview.
Posey said although the deadline for National Guard soldiers passed on June 30, those who requested accommodation cannot get an answer to their requests but have been forced to sit on the sidelines and not train, which was atrophying their skills and the military’s readiness. He said:
We’re just floating ambiguously out here. Commanders, they can’t give guidance. I don’t even blame them…they don’t have any guidance to give and everybody’s too afraid to say anything, to be held liable for…something that might not be true in the long run.
Meanwhile, you have forces that — one, your combat readiness is dwindling… . I got eight guys get pulled from deployment — they’re supposed to be deployed next month. That’s over half of a small team that actually deploy on a special mission that now can’t deploy over a virus that 99.98% survivability rate against.
We’re just waiting. We can’t go to any kind of training to further our skills are keep keep the tools in the toolbox sharp, just because we don’t have these vaccines.
Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL), the ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, also criticized the mandate’s effect on combat readiness.
“The Florida National Guard alone is going to lose over 1,000 soldiers, the National Guard writ large over 20,000. This is in the middle of a recruiting crisis, where the Army fell short by 20,000, after lowering the standard another [10,000]. So that is multiple numbers of divisions, between our recruiting crisis and the people that they’re looking to kick out over a vaccine that has shown to not be nearly as effective,” Waltz told Fox News Digital.
Posey said the vaccine mandate is having a “massive negative impact on morale.”
“There’s just growing frustration amongst the ranks,” he said, adding that many soldiers took the vaccine because they felt forced to and would not do it again with boosters.
Posey, who works in recruiting for the Florida National Guard, said he has seen 25 Special Forces recruits walk away in the past year because of the vaccine mandates and the direction in which the current administration is moving.
“Special Operations is always a small reflection of what’s going on in the rest of the Army…I would definitely gamble that the rest of the Army and all branches of service are going to be experiencing the same thing,” he said.
Waltz, a Florida Army National Guard Special Forces colonel, said he could understand the mantra from the Pentagon about “an order is an order” during the height of the pandemic, when sailors or submariners could not enter tanks or ships without affecting the other crew, but not now that the vaccines have proven ineffective at stopping the spread of the virus.
“It’s going to spread regardless of whether you’re vaccinated. The CDC has changed their guidelines, making it much more of a personal health decision,” he said.
“So from a readiness standpoint, you have our most healthy population in the country — the United States military that has been shown by data by the science to be the least affected by this virus, that basically for the vast majority of of men and women under 30, it amounts to the sniffles…the leadership needs to evaluate its order,” he said.
Nevertheless, he said the Biden Pentagon seems to be “absolutely dug in,” and said Republicans must act if they win control of the House in November.
“When Republicans take the House majority back, we’re gonna reintroduce common sense into this and we have to evaluate the risk here. We’re guaranteed to lose tens of thousands, versus the possibility that a few may get the sniffles. To me, that’s a no-brainer and this mandate has got to end,” he said.
“If things go the way they should, with this next election, I do believe you will see legislative action along this regard,” he said. “It’s going to take action from Congress to reverse this mandate and restore the good standing of soldiers who have served like Sgt. Posey and so many thousands of others.”
“You would think that the Pentagon would be looking for a way out of this…but it just seems to have gone into this ideological concrete here, that Congress is going to have to break free,” he said.
Posey compared the scrutiny troops face when filing a religious exemption from the vaccine to the unquestioning acceptance of transgender soldiers.
“Anybody who sent a religious exemption has to sit down with a chaplain to assess whether their beliefs are sincere enough to be granted approval. Meanwhile, if one of my soldiers walked in my door tomorrow — a guy wearing a dress — and told me that he was a female, I would have to accept that without question or be labeled a bigot or transphobic,” he said.
They also discussed how soldiers who are kicked out over the vaccine mandate risk losing their benefits and security clearances, which affect future employment.
“If they don’t get an honorable discharge as a result of all of this, that can hurt their future employment, whether they want to continue to serve as a police officer in the federal government, whether their VA benefits or even, you know, things like their security clearances,” Waltz said.
Waltz said the Biden Pentagon has its priorities wrong.
“[China’s Navy is] larger than ours. Their Space Force is launching more into space. They have achieved technology or technological superiority in areas like hypersonic missiles that we are playing and catch up on. They’re stealing their way to the top. They have a massive nuclear modernization and Chairman [Xi Jinping], who was just reelected for life is very clear that he plans to become the dominant global superpower,” he said.
“Meanwhile, we seem to have a leadership in the Pentagon that’s more worried about pronouns, sexual orientation, vaccines, and other types of things outside of war-fighting…we need to right this ship,” he added.