DES MOINES, Iowa – On Tuesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds and four other governors sent a letter to the Department of Defense requesting the withdraw of vaccine mandate directives to National Guard members that are in Title 32 duty status.
The U.S. Supreme Court has for decades affirmed that the National Guard is under the command and control of the Governor of each state until those members are called up to active-duty status under Title 10. Therefore, Reynolds requests that the federal government abide by the law, allowing her to retain authority over the Iowa National Guard members and allow them personal choice without penalization of their status with the National Guard.
“The federal government continues to overreach further into the lives of Americans and especially those serving our country and protecting our very freedoms,” said Gov. Reynolds. “These are the very men and women who have selflessly devoted their lives to protecting us and responding to major disasters and times of crisis at the drop of a hat to provide peace and comfort, and now the federal government is giving them an ultimatum to get the vaccine or be separated from serving their country. It’s unconscionable to think the government will go so far as to strip these honorable men and women of the nation’s top duties if they don’t comply. They protect the very freedoms that the federal government apparently doesn’t believe they too deserve.”
The letter was sent to Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III by Governor Mark Gordon, Wyoming; Governor Mike Dunleavy, Alaska; Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa; Governor Tate Reeves, Mississippi; and Governor Pete Ricketts, Nebraska. The deadline for U.S. National Guard members to be vaccinated was Dec. 2. According to reports, nearly 50,000 military members across all branches refuse to get vaccinated at this time.
Read the letter below:Joint Governors Letter to SECDEF - NG Vaccine Mandate 12.14.2021