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New commander of OK National Guard says he will NOT enforce the Defense Department’s vaccine mandate


New commander of Oklahoma National Guard declares he will NOT enforce the Defense Department’s vaccine mandate after his pro-vax predecessor was suddenly replaced by state governor Kevin Stitt

  • Army Brigadier General Thomas Mancino will be the new adjutant general, Governor Kevin Stitt said. He has yet to be confirmed by the state senate 
  • His predecessor, Army Major General Michael Thompson, said that he found out he’d lost his job via social media 
  • Thompson is a public supporter of the vaccines, and posted a picture of himself receiving a COVID booster shot in late October on Twitter 
  • Governor Stitt’s office said that the change of plans in the transition timeline was for ‘continuity of operations’ 
  • The day after he took the job from Thompson, Mancio put out a policy memo confirming the state would not enforce the mandate on state-controlled forces 


The Oklahoma National Guard will not enforce the US Defense Department’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate after a change in commanding officers. 

Army Brigadier General Thomas Mancino will be the new adjutant general, Governor Kevin Stitt said. He has yet to be confirmed by the state senate.  

His predecessor, Army Major General Michael Thompson, said that he found out he’d lost his job via social media. 

Thompson was scheduled to transition out of the job in favor of Mancino on January 15, but these changes will now take place as soon as possible.  

Thompson is a public supporter of the vaccines, and posted a picture of himself receiving a COVID booster shot in late October on Twitter. 

Army Brigadier General Thomas Mancino

Army Brigadier General Thomas Mancino (pictured right) replaces Army Major General Michael Thompson, who found out he’d lost his job via social media

Governor Kevin Stitt (pictured above) announced that Mancino would be taking over two months earlier than previously expected

Governor Kevin Stitt (pictured above) announced that Mancino would be taking over two months earlier than previously expected

Mancino sent out a memo on his first day on the job saying the state would not enforce Covid-19 vaccine mandates

Mancino sent out a memo on his first day on the job saying the state would not enforce Covid-19 vaccine mandates

He was asked by reporters if his support for vaccinations cost him his job.  

He replied: ‘You would probably have to ask the Governor that.’ Stitt, a Republican, has come out against federal vaccine mandates touted by the Biden administration. 

Governor Stitt’s office said that the change of plans in the transition timeline was for ‘continuity of operations.’   

‘The decision had been in the works for a while and was not related to his support of vaccine mandates,’ a spokesperson continued. 

The day after he took the job from Thompson, Mancio put out a policy memo confirming the state would not enforce the mandate on state-controlled forces. 

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin favors the vaccination mandates for soldiers

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin favors the vaccination mandates for soldiers

Around 67.7 percent of Americans have had at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine

Around 67.7 percent of Americans have had at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine

‘No Oklahoma Guardsman will be required to take the COVID-19 Vaccine,’ Mancino says in the Thursday memo, which adds that Stitt is the force’s ‘lawful Commander in Chief’ when not mobilized by the Pentagon.

Stitt wrote a letter on November 2 requesting the Defense Department not enforce the mandate on Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard members, claiming 10 percent of the state’s troops had declined the vaccine.   

He added that the mandate was ‘irresponsible.’   

A spokesman for the Pentagon said the DoD is aware of the memo and the letter and said it will respond to the governor appropriately. 

‘That said, [Defense] Secretary [Lloyd] Austin believes a vaccinated force is a more ready force,’ added Kirby. ‘That is why he has ordered mandatory vaccines for the total force, and that includes our National Guard, who contribute significantly to national missions at home and abroad.’  

National Guard troops are under the control of governors unless mobilized by Washington, which means federal law could eventually supersede Stitt’s.         

Title 32, the section of the U.S. Code that pertains to the National Guard, has a section specifying that states that do not comply with Title 32 regulations forfeit their federal funding for the Guard. It’s not clear, though, whether the vaccine mandate meets that legal threshold. 

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