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News from the Oklahoma National Guard

NEWS | Dec. 9, 2021

Adjutant General's message: Dec. 9, 2021

By Brig. Gen. Thomas H. Mancino, adjutant general for Oklahoma

Oklahoma Guard Family,
I owe you an update on the latest news concerning the DoD COVID-19 vaccine mandate, specifically the new guidance from the Secretary of the Air Force.  
First let me stress again, that as the Governor has repeatedly said, this is an issue of personal responsibility:

Personal responsibility necessitates you educate yourself, because by its very nature it implies you are responsible for the decision and the ultimate outcome.

The Governor did not grant you the right to not take the vaccine, you have always had that right. The Governor has used his authority under Title 32 to grant you a limited safe harbor within his authority to not be subject to Title 10 negative actions for not taking the vaccine.
I fully support the authority of the Governor under the constitution and Title 32 to govern his forces in Oklahoma, as does the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS). It is a legal question as to how far that authority extends. That question will have to be answered in the courts or be addressed in Congress.
As I have said, continued service in the national guard will require connections with Title 10 authority. Such connections including training events, schools, and mobilizations are going to eventually force you out of that safe harbor, and subject you to title 10 authorities. This is reality. 
Anyone exercising their personal responsibility and deciding not to take the vaccine, must realize that the potential for career ending federal action, barring a favorable court ruling, legislative intervention, or a change in policy is present.
It is important you do not mistake my vigorous defense of the Governor’s rights under Title 32 as a guarantee you will not face consequences from Title 10 authority. I have no such power. 
For example, I recognize the authority of the Secretary under 32 U.S.C. 328 to withhold consent allowing unvaccinated members to be placed on Title 32 Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) orders. This is a valid use of his authority under Title 32 and will be respected.
I would like to share with you again, that I am fully vaccinated, plus the booster. I believe the vaccine to be safe and effective against COVID-19 based on the millions of doses administered.

I also recognize each Soldier and Airmen’s right to choose for themselves. This is a right you have irrespective of the actions of the Governor or myself on your behalf.

It is indeed a matter of personal choice. Please choose wisely. In Oklahoma we will respect your choice and treat you with the respect and dignity your service to our State and Nation has earned.
Video by Spc. Danielle Rayon
Oklahoma National Guard Museum hosts Veterans Day Ceremony
Oklahoma National Guard
Nov. 11, 2023 | 2:02
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma National Guard Museum hosted its annual Veterans Day ceremony, Nov. 11, 2023.
The ceremony drew a diverse crowd including military members, their families, supporters and retired service members. The event, a time-honored tradition, paid tribute to those who have served with reverence and respect.
The museum's grounds echoed with the presence of those who have served, creating a reverent atmosphere befitting the occasion. Attendees gathered to honor the sacrifices made by veterans and to express gratitude for their service.
Col. Brad Carter, assistant adjutant general – Army, Oklahoma National Guard, addressed the gathering, delivering a powerful message that resonated with the audience.
“To those veterans who accepted carrying the torch of responsibility, we are forever indebted,” Carter said. “For those veterans who were willing to pick up that torch from those before them, we are eternally grateful, and for those who are waiting to grasp it, go forward with the sacrifices made by those who also wore the uniform foremost in our mind.”