Introduction

I fully support a recent article published by Breitbart News describing that former troops are suing the U.S. government for lost pay and benefits due to the Biden administration’s military vaccine mandate https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2023/11/20/former-troops-punished-over-bidens-vaccine-mandate-sue-for-billions-in-lost-wages/. I would point out this extends to our Military Academies and our ROTC Commissioning Programs. The long-standing controversy surrounding the vaccine mandate for former troops has shed light on the perceived failure of senior military leaders to protect and prioritize the well-being of those they are sworn to serve. This essay argues that the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Service Chiefs, and other Generals and Admirals who did not stand up for their troops have demonstrated poor leadership decisions. Safeguarding the troops extends beyond their medical health, protecting them from the influences of politicization. By following the politicization of COVID-19 at the expense of their men and women, these leaders have failed in their highest responsibility.

The Issues

  1. Safeguarding Troops: A Core Responsibility

The primary responsibility of military leaders is to safeguard the troops under their command. This obligation encompasses their physical safety in combat and their overall well-being, including medical health. The commitment to protect troops should extend to shielding them from the influences of political agendas that may compromise their welfare.

  1. Vaccine Mandate: A Controversial Decision

The vaccine mandate for former troops has sparked widespread debate. While public health measures are vital during a global pandemic, how the vaccine mandate was enforced raises concerns about prioritizing political agendas over the troops’ interests. By punishing former troops who did not comply, military leaders have failed to demonstrate the empathy and understanding required to maintain the trust and respect of their subordinates.

  1. Failure of Leadership

The Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Service Chiefs, and other senior military leaders are responsible for the decisions made regarding the vaccine mandate. Their failure to stand up for their troops, challenge politicization, and advocate for alternative solutions has questioned their commitment to protect those who serve under them. Leadership requires making difficult choices and prioritizing the troops’ well-being over political pressures. Regrettably, these leaders have fallen short in this regard.