Exclusive: TN National Guard Sources Demand Governor Lee Take Action on Vaccine Mandate Firings and Stop ‘This Injustice Now’

NASHVILLE, TennesseeThe Tennessee Star has obtained exclusive information from sources inside the Tennessee National Guard that are calling for Governor Bill Lee to take immediate action because “his adjutant general is about to discharge hundreds of his National Guard soldiers before the end of the month for not complying with an unlawful order.”

This group of Tennessee National Guardsmen provided The Star with their message for Governor Lee on the condition of anonymity:

The Governor needs to IMMEDIATELY order Major General Holmes to halt the discharge of these honorable men and women. He needs to order Attorney General Slatery to IMMEDIATELY coordinate with other state AGs to file an emergency injunction against the DoD, forcing them to reverse adverse actions against any National Guardsman for refusal to vaccinate. Governor Lee is the Commander in Chief of the Tennessee National Guard and he has that authority. It’s time to put a stop to this injustice now!

All sources spoke with The Star on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of their positions.

These Tennessee National Guard sources came forward, they said, because they want to correct an injustice that is about to happen and is happening to soldiers.

Sources inside the Tennessee National Guard estimate there will be much as a 10 percent force reduction from soldiers who are about to be discharged due to refusal to accept a COVID-19 vaccination.

Those who have outright refused will be discharged no later than June 30, less than two weeks away.

Others who have requested exemptions for religious reasons, such as objections to their believed use of fetal cells in the development and testing of the vaccines, will follow shortly thereafter.

Not included in those estimates are those who have already chosen to voluntarily leave the service or retire early rather than “inject themselves with something they believe to be detrimental to their health or conscience.”

In August of 2021, the United States secretary of defense issued a memo mandating that all members of the U.S. military receive a COVID-19 vaccination:

Mandatory vaccinations against COVID-19 will only use COVID-19 vaccines that receive full licensure from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in accordance with the FDA-approved labeling and guidance.

At that time, the FDA announced that Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine had received approval.

However, it was not as widely reported that Pfizer had not in fact produced the approved version at the time. A recent FDA document even acknowledged:

Although COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) and SPIKEVAX (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) are
approved to prevent COVID-19 in certain individuals who fall within the scope of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine authorization, there is not sufficient approved vaccine available for distribution to this population in its entirety at the time of reissuance of this EUA.

The Department of Defense, in practice, has used the approval as applying to the BioNTech vaccine that was administered only under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

An FDA letter additionally admitted that the two products were “legally distinct.”

“Pfizer recently and quietly updated its information on the CDC website acknowledging that they have never produced a single vial of the product that has been forcibly and deceptively administered as the FDA-approved Comirnaty,” said a source.

The update states:

Pfizer received initial FDA BLA on 8/23/2021 for its COVID-19 vaccine for use in individuals 16 and older (COMIRNATY). At that time, the FDA published a BLA package insert that included the approved new COVID-19 vaccine tradename COMIRNATY and listed 2 NDCs 0069-1000-03, 0069-1000-02) and images of the labels with the new tradename. These NDCs will not be manufactured. Only NDCs for the subsequently BLA approved tris-sucrose formulation will be produced.

The sources say that this fact alone “makes the order unlawful in that it violates the very policy that the secretary of defense memo established.

“In essence, this means that the service members were forced, in many cases under duress of losing their full-time jobs, to accept an experimental therapy under false pretense, for which they have no legal recourse,” they said.

“Although it is difficult to estimate the number of soldiers who were compelled to accept the shot against their will, many of them have expressed support for those who have not complied. However, most are afraid to do so publicly due to fear of retribution,” another source said.

According to sources, many have objected to the COVID-19 vaccines on strongly held religious beliefs, primarily due to their objection to the use of aborted fetal cells in the development (J&J) and testing (Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J) of the three available vaccines.

“Tennessee is overwhelmingly conservative and heavily pro-life. Many of our National Guardsman feel the same way and would be willing to forfeit their military careers rather than violate their moral convictions. The DoD established a policy for religious exemptions, but the Army designated the surgeon general as the final approval authority; not a chaplain or even a commanding officer who would have a personal connection with the soldier and understand their sincerity,” one source said.

“To date, less than 200 total exemptions have been granted in the entire U.S. military; nearly all of those were for service members who were already on their way out. Many of the remaining soldiers who have filed for exemptions stated that they now feel isolated and that their leaders show open hostility toward them for not compromising their deeply held beliefs by taking something they find morally objectionable,” another source added.

Federal laws including the Equal Opportunity Act and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act prohibit discrimination against employees (including the military) on religious grounds.

“These laws are not only being ignored; they are currently being intentionally violated. It needs to stop,” an unnamed soldier said.

The sources additionally said that getting a medical exemption is even harder to get than a religious one.

The Army’s regulation AR 40-562 recognizes disease-acquired natural immunity as providing sufficient protection in lieu of a vaccine.

However, the previously mentioned secretary of defense memo specifically excludes natural immunity from consideration:

Those with previous COVID-19 infection are not considered fully vaccinated.

“For the first time in history, this regulation is being ignored despite multiple peer-reviewed studies that now show that natural immunity is as much as 27 times more effective at preventing re-infection of COVID-19, and is more durable than any of the vaccines,” one of the National Guard sources said.

“Even those with medical issues that should exempt them from receiving this experimental treatment are unable to get approval,” a particularly outraged source said.

An officer with over 20 years of service and multiple deployments had a previous adverse reaction to a different vaccine that required hospitalization. He requested a medical exemption from the COVID vaccine on the advice of his doctor. He provided a strongly worded letter from his primary care physician advising that he was at an elevated risk of a severe reaction if he took the COVID vaccine. Despite his doctor’s recommendation, his exemption request was denied by the Tennessee Medical Command.

He stated:

I literally am in a position of having to choose between my life and my career. What do you do? My biggest question is, how can you fight for the freedom of your country when you have none of that freedom yourself? It’s sad to serve your country for all of these years and have no one stand up for you, including the Governor.

The officer has chosen to retire early rather than risk permanent disability or worse.

That officer, according to the sources, isn’t the only one who has chosen to leave the service rather than take the shot. The Tennessee National Guard is seeing a mass exodus, with early retirements and soldiers declining re-enlistment at a time when recruiting efforts are already struggling.

One master sergeant with over 23 years of service and two deployments, chose last week to retire early. She had been told by her leaders that her religious accommodation request was unlikely to be approved and that she risked dishonorable discharge and losing eligibility for the pension she had earned, unless she retired before June 30. She had wanted to continue serving for another 13 years and was visibly emotional as she said:

Hanging up your boots is a big deal. Being in the military is a lifestyle not just a job. It means a lot to me and I am forced into this decision under duress. It’s just not right.

Many service members who are leaving do not yet qualify for retirement benefits, sources say. Still, they are willing to forfeit retirement, education benefits, and their health insurance rather than comply with the mandate.

“What does the loss of so many Guardsmen do to our ability to respond when needed? The last couple of years have seen the National Guard take leading roles and deploy thousands of troops in response to COVID-19, civil unrest, and devastating hurricanes in our neighboring states, in addition to continued international deployments. Can we assume that those or similar crises will never return, or that we can afford to lose hundreds of soldiers and still field an appropriate force?” the source said.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTRTwitterTruth Social, and Parler.
Photo “Bill Lee” by Gov. Bill Lee. Background Photo “Tennessee National Guard” by The National Guard. CC BY 2.0.

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2 Thoughts to “Exclusive: TN National Guard Sources Demand Governor Lee Take Action on Vaccine Mandate Firings and Stop ‘This Injustice Now’”

  1. Cannoneer2

    “Demand Governor Lee take action”. TAKE ACTION???? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  2. 83ragtop50

    Lee doesn’t have the guts to do it. He is nothing but a feel good politician. Too bad we will be stuck with him for another 4 years. No one will challenge him for fear that they would be dissed by the less than conservative Tennessee GOP elite. How on earth did we ever get to such a terrible position?