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Under Secretary of Defense Orders National Guard/Ready Reserve to be Vaccinated

MEMORANDUM FOR SECRETARIES OF THE MILITARY SERVICES CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF

UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR PERSONNEL AND READINESS

CHIEF OF THE NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU
SUBJECT: Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Members of the National Guard and the 
Ready Reserve

In my memorandum of August 24, 2021, "Mandatory Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination of Department of Defense Service Members," I directed the Secretaries of the Military Departments to immediately begin full vaccination of all members of the Armed Forces under DoD authority on active duty or in the Ready Reserve, including the National Guard, who are not fully vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Vaccination is essential to the health and readiness of the Force. Accordingly, the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Air Force, in coordination with the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, shall establish, as appropriate, policies and implementation guidance to address the failure to maintain this military medical readiness requirement by members of the non-federalized National Guard who remain unvaccinated, including as follows:

  • Unless otherwise exempted in accordance with Department policy, all members ofthe National Guard must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by the deadlines established by the Army or Air Force, as appropriate, or must subsequently become vaccinated, in order to participate in drills, training and other.duty conducted under title 32, U.S. Code.

  • No Department of Defense funding may be allocated for payment of duties performed under title 32 for members ofthe National Guard who do not comply with Department of Defense .COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

  • No credit or excused absence shall be afforded to members who do not participate in drills, training, or other duty due to failure to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

    The Secretaries of the Military Department, in coordination with the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, shall issue similar guidance and policy for members of the Ready Reserve, in addition to the guidance and policy issued by the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force, with respect to members of the non-federalized National Guard.

    The policies and implementation guidance directed by this memorandum shall be published no later than December 6, 2021. As I've said before,vaccination of the Force will save lives and is essential to our readiness. Thank you for your continued leadership and focus on this critical mission.

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