Gov. Noem and Colleagues Urge Congress to Remove COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Military


PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem and 20 other governors urged congressional leadership to remove and prohibit the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on members of the U.S. Armed Forces. You can find the letter here.


“The Biden vaccine mandate on our military creates a national security risk that severely impacts our defense capabilities abroad and our state readiness here at home,” wrote Governor Noem and her colleagues.


The letter points to the fact that current servicemembers are leaving the ranks of the U.S. Armed Forces, and that new recruits are not signing up to join:

  • On October 8, 2022, U.S. Army National Guard Chief of Staff Major General Rich Baldwin explained that the National Guard missed its recruiting target by 10% and announced that 7,500 members left service.
  • On September 21, 2022, Deputy Chief of the Army National Guard Strength Maintenance Division Anson Smith revealed that the National Guard was preparing to discharge approximately 14,000 soldiers in the next two years for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • On October 10, 2022, U.S. Army Secretary Christine Wormuth revealed that the Army failed its recruitment goal by 25% falling 15,000 recruits short of the target.
  • As of November 15, 2022, the Armed Forces discharged 8,000 Active Duty members since the implementation of the Biden vaccine mandate.


“As President Biden, himself, stated on September 18, 2022, ‘The pandemic is over,’” conclude Governor Noem and her colleagues.


The letter is cosigned by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Idaho Governor Brad Little, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Utah Governor Spencer Cox, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.