DoD “expects that the commanders will use those tools short of having to use the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice),” says John Kirby.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby warned that vaccine-hesitant troops will be pressured to take the COVID injection by physicians and even their commanding officers until they make the “right decision” and get jabbed.
Kirby said in a Wednesday press briefing that with the exception of religious grounds and preexisting conditions, every service member who doesn’t agree to take the shot will face an array of coercive “tools” until they do.
“If it’s an objection outside those two frameworks, the individual will be offered a chance to sit down with a physician and have that physician communicate to them the risks that they’re taking by continuing to not want to take the vaccine,” Kirby said.
“They will also be offered a chance to sit down with their chain of command and their leadership to talk about the risks that their objection will impose on the unit and on the force, and on their teammates.”
“The point is…the commanders have a wide range of tools available to them to help their teammates make the right decision,” he added.
“For themselves, their families, and for their units. And we expect – the Secretary [of Defense Lloyd Austin] expects that the commanders will use those tools short of having to use the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice).”In other words, a court-martial.
The Defense Department made the COVID injection mandatory for service members right after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formally approved the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA shot on Monday.
According to Pentagon data, more than 800,000 service members have not received the COVID injection.