Navy Cmdr. Rob Green speaks out against the now-rescinded COVID-19 vaccine mandate
(The Epoch Times)—Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s August 2021 military vaccine mandate weakened the U.S. military, and the repercussions still haven’t peaked, according to a senior U.S. Navy officer.
Navy Commander Rob Green said that while the military vaccine mandate was officially rescinded in January, it may have caused irreparable harm and a “looming” readiness crisis, he told The Epoch Times. Cmdr. Green, who is on active service and risks retaliation for his views, emphasized that his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the Pentagon or the Department of the Navy.
In his book “Defending the Constitution Behind Enemy Lines,” Cmdr. Green shared a number of compelling human stories from those who fought back against the military mandate and analyzed those actions in light of similar actions taken by America’s Founding Fathers.
From the very beginning, he argued that the mandate was “a blatantly unconstitutional order,” largely because service members were offered vaccines that were labeled as authorized for emergency use only, rather than having full Food and Drug Administration approval.
“The amount of coercion that took place to encourage service members to take the vaccine destroyed what little credibility our military leaders had left after the embarrassing Afghanistan withdrawal,” he said.
“There has been a deep betrayal of trust starting with the Global War on Terror (GWOT) to the Afghanistan withdrawal and now finally to the military vaccine mandate with the subsequent targeted removal of conscientious service members,” he said. “Senior military leaders are refusing to even acknowledge these mistakes, let alone attempt to correct them.”
“Service members who were kicked out or made the decision to leave [the military] because of the mandate are still reeling,” Cmdr. Green said. “But most people, including the media, have only focused on the tens of thousands [of service members] who either voluntarily or involuntarily separated.”
Meanwhile, “no one is focusing on the betrayal of trust for the hundreds of thousands of people who did not want to go along, but ended up with a shot in their arm anyway.”
“The initial push for an ineffective, unlawful vaccine followed by it being rescinded has resulted in a betrayal of trust beyond what words can describe,” Cmdr. Green said. “There is no doubt in my mind that recruitment and retention will suffer much more than it is now.
“Unless our leaders take radical actions to hold themselves and their peers accountable, the lack of trust in our military will result in a massive readiness crash,” he said. “It is a looming, unspoken mass exodus, and will likely come to fruition in the next three to five years, as those who felt betrayed come to the end of their enlistments or reach retirement eligibility.
“They’ve realized no one cares about the physical injuries caused [by the vaccine], or the harm to their individual rights,” Cmdr. Green said, referring to their right to refusal. In addition, he said that “as vaccine injuries become more prevalent, we are seeing the VA [Department of Veterans Affairs] refuse to acknowledge any connection to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.”
For Cmdr. Green, “This should be no different than how we take care of service members forced to live in asbestos-infested buildings or forcibly exposed to Agent Orange.”
In a recently published op-ed on LifeSiteNews, Cmdr. Green argued that by not holding anyone accountable for those failures, military leadership can no longer be trusted.
He wrote that no one was held accountable for the 7,000 lives lost in a Global War on Terror with “no clear strategic objectives or victory criteria.” He also pointed out that no one was held accountable for the botched Afghanistan withdrawal or the 8,400 service members separated over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
In an effort to change Department of Defense policy, he said, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) recently slowed the process of flag and general officer promotions, holding up promotions of over 300 admirals and generals. Cmdr. Green’s op-ed noted the dichotomy in how senior military leaders handled this promotion hold, as compared to the Afghanistan and COVID-19 vaccine mandate failures.
“Instead of correcting these critical betrayals [GWOT, Afghanistan, and COVID-19 Mandate],” Cmdr. Green wrote in his op-ed, “the three service secretaries have engineered a media blitz focused exclusively on the highest-level brass and their next promotions.”
According to Cmdr. Green, until there is accountability at the highest levels, “a significant number of service members will no longer trust our uniformed and civilian leaders to have the moral courage to do the right thing, to follow the law, or to stand up for service members’ constitutional rights.”
He said, “There is so much money at stake that ‘We the People’ are going to have to force [military leadership] to admit their mistakes and do the right thing. If we fail to do this and fail to hold our leaders accountable, the recruiting crisis will just be the tip of the iceberg, and the resulting readiness crash will leave us weaker and more vulnerable than we have been since the War of 1812.
“Personnel gaps across all ships in the U.S. Fleet ballooned from 7,000 to more than 18,000 in just under two years, and the crisis is deepening as the Navy and the other services are continuing to miss recruiting targets by wide margins,” he said. “The readiness bubble is about to burst. We’re going to see a shortage [of service members] like we’ve never seen before.”
Loss of Individual Liberty
Apart from the recruiting decline and the precipitous drop in public trust, Cmdr. Green said there’s another contributing factor that’s going to be detrimental to military readiness and the security of the nation.
“Senior military leaders have become enemies of the Constitution,” he said. “They swore an oath to defend the Constitution against foreign and domestic threats.”
“[Because] the Constitution enshrines individual liberty as paramount,” he said, “the entire point of the Constitution is not to defend the government from the people but to defend the rights of individuals in the face of some future tyrannical government.”
He says, “That future is now, and those in the military who sought to trample individual rights have made themselves domestic enemies to the Constitution.” For this reason, he said, “These leaders must be resisted, and God willing, eventually held accountable.”
Leaders Prioritize Political Agendas
Senior military leadership remains focused on pushing political agendas and not on supporting and enabling individuals to be the best citizens they can be in defending the constitutional republic, he said. For example, he noted that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training is running rampant at places such as the Air Force Academy and is weakening the U.S. armed forces.
“These [DEI] programs are placing institutional problems on groups of people rather than judging each individual on their own words and actions,” Cmdr. Green said. “Ultimately, this is the destruction of the individual and individual rights in favor of grand political programs designed to coral groups of people into bins that make it easier for the government to control them.”
For the military specifically, “the current crop [of military leaders] want service members who are compliant and malleable. They want service members who are not willing to stand up for their own rights,” he said. “If they are successful in purging the military of patriots, the majority of those who remain [in service to the country] will likely be exactly what they want.”
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Davis Younts, a military defense attorney, shares Cmdr. Green’s concerns.
“Military service in our nation is and must always be based on an Oath to support and defend the Constitution,” he stated. “Unfortunately, much of the Department of Defense has become staffed by bureaucrats and politicians rather than leaders or true warriors.
“These bureaucrats treat their uniform as a costume to be worn in front of the cameras rather than a symbol of their commitment to stand for freedom.”
He says “The trampling of religious freedom and the decision to ignore basic fundamental and inalienable rights during the pandemic caused a crisis of trust not only among active service members but among the American public as a whole.
“This crisis will only continue to worsen unless there is a renewed commitment among military leaders to stand by their oath and place a higher value and the rule of law and integrity than their pension.”
Call for Accountability
The newly confirmed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. C.Q. Brown, recently issued his first Message to the Joint Force, in which he discussed the foundation of trust required for the profession of arms.
“Trust across the force, that we will do right by each other,” he stated. “The trust of our families, that we will care for them through trial and triumph, [and that] as Chairman, I will strive every day to strengthen these bonds.”
Bradley Miller, a former U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who previously served as a battalion commander in the 101st Airborne Division, was relieved of his command in October 2021 for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.
Like Cmdr. Green, and in contrast to Gen. Brown’s comments, Mr. Miller says he’s witnessed a betrayal of trust in senior military leadership decisions in recent years.
“Commander Rob Green has called the senior military leadership to account for their unlawful actions and they have failed to answer that call,” Mr. Miller said. “As Green has steadfastly pointed out, the Pentagon leadership has repeatedly sided against the Constitution, against the law, and against the rights of its service members.”
“Military readiness is currently in a state of freefall,” he said. “This is not in spite of the actions by DoD leaders to prevent this crash, but precisely because of the actions they have taken that have directly led to it.”
In response to an inquiry from The Epoch Times, a Pentagon official said in an email, “Our research shows that the top barriers to service are concerns about death or injury, PTSD, emotional issues, and leaving friends and family—not political issues.”
“Concerns about vaccines and ‘wokeness’ are among the least likely to be raised as reasons not to join the military.”
This article was updated to add a comment from the Pentagon.
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