The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Signing up to follow orders

Air Force Technical Sargent Kyle Trengo prepares to administer a Moderna coronavirus vaccine at the Talbot County Community Center in Easton, Md., on Feb. 5.
Air Force Technical Sargent Kyle Trengo prepares to administer a Moderna coronavirus vaccine at the Talbot County Community Center in Easton, Md., on Feb. 5. (Will Newton/For The Washington Post)
Placeholder while article actions load

Regarding the Oct. 29 Politics & the Nation article “Air Force faces challenge as troop vaccine deadline nears”:

It is outrageous that troops, trained to follow orders and to take risks for their county and comrades, would draw the line at taking a safe and effective vaccine.

Concerns over loss of liberty contrast sharply with willingness to conform to more drastic intrusions inherent in a military career, or acquiescence by Americans who submitted to airport body scans and random phone surveillance.

Likewise, religious objections over the use of fetal cells in vaccine development ring hollow compared with the acceptance of the deaths of thousands of actual children killed by drone attacks.

Even mistaken concerns about vaccine safety or the severity and impact of covid in the country do not excuse military members from their sworn duty to obey orders. An airman who refused to follow orders to put themselves in harm’s way because they did not believe their superior’s assertions that there were “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq would not have been so coddled.

Letting these troops go could have multiple benefits. It would reinforce that legal orders must be followed. It would remove those service members who have demonstrated their unreliability. If it decreased the readiness of the military to respond to crisis, it might increase the incentive to develop nonmilitary responses to world events. Perhaps the money saved on their salary and benefits could be used to provide vaccines for those in the world who are pleading for relief.

Terence McCormally, Reston

Loading...