Governor Leads Coalition Penning Joint Letter to Defense Secretary over National Guard Vaccine Mandate Consequences

December 14, 2021

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Mark Gordon and four other Republican governors signed a letter to the Secretary of Defense today asserting that disciplinary directives to National Guard members serving in a state capacity “are beyond (the Secretary’s) constitutional and statutory authority.”

In the letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, the Governors note that the Supreme Court has affirmed “that the National Guard is under the command and control of the Governor of each state unless those members are called to active service under Title 10.” The letter requests the Secretary reconsider directives that dictate whether training can occur, setting punishment requirements and requiring separation from a state’s National Guard for refusing to be COVID-19 vaccinated.

“Under Title 32 duty status, the Wyoming National Guard is under my command and control,” Governor Gordon said. “These directives are an overreach of the federal government’s authority.”

Joining Governor Gordon in signing the letter were Governor Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi and Governor Mike Dunleavy of Alaska. The full letter may be found here.