Texas Governor Greg Abbott reassured his National Guardsmen that are refusing the federal vaccination mandate for US troops that President Biden is not their commander-in-chief and that they have no obligation to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.
"Unless President Biden federalizes the Texas National Guard in accordance with Title 10 of the US Code, he is not your commander-in-chief under our federal or state Constitutions ... and as long as I am your commander-in-chief, I will not tolerate efforts to compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine." Abbott wrote in a letter to the adjutant general of the Texas National Guard.
Additionally, Gov. Abbott sued President Joe Biden and Pentagon leadership in federal court claiming that the national mandate being imposed on National Guard troops is illegitimate as the federal government has no authority over Guardsmen on Title 32 orders.
Abbott and a half dozen other state governors (Oklahoma, Wyoming, Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, and Nebraska) have taken their case up with the Pentagon. They claim that the National Guard troops are exempt from the federal mandate as long as they are under the state governor's command.
The issue highlights a gray area in how the state militias operate and who they belong to. While stateside, the National Guard fall under Title 32 (State Active Duty) orders, and are usually only federalized when deployed overseas under federal Title 10 orders.