Media Center

(Murfreesboro, TN)–Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-04) released the following statement on his opposition to any COVID-19 vaccine mandate for military service members. 


Numerous reports indicate that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is set to implement a coronavirus vaccine mandate for active-duty United States Armed Forces members soon.


“Vaccinations are an individual health decision that should be made in consultation with your primary care doctor who knows your health history,” said Rep. DesJarlais. “Mandates are a one-size-fits-all narrative. It is a choice that every person must make. I fully encourage every American to research and consult with their physician to weigh the pros and cons.”


DesJarlais is a co-sponsor of H.R. 3860 a bill that bans any COVID-19 vaccine mandate for U.S. Armed Forces members. 


The legislation explicitly states that federal funds may not be used to implement a coronavirus vaccine mandate for U.S. military members and that there can be no retaliation against personnel who chose not to receive the vaccine.


Congressman DesJarlais also signed on to Congressman Mark Green’s (R-TN-07) letter to Secretary Austin standing against mandatory vaccinations for all active-duty U.S. Armed Forces troops. 


The letter put Austin on notice that a military vaccine mandate can only be made for vaccines that have full approval. 


The members write in the letter, “The law of the United States is clear. Mandatory vaccination is illegal for military personnel prior to complete approval (Doe v. Rumsfeld, 341 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2004). This has not occurred and could be another several months away.


“I believe in science, and I believe in the vaccine. It is only due to President Trump’s successful execution of Operation Warp Speed that we have another tool in stopping the spread of COVID-19,” said DesJarlais. “I also believe in small government. I am adamantly opposed to taking away the very freedoms our brave service men and women signed up to protect for all Americans.”