Kentucky congressman Thomas Massie found himself on the receiving end of a lesson in military protocol on Monday morning, after suggesting that active-duty members can simply “quit.”
On Saturday, the GOP representative posted that he had been in touch with members of the military who were considering “quitting” if they were forced to get a COVID vaccine, which so far has largely proven safe.
“I’ve been contacted by members of our voluntary military who say they will quit if the COVID vaccine is mandated.” Massie tweeted. “I introduced HR 3860 to prohibit any mandatory requirement that a member of the Armed Forces receive a vaccination against COVID-19. It now has 24 sponsors.”
I’ve been contacted by members of our voluntary military who say they will quit if the COVID vaccine is mandated.
I introduced HR 3860 to prohibit any mandatory requirement that a member of the Armed Forces receive a vaccination against COVID-19.
It now has 24 sponsors. https://t.co/lbqYESmBYy
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) July 3, 2021
Naturally, folks on Twitter were quick to remind Massie — or perhaps inform him for the first time — that no one can just quit the military. One must be officially discharged, otherwise leaving is considering going AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave).
Former military officer Steve Woodsmall was among those calling Massie out for his lack of understanding of the process. “As a retired Air Force officer, I’m amazed at your lack of understanding of how the military works,” Woodsmall tweeted.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) July 5, 2021
As a retired Air Force officer, I’m amazed at your lack of understanding of how the military works. Stay in your lane. You’re already fucking up North Carolina, stay away from the military.
— Dr. Steve Woodsmall, Major, USAF-Retired (@SteveWoodsmall) July 4, 2021
So much wrong with this tweet even beyond how naive it is; 1) sorry, but you can’t quit the military. 2) there are about 3890 mandatory vaccines in the military already, 3) you knew this when you joined. 4) THE VACCINE WORKS. Good luck with your pandering though https://t.co/tVJ8RJ9EXL
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) July 5, 2021
Many also pointed out that military members are already required to get more than a dozen other vaccines when they first join.
“Literally everyone who has served has a story about how they walked a line and got 6-10 shots of unknown substances,” one person tweeted. “For the record, the Department of Defense currently administers 17 different vaccines.”
Literally everyone who has served has a story about how they walked a line and got 6-10 shots of unknown substances.
For the record, the Department of Defense currently administers 17 different vaccines.
After MEPS, you can’t just “quit” the military, either. https://t.co/CrO8sJoIjv
— Angry Staffer (@Angry_Staffer) July 5, 2021
The military already requires its members to receive about a dozen different vaccinations (more depending on where they are being deployed), without any political controversy. We should be thankful there wasn’t a pro-polio caucus in Congress in the 1950s.
— Optimus Subprime (@NotaBot_Rollout) July 4, 2021
Quit the Military? 🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂
It is called AWOL & they can prepare for a court-martial.
You must not be familiar with the gauntlet of vaccines we already receive, shortstack. https://t.co/kulYn24q4t
— Andrew Goss 👊USAF👊 (@Goss30Goss) July 5, 2021
Early Monday morning, Massie doubled down on his tweet, posting an article from Military.com claiming the vaccine isn’t safe, but he did not address his mistake in saying military members can quit.
You can check out more responses to Massie’s tweet below.
Hey Massie, why are you willingly subverting readiness? You understand troops deploy right?
You are that politician from the movies that weakens capabilities because he thinks he knows better.
List the cosponsors for us.
— Beau of The Fifth Column (@BeauTFC) July 5, 2021
I was a deployed Navy JAG when Anthrax vaccine refusal was a thing.
In fact, it was the reasons I ended up DEFENDING deployed guys in the Persian Gulf area in the Army & Air Force, as well as in the cadre of Navy/USMC.
I was the only Defense counsel in the area. https://t.co/RmQ3QsCb7X
— Pam Keith, Esq. (@PamKeithFL) July 5, 2021
Good thing it's illegal for members of the military to just "quit." https://t.co/96iETbPJF3
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) July 5, 2021
The GOP: “Woke liberals are turning our soldiers into pansies!”
Also the GOP: “We must stand by our soldiers who don’t want to get their Fauci Ouchie” https://t.co/IKoMgCqDHr
— Mark Strauss (@MarkDStrauss) July 5, 2021
You can’t quit the military. You can separate when your enlistment is up but you can’t quit. That’s called going AWOL and is punishable under the UCMJ. https://t.co/3o1bNfo9ov
— Who am I? (@Iamwhoismoses) July 5, 2021
Read original story GOP Rep Thomas Massie Schooled After Claiming Military ‘Will Quit If the COVID Vaccine Is Mandated’ At TheWrap