In March, Gov. Greg Abbott launched Operation Lone Star and deployed the Texas National Guard to the border following a surge in illegal immigration. Now, problems are plaguing the Texas Military Department, and Abbott’s inconsistency is leaving the Guard floundering.

Vaccine Mandate

The Texas Air National Guard and the Texas Army National Guard have both been ordered to vaccinate their guardsmen or discharge them, as reported by Texas Scorecard

Each of Abbott’s Republican gubernatorial challengers has issued a statement in response to a seeming lack of action by Abbott to protect the men and women serving Texas on the border. 

Former State Sen. Don Huffines said, Joe Biden’s immoral and unconstitutional vaccine mandate for the Texas National Guard is a clear and present danger to the sovereignty, safety, and security of Texas. Patriotic Texans who serve America and Texas should not risk losing their jobs because they have declined a COVID vaccine.”

Huffines further added:

Greg Abbott is commander-in-chief of the Texas Military and took an oath to protect Texans’ rights. His continued refusal to take action against vaccine mandates puts our state and our citizens at risk at a time when the Texas Border is being invaded by thousands of illegal aliens every day.

Former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West, who has a personal history of military service, stated, It is highly disturbing that our Texas National Guard members are being ordered — mandated — to take a COVID shot. Unless on active-duty orders, the Commander-in-Chief of the Texas National Guard is the Governor, not Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.” 

West continued:

It is an unlawful, unethical, and immoral order to mandate, not for deployment purposes, that service members of the Texas Military Department receive this inoculation, especially when it wasn’t mandated for the invading hordes of illegal immigrants. As Governor of Texas, I will defend our Texas Military forces from this onerous and intrusive violation of the sovereignty of Texas. If it’s about the lives and health of my soldiers, I would go through hell with a can of gasoline.

Media personality Chad Prather called out Abbott for his refusal to call a fourth special session to address employer vaccine mandates, stating, “Texas employers continue to carry out the mandates and people are losing their jobs. Why hasn’t Abbott called a session to make this a law? I bet the Texas National Guard is wondering the same thing. His [executive order] is ineffective and worthless.”

Failure to Pay

As revealed yesterday by Texas Scorecard, issues regarding the guardsmen receiving their pay on time have been plaguing the Texas Military Department, and it is unclear how many guardsmen are affected. 

Huffines stated, “The news of pay issues within the Texas Military is entirely unacceptable. Those who serve our state deserve to be paid for their work. Greg Abbott must immediately rectify this issue.” 

Huffines added, “It’s not just the instability of the grid. It’s not just the allowance of transgender ideology and Critical Race Theory in our state agencies. It’s not just the failure to meet basic payroll of those he has called into service. On issue after issue, Greg Abbott demonstrates he is a failed leader unfit for the job.”

West criticized how Abbott and the Texas Legislature administered funds, stating, “It appears that Gov. Abbott is using the facade of Covid shot mandate to preclude paying members of the TXNG [Texas National Guard], and with threat of discharge. Maybe hundreds of millions of dollars from SB 8 should have gone to the TXNG and not for construction projects on college and university campuses?”

In response to the failure to pay the guard in a timely manner, Prather said, “Why am I not shocked? It seems to me that the old adage that we pay for the things we value and invest in the things we care about should come into play in this situation. Unfortunately, this administration has proven time and again that when it comes to taking care of Texans in every role, they simply don’t care.”

The Texas Republican primary is currently scheduled for March 1, 2022, and will determine the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the November election.

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.