On the “Firebrand with Matt Gaetz” podcast, three active duty servicemembers — Air Force Capt. Jordan Karr, Army Maj. Samuel Sigoloff and Air Force Master Sgt. Nickolas Kupper — joined the Florida congressman to discuss the ways the vaccine mandate has been used to carry out a ‘purge’ of thousands of military members, while hurting troop readiness and morale. Watch:
“Are you able to practice medicine now in the Army?” Gaetz asked Army Maj. Samuel Sigoloff.
“No,” Maj. Sigoloff replied.” So that leads me to where I am stationed. Now I went to Fort Huachuca to be the medical director. I was their first pick and they were my first pick. And then after a month of work, I was suspended for granting medical exemptions, soldiers who do not want to get the shot. So since September 13th, I have not been in medical practice and I’m in a threat of losing my license in Texas. Also at this institution, Iivermectin has been banned for off-label use, and it was not a medical doctor and not someone licensed to practice. So this person that did this is practicing medicine without a license.”
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Gaetz then turned to the personal testimonial of Captain Jordan Karr.
“So I’ve been in the United States Air Force for about nine years now,” Captain Karr said. “I come from a family of Patriots. Every single family member generation has served in some capacity in armed forces. My sister’s a space force officer who’s going through the same process that I am. I’ve been deployed overseas. I’ve had a lot of amazing opportunities in my career, and you know, this is unprecedented, what’s going on and I could spend all day talking about myself. But I really don’t wanna do that.”
“I want to talk about testimony that other service members are going through — the most disheartening aspect of all,” Karr said. “This is the junior enlisted, you know, they’re the backbone of our forces and the stuff that they are going through. Same with our cadets and our military academies, what they’re going through. They feel very alone and they feel isolated. And, you know, part of the reason that we’re here is to show them that they’re not alone.”
The Florida congressman asked Captain Karr about her opinion regarding troop morale.
“So, morale is very low,” Karr said. “Again, like Sam said, these views are my own, not that of the Department of Defense, which I think is pretty clear since all three of us are plaintiffs in a lawsuit. The morale is very low. The people who got the shot maybe didn’t want it, or maybe didn’t know that the mandates being passed down were unlawful. They’re seeing it now too.”
“I’ve heard testimony from service members who got the shot and they don’t want to reenlist,” Karr added. “They’re feeling it across the force. I have friends that have been grounded from flying. They’re fully capable. They are able, they’re trained, the taxpayers pay them to fly. They’re not allowed to fly because they’re unvaccinated. And the irony here is they’ve actually had to fly for vaccinated members who have had to call out sick. And so… members are feeling it across the force.”
Air Force Master Sgt. Nickolas Kupper then weighed in on the issue of medical and religious exemptions.
“I’ve seen hundreds of denied religious combination requests to include denied appeal requests,” Master Sgt. Kupper said. “I’ve seen a handful of the approved ones and all of them start with the premise that the government has such a strong interest in vaccinating us that while they determine all of our religious beliefs or to be sincerely held, they determine that even as strongly as our beliefs are, they’re not as strong as the government’s desire and need to vaccinate all of us.”
“Even in situations such as my own, where I currently have no restrictions on me, as an unvaccinated member at my location, I don’t have to wear a mask. I don’t have to weekly test. I don’t have to do any social distancing. My life at my job is the exact same as any vaccinated members,” Master Sgt. Kupper continued. “And, and I’m not unique in that scenario right now.”
“But the only approvals they’ve been doing that I’ve been able to see, and that court documents have shown are for people who are already on terminal leave, already in their final months, where they won’t return to a base,” Kupper added. “And the fact the approval specifically says that they are only approving it because they will not return to a base, if the member’s not returning to their duty station ever. That’s not an accommodation. They’re accommodating nothing.”
Master Sgt. Kupper also addressed the critical issue of troop readiness.
“So, if we’re talking about readiness, I feel like I’ve got a pretty strong grasp on that one,” he said. “And that’s actually the main reason for all the denials of the religious accommodations is ‘we need a ready force.’ And they’re absolutely right.”
“As far as we do need a ready force, that’s the whole point of our military to be ready for anything that might come our way,” Master Sgt. Kupper went on. “However, according to the DOD’s own numbers that are released public to date, we’ve only lost 95 service members due to COVID. Now every single death is a very sad, tragic loss. But if we’re looking at it from a logical perspective, we’ve lost 95 at the same time, we’ve already kicked out over 3,200 service members for not taken the COVID vaccine.”
“So, if readiness is really the issue, 95 versus 3,200 is a significant difference,” Kupper added. “And from my perspective, and I don’t speak for the DOD, but from my perspective, I’d say 3,200 is the bigger readiness issue with thousands more behind them.”
As the Military Times recently reported, “all agreed that the involuntary separation policy for vaccine refusal is part of a concerted effort to remove certain members of the military.”
“If you are a believer and you are listening to this podcast, you need to understand that God-fearing service members are being intentionally purged from the services,” Karr said.
“All three service members are party to one of several lawsuits troops have filed against the Defense Department and the services, alleging mostly that the religious exemption process is unconstitutional,” the Military Times noted.
“It’s a purposeful purge,” Sigoloff added. “Anyone who would disobey an unlawful order is being purged out of the military, and there is a shadow policy in place that that is protecting all of these people enforcing this shadow policy.”
The Military Times provided background on the latest discharge numbers and classifications.
“Since the beginning of this year, as most of the vaccine deadlines have lapsed across the services, roughly 3,400 troops have been discharged for refusal, service personnel officials told lawmakers,” the Times noted.
“About 70% of those have received general discharges, though the Navy has granted honorable characterizations to all 798 sailors who have been kicked out so far,” the report continued.
“To date, 73% of the entire armed forces is fully vaccinated, with another 14% partially vaccinated,” the report added. “The number may rise somewhat in the next two months, as the deadline for the Army Reserve and National Guard passes at the end of June.”
“The Marine Corps reports the most discharges, with nearly 2,000 out of a service of 215,000, making up nearly 1% of the total Corps,” the report stated.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.