DoD rescinds COVID-19 vaccination mandate Published Jan. 12, 2023 Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- On Jan. 10, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III rescinded the Aug. 24, 2021, memorandum mandating that members of the Armed Forces under Department of Defense authority be vaccinated against COVID-19, and the memorandum of Nov. 30, 2021, pertaining to the vaccination of National Guard and Reserve personnel. This rescission requirement was established by the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023. The health and readiness of the Force are crucial to the Department's ability to defend our nation. Austin continues to encourage all service members, civilian employees, and contractor personnel to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 to ensure Total Force readiness. The full rescission memorandum can be found here.