Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis
Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis (Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

I am very proud of the efforts enacted at Fort Jackson to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This has allowed the preservation of the health and safety of our Soldiers, Families, and  workforce. The vaccine has allowed us to be on the offensive.

But, conditions have changed. The Delta variant of COVID-19 represents an aggressive shift in transmissibility and positivity. The tactics of the COVID-19 virus have changed. Therefore, we must change too. We cannot remain static in our approach in the face of a different form of the virus; therefore, we are enacting a number of changes to further protect our formations and protect the mission - a balance between offense (the vaccine) and defense.

I have recently signed General Order #1 dated 30 July 2021. It specifically addresses the following defensive measures: (1) masks required indoors at all facilities on Fort Jackson for all personnel regardless of vaccination status; and (2) masks required for all attendees at Graduation Day activities at Hilton Field (an outdoor event in a crowded venue), regardless of vaccination status.

These simple defensive measures allow continued access of Families to see loved ones graduate. These measures lower the risk of transmissibility of the Delta variant. With Families coming from all over the world to witness graduation, it is critical we protect each other by following these protocols.

Conditions are fluid, and we are in a race to blunt the transmission of the Delta variant. These measures, combined with continued vaccinations, can reduce the threat. We know the vaccine is working - those who are vaccinated and who test positive generally suffer less severe symptoms and are quicker to recover. It is the quickest way to normalcy.

We need everyone's help to abide by the measures implemented and to remain focused to protect the force and protect the mission. I certainly appreciate your support, your patience, your understanding, and your willingness to follow the guidance by doing your part.

If conditions change, which we know they will, we will adapt. We do not remain static in the face of a changing threat.

Thank you!

Victory! Starts Here!