A Fake National Guard Memo Warning of Nationwide Lockdown Is Circulating Again

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Members of the New Jersey Army National Guard.
Members of the New Jersey Army National Guard are taught procedures at a COVID-19 Community-Based Testing Site at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., March 23, 2020 (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht)

Some scams just won't go away, such as the fake memo, sporting a National Guard logo, warning that troops are being mobilized to enforce a nationwide quarantine.

The document first began circulating in March as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in America, prompting National Guard officials to declare it false.

Now, it seems the persistent document is being circulated once again as thousands of Guard troops are deploying to Washington, D.C., and state capitols to beef up security for the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

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Military.com was alerted to the flyer’s return by Saginaw, Michigan, resident Judy Dings, a civilian who said a civilian pilot friend showed it to her.

Hoax flyer warning of imminent National Guard mobilization.
Hoax flyer warning of imminent National Guard mobilization. (Courtesy Judy Dings)

"I try not to get too excited about crap," the Saginaw, Michigan, resident told Military.com. "But when I got this from my friend -- who I consider very knowledgeable and intelligent and not a freak when it comes to distributing crap like this -- I go, 'Look at the formatting, Al. Come on.'"

Dings was right to be skeptical because the document is just as false now as it was in March, National Guard officials say.

"The statement in the material is totally false," National Guard spokesman Wayne Hall told Military.com, pointing out that the Guard's COVID-19 mission does not fall under the Department of Homeland Security, as the memo states.

"All National Guard members on duty for COVID-19 operations are performing missions at the direction of the governor of their respective states," he said.

More than 20,800 Guard members are participating in the COVID-19 response mission across the country. Troops in Arizona, California, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee are helping to administer COVID-19 vaccines to the civilian population, according to a statement the Guard released Tuesday.

The Pentagon has also authorized up to 15,000 Guard troops to deploy to the District of Columbia after pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as members of Congress counted the Electoral College votes to affirm Biden's victory in the Nov. 3 election.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

Related: Army, White House Issue Warnings About Coronavirus Hoaxes and Scams

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