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Congress Won’t Reinstate The Thousands Of Troops Discharged For Violating The COVID Vaccine Mandate

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Thousands of troops already discharged for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine won’t return to service after Congress’ last-minute defense bill sought to overturn the Pentagon’s mandate.

The Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps have separated at least 8,400 active duty and reserve troops for spurning the Department of Defense’s (DOD) August 2021 requirement that all servicemembers receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to information the DOD provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. While the compromise legislation released late Tuesday directs the Pentagon to rescind the mandate, it stops short of requiring the military to restore discharged troops to their prior positions or provide reparations.

“The end of President Biden’s military COVID vaccine mandate is a victory for our military and for common sense,” incumbent House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement. “Last week, I told the president directly: it’s time to end the COVID vaccine mandate and rehire our service members.”

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) overall authorizes $857.9 billion in defense spending for the 2023 fiscal year, $45 billion more than the Biden administration initially requested.

Republican lawmakers previously threatened to oppose the bill unless it included language effectively overturning the vaccine mandate, but lost out on demands to reinstate discharged troops, according to Defense News. The bill must now pass the House and the Senate before arriving on the president’s desk.

“The Biden administration must go further,” McCarthy said, suggesting that a GOP-led House in the new Congress may spearhead efforts to get separated servicemembers re-enlisted and scrub their records of dishonorable conduct connected to vaccine refusal.

Conservative lawmakers see the vaccine mandate as a significant factor in the military’s struggle to meet recruiting goals, when increasing threats from China and Russia demand enhanced military preparedness.

However, even some Democrats acknowledge that the policy could be outdated as pandemic restrictions have largely lifted across the federal government, paving the way for a compromise.

The Marine Corps’ top general gave credence to the argument that the vaccine mandate has hurt recruiting.

“Where it is having an impact for sure is on recruiting, where in parts of the country there’s still myths and misbeliefs about the back story behind it,” Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger said Saturday.

Defense leaders continue to maintain that ensuring the overall health of individual servicemembers, including by receiving complete doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, is a “readiness issue.” The White House on Monday reiterated support for the vaccination mandate, Fox News reported.

However, the Pentagon has fallen under intense scrutiny for imposing the mandate and sluggishly reviewing religious exemptions requests to the mandate.

Every service but the Army is currently under a form of legal injunction against separating or disciplining servicemembers seeking religious exemptions as several cases play out in court. Attorneys for the unvaccinated airmen and sailors say the Pentagon is violating the First Amendment and federal legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs.

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2 Comments

  1. Yet again, the Republicans turn out ot be a bunch of pussies. They can’t be trusted, they must be thrown out of office for populist, MAGA type candidates.

  2. The DOD recently announced that all the armed services can’t even meet 70% of their recruiting goals. So, to fix the problem they are drastically reducing physical standards and even minimum intelligence standards. I always thought the Military was the last bastion of American ideals and the last meritocracy. They’ve already corrupted all the other three letter agencies (the IRS, the CIA, the FBI, the DOJ, the IRS, the DOE) and now Lloyd Austin and General Milley are transforming the Department of Defense (the DOD). The communist takeover from within is near complete.

    First, they embarked on a campaign to find and oust Trump supporters. Even with massive shortfalls they are discharging thousands (including elite Navy Seals and Army Rangers) who won’t get vaccinated. Milley testified before Congress about “white rage” and now they have CRT training, promote transgenderism and run recruiting ads with rainbow bullets on Marine’s helmets. Our all volunteer military is actually 58% White, 17% Black, 16% Asian and 9% “other”. Why on earth would any patriotic young white American want to serve anymore in a Military that teaches that he is an “oppressor” and a racist. Already in a staffing crisis, it will become catastrophic.

    And that’s not even adding the tens of thousands of police, first responders, doctors, nurses, pilots, etc. (all professions facing serious shortages) that have lost their livelihoods because of illegal vaccine mandates. But never mind that millions of unvaccinated illegals have been let into our country and Biden just removed the title 42 border policy while he still wants to keep the vaccine mandate for Federal employees and the military. It’s insanity and the purposeful destruction of our sovereignty and society.

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