A group of Republican U.S. Senators has joined together to introduce a bill to prohibit the U.S. Department of Defense from dishonorably discharging members of the Armed Forces for declining to be vaccinated against Covid-19 (CCP Virus). 

Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kans.), along with Senators Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), joined together to introduce the COVID-19 Vaccine Dishonorable Discharge Prevention Act.

That bill comes to stop what the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) provides for the fiscal year 2022, which allows members of the U.S. military to be threatened with harsh consequences for refusing to be vaccinated, including dishonorable discharge from duty.

When a member of the military is given a dishonorable discharge, it means they are required to give up several rights and benefits, which include:

  • Ownership of any type of firearm or ammunition.
  • Access to the GI Bill for further education
  • Mortgage loans for military veterans
  • Military veterans medical benefits
  • Military funeral honors
  • Re-enlistment in another military branch

The bill comes after the Biden administration in August mandated vaccinations, including for defense service members, and after the Department of Defense indicated that service members who refuse to receive the vaccine would face “administrative or non-judicial punishment, up to and including discharge.”

As reported on his official website by Senator Cruz, the House Armed Services Committee approved similar language pushed by Tennessee Republican Representative and former Army officer Mark Green in an amendment to the NDAA.

Senator Cruz said after the bill was introduced, “It’s an insult to our servicemen and women who have served with honor to dishonorably discharge them for refusing the COVID vaccine,” emphasizing that they would be getting the same dishonorable treatment as “those convicted of serious crimes such as treason, desertion, sexual assault, and murder.

“Forcing all service members, including pregnant women and those who have already had COVID-19, to receive the vaccine is just one more example of President Biden and his administration putting politics ahead of science,” Cruz said.

He further noted that he is proud to join Senate Marshall “to ensure the proper steps are taken by the military chain of command in response to those seeking exemptions from this vaccine.”

Meanwhile, Marshall said, “As a physician and veteran who is confident that the vaccine has saved countless lives, I believe vaccinating our service members against COVID-19 is an important effort; however, whether or not to receive the vaccine should be a personal choice between an individual and their doctor.” 

He went on to say, “Service members who refuse to get vaccinated, and are subsequently separated from the service, should not receive anything other than an honorable discharge. There is no question about it: American heroes should not be treated as felons because of their personal medical choices.”

Rep. Green added, “The brave men and women of our military who make the personal medical decision to not to take the COVID-19 vaccine should not receive anything other than an honorable discharge. I was proud to get this legislation included as an amendment to the NDAA in the House and am grateful to Senator Marshall for his leadership in the Senate.”

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