The Biden administration thinks U.S. service members who refuse to comply with the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate should be subjected to the potential of a dishonorable discharge.
What are the details?
In a statement issued Tuesday, the White House forcefully rejected a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) prohibiting the Pentagon from dishonorably discharging any service member who declines to get the vaccine.
“The Administration strongly opposes section 716, which would detract from readiness and limit a commander’s options for enforcing good order and discipline when a Service member fails to obey a lawful order to receive a vaccination,” the White House argued. “To enable a uniformed force to fight with discipline, commanders must have the ability to give orders and take appropriate disciplinary measures.”
The provision, introduced by Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) during the bill’s markup phase, ensured that service members removed over their refusal to get the vaccine would receive nothing but an honorable discharge, noting that “many Americans have reservations about taking a vaccine that has only been available for less than a year.”
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“Any discharge other than honorable denotes a dereliction of duty or a failure to serve the United States and its people to the best of the ability of an individual,” the provision states.
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