A group of Republican senators is backing an amendment to annual must-pass defense legislation that would ban dishonorable discharges for troops who do not comply with the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the military.
Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) discussed his amendment during a press conference on Thursday on Capitol Hill, along with Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and First Liberty Institute General Counsel Mike Berry, all either military veterans or members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Marshall, an Army veteran, said:
Next Thursday is Veterans’s Day, a day that we stop, that this nation pauses, to honor our veterans. Our president instead is choosing to dishonor our military active duty officers by forcing them to be separated from the military and then pushing upon them a dishonorable discharge.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in late August ordered the coronavirus vaccine to be mandatory for all service members. Since then, the Pentagon has repeatedly warned that service members who do not comply with the order could face disciplinary action and potential discharge.
Service members are allowed to apply for religious accommodations to be exempt from the mandate, but no requests have been approved, according to the New York Times.