As of April 2022, approximately 3,400 members of our armed forces have been discharged from the U.S. military for refusing the COVID-19 vaccination, with tens of thousands more at risk of also being separated. At the same time, military recruitment is reportedly down 23 percent from annual targets, hitting an all-time low.
U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rand Paul (R-KY), and colleagues sent a letter to Senate Republican leadership demanding the Senate to vote on an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 to prohibit discharges from the Armed Forces solely because of COVID-19 vaccination status. The amendment would also reinstate service members already discharged, with back pay.
- “The Department of Defense COVID-19 vaccine mandate has ruined the livelihoods of men and women who have honorably served our country…. While the Department of Defense certainly must make decisions that will bolster military readiness, the effects of the mandate are antithetical to readiness of our force, and the policy must be revoked.”
- “The United States simply cannot afford to discharge our brave men and women in uniform and lose the investments we have made into each and every one of them due to an inept bureaucratic policy.”