A group of 47 members of Congress are urging the Secretary of the Department of Defense to “immediately revoke” the COVID-19 vaccine mandate he issued last August for all service members, civilian personnel, and contractors. They’ve also asked him to re-instate those who’ve already been discharged for noncompliance.
In a Sept. 15 letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, they wrote “to express our grave concern over the effect of the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on the readiness of our Armed Forces, particularly the U.S. Army.
On Wednesday, a federal judge in Georgia ruled in favor of an anonymous Air Force officer who refused to take a COVID-19 vaccine as per the Air Force’s mandate, scoring another victory for freedom of religion.
According to CNN, Judge Tilman Self issued a preliminary injunction forbidding both the Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force from enforcing its vaccine mandate on the female officer, who sought a religious exemption from the vaccine.
On Wednesday, the United States Army announced that it will begin the process of discharging any soldiers who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine effective immediately.
As reported by ABC News, the Army is the last branch of the United States military to fully discharge those who do not comply with the strict vaccine mandates; the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps have already discharged all personnel who refuse the vaccines, from active-duty members to entry-level members at boot camps.
A group of Navy SEALs obtained a victory in their legal battle against COVID-19 vaccine mandates that could have broad implications for all branches of the military, but they still face a rocky path ahead.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas Judge Reed O’Connor issued a preliminary injunction in favor of the service members, who argue their requests for religious exemption from the vaccine mandate was unfairly denied.
Congress passed a $770 billion defense bill Wednesday, authorizing a wide range of military spending for the next year.
The Senate passed the bipartisan 2022 National Defense Authorization Act with an 89-10 vote, sending the legislation to President Joe Biden. The bill, which is passed annually in some form, includes a revamp of how the the military deals with sexual assaults as well as a 2.7% pay increase for military members and employees at the Department of Defense.