Pentagon “Considering” Back Pay for Troops Discharged for Refusing COVID-19 Shot

by J Pelkey
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The Pentagon is reportedly “considering” back pay for troops who were discharged for refusing to take the experimental COVID-19 shot, now that the mandate has been repealed, according to a spokesperson.

The Defense Department formally rescinded the mandate in a memo from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin last week.

Congress directed the Pentagon to repeal the mandate in the annual defense policy bill that was signed into law in December.

The memo has started conversations about reinstating troops who were wrongfully let go for refusing to get the experimental shot.

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Although the military hasn’t decided yet to provide back pay to troops who were discharged over the mandate, the department is “looking into it.”

“Regarding back pay, the Department is still exploring this and will provide its views on legislation of this nature at the appropriate time and through the appropriate process,” said Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Charlie Dietz in a Friday email to Politico.

Service members had their careers ruined for refusing to take the experimental shot.

Many other troops who complied with the mandate were seriously harmed, or worse, from the shot.

From Politico:

Providing back pay would be a win for Republicans who railed against the vaccine mandate. Last year, a bloc of GOP senators, led by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, won a fight to repeal the policy after threatening to stall the annual defense policy bill if they didn’t receive a vote on ending the mandate and reinstating troops with back pay.

The measure defied the wishes of both the Pentagon and the White House, who said they wanted to retain the mandate. But while the directive was repealed, it stopped short of requiring the Pentagon to reinstate troops who were let go for refusing the shot or give them back pay.

Austin’s memo directed that no service members will be separated solely on the basis of refusing to get the Covid-19 shot if they “sought an accommodation on religious, administrative or medical grounds,” and that the military will remove any “adverse actions,” including letters of reprimand, stemming from their refusal.

However, the memo states that commanders have the authority to consider troops’ immunization status in making decisions on deployments, assignments, or travel to a foreign nation.

More than 8,400 troops were kicked out of the military for refusing the vaccine. Thousands of others sought religious and medical exemptions, many of which were still pending when DoD rescinded the mandate. Austin’s memo directed the military services to cease reviewing those cases.

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