Kansas senator supports honorable discharge for unvaccinated military members

Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) aims to include the measure in the yet-to-be-passed National Defense Authorization Act.
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 3:55 PM CST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - For members of the military choosing not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) wants to protect them from receiving a dishonorable discharge.

Marshall wants to include this as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, currently being debated in the Senate.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced in August that all military members would be required to get vaccinated. Marshall says punishment for refusing the vaccine still remains unclear.

“We shouldn’t make our heroes criminals,” said Marshall. “We shouldn’t make them felons. If they get a dishonorable discharge, they are going to struggle to get a job the rest of their life; they will lose all of their VA benefits, their access to the VA healthcare system, to VA home loans, to VA education dollars as well.”

Similar language was included in the final House bill, which already passed.

From soldier pay raises to military construction, the $770 billion NDAA would increase military spending by around 5% this year. For decades the annual policy bill has passed through Congress with strong bipartisan support, however, partisan tensions in the U.S Senate are making a timely passage appear unlikely.

U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, M.D. has written a letter to Senate and House Armed Services Committee leaders, Jack Reed (D-RI), Jim Risch (R-ID), Adam Smith (D-WA), and Mike Rogers (R-AL) requesting they include his amendment in the NDAA.

Marshall is a former U.S Army physician.

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