Rep. Mark Green Passes Amendment to Protect Discharge Status for Active-Duty Troops who Refuse the COVID Vaccine

WASHINGTON Last night, the House Armed Services Committee passed Congressman Mark Green’s amendment to the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which would prohibit any discharge but honorable for servicemembers who choose not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine:  

Green said, “As a physician, I’ve weighed the pros and cons of the COVID-19 vaccine and have chosen to get the shot. As a former Army officer, I also understand the need to vaccinate servicemembers on deployment against a highly infectious virus. For years, the military has possessed the authority to compel servicemembers to be vaccinated. However, those vaccines underwent years of research with ample longitudinal safety data. In the case of the coronavirus vaccine, that longitudinal data is not yet possible. Therefore, I believe servicemembers who make the personal medical decision to refuse the vaccine, and are subsequently separated from the service for their refusal, should not receive anything other than an honorable discharge for refusing to take the vaccine. Period.” 

“I’m grateful to Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Rogers for working with me to get this commonsense amendment to a place of broad bipartisan support. No American who raises their hand to serve our Nation should be punished for making a highly personal medical decision.” Green continued.

In an August 25th memo, Secretary Austin announced that the U.S. military will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine beginning next month. Green’s previously filed an amendment calling on the House of Representatives to oppose any punishment or discharge that is not an honorable discharge for servicemembers who choose not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.