The Pentagon is halting all actions related to its COVID-19 vaccine mandate after President Joe Biden signed the Fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes an end to the mandate.
“The NDAA requires that, not later than 30 days after enactment, the Secretary of Defense rescind the mandate that members of the Armed Forces be vaccinated against COVID-19. As a result, the Department will rescind the mandate and is currently in the process of developing further guidance. During this process, we are pausing all actions related to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate,” a Pentagon spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email.
“The health and readiness of our force are crucial to the Department’s ability to defend our nation, and Secretary Austin continues to encourage all of our Service members, civilian employees, and contractor personnel to get vaccinated and boosted to ensure the readiness of our total force,” the spokesperson added.
Biden hours signed the NDAA despite stating his opposition to ending the mandate earlier in December. The White House had even gone so far as threatening that the president might veto the bill.
The Department of Defense in 2021 required all U.S. military troops to take the COVID-19 vaccine by September 15th of that year. The Associated Press earlier reported Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s memo to the troops.
An Armed Forces member refusing to take the vaccine is subject to punishment under the U.C.M.J., the AP’s report noted. The punishment for refusal to obey an order may escalate up to court martial.
That disciplinary action appears to be dead-on-arrival, for now. But thousands of military troops have refused ‘re-upping’ or have otherwise been run out of the military, despite their objections for medical, personal or religious reasons. It is left to the next Congress to begin healing the open wound caused by this Covid “vaccine” mandate.
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