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    HomeWorldProtections for Troops Booted over COVID Vaccine Mandate Added to House Defense...

    Protections for Troops Booted over COVID Vaccine Mandate Added to House Defense Bill

    Protections for Troops Booted over COVID Vaccine Mandate Added to House Defense Bill

    House Republicans moved Wednesday to protect former service members who were discharged over the 's now-defunct -19 vaccine mandate, including easing their path to reinstatement.

    Troops who were discharged for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine could be reinstated at the rank held when they were separated and without the discharge affecting future career advancement under one of a series of amendments related to the vaccine mandate approved by the House Armed Services Committee. The committee was debating its version of the annual defense policy bill.

    The amendments would also require discharge review boards to take up requests to upgrade discharges for those booted solely over vaccine refusal; mandate that the Pentagon must reach out to discharged troops about how they can apply to be reinstated; exempt service academy students who weren't commissioned because they refused the vaccine from having to pay back their taxpayer-funded tuition; and direct the Pentagon to study how much it would cost to give the discharged troops back pay and a $15,000 bonus.

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    “This provides a fair, equitable and honorable option for our wrongly separated service members,” Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., said of his amendment to reinstate the discharged troops.

    Banks, who also sponsored two of the other COVID-19 vaccine-related…

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