Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., seeks answers for service members discharged over COVID-19 vaccine refusal
In a significant development, Senator Eric Schmitt, representing Missouri, has taken the initiative to address the plight of nearly 2,000 former service members who faced discharge for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine. The U.S. Army’s recent correspondence offering these individuals the chance to correct their discharge status and rejoin the military has prompted Sen. Schmitt to seek clarity on critical aspects of this process.
Recruitment Troubles and Congressional Mandate:
Amidst recruitment challenges in 2023, the U.S. Army sent letters to discharged soldiers, outlining the option to rectify their discharge status and return to service. The Army maintains that these letters are part of a congressionally-mandated process.
Senator’s Inquiry to the Secretary of the Army:
Senator Schmitt addressed a letter to Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth, seeking answers to crucial questions. He inquired whether reinstated soldiers would receive backpay, regain their previous rank, and if the religious freedoms of service members would be safeguarded in future mandates.
Impact on Military Readiness and Veteran Implications:
Senator Schmitt emphasized the negative consequences of the vaccine mandates on military readiness and the careers of thousands of dedicated volunteers. He highlighted the potential long-term impact on veterans’ benefits and employment prospects outside the military.
Recruitment Shortfalls and Continuous Outreach:
With the Army falling short of recruitment goals, Sen. Schmitt questioned whether continuous efforts would be made to invite these former members back, especially considering the significant gap in meeting recruitment targets for FY 2023.
Statistics on Discharges and Exemptions:
Schmitt provided statistics, noting that 8,300 individuals across the entire military were discharged due to COVID-19 mandates. The Army, in particular, discharged 1,881 soldiers and granted only 191 exemptions out of 10,699 requests.
Response Deadline and Army’s Position:
Senator Schmitt set a deadline for a response by December 13, 2023. The Army, through the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, assured a direct response to the senator, reiterating the congressionally-mandated nature of the process.
As the U.S. Army navigates challenges in recruitment and addresses the fallout of COVID-19 vaccine mandates, Senator Eric Schmitt’s inquiry brings attention to the human impact on discharged service members. The responses to his questions will likely shed light on the Army’s commitment to reinstating individuals and addressing the broader implications of vaccine mandates on military personnel.
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Disclaimer:- This news article was written by the help of syndicated feed, Some of the content and drafting are made by the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) ChatGPT.
About the author: Shafeek Ahmad is a freelance writer passionate about business and entrepreneurship. He covers a wide range of topics related to the corporate world and startups. You can find more of his work on Howtobeaspoonie.com.