WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has been leading the fight to stop U.S. servicemembers from being fired over the Biden administration’s COVID-19 mandate and preserve military readiness.
“Firing servicemembers over the choice not to receive the COVID vaccine is a massive setback to our military readiness and a threat to our national security. We should be doing everything we can to bolster our ranks amid the New Axis of Evil’s aggression, not shamefully wasting talented manpower. I’m honored to fight for the men and women who have volunteered to defend our freedom and hopeful my congressional colleagues will stand with me,” said Senator Blackburn.
Every single branch struggled to hit its recruitment goals this year, including the U.S. Army, which fell 15,000 recruits short. At this rate, they will face a deficit of 21,000 soldiers next year. The National Guard also missed the mark by about 12,000 recruits, and expects to discharge up to 14,000 more by 2024 for refusing the COVID shot.
Blackburn Has Stood With Our Servicemembers By Introducing:
Demanding Answers On COVID Vaccine Discharges
In April, Senator Blackburn joined her colleagues in a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin asking him to provide information on the number and nature of military discharges for not receiving a COVID vaccine.
Stop Firing Our Servicemembers Act
In July, Senator Blackburn introduced legislation to prohibit federal funds from being utilized to implement any requirement that a member of the National Guard receive a vaccination against COVID-19.
Maintaining Income For Guard Members Awaiting Accommodations In The 2023 NDAA
In September, Senator Blackburn introduced a measure to the 2023 NDAA that would have made sure that members of the National Guard or Reserve maintain access to pay and benefits while their request for a religious or health accommodation was pending. This amendment (S.Amdt.5530) was not accepted.
Ensuring Maximum Achieve Strength In The 2023 NDAA
In September, Senator Blackburn introduced a measure to the 2023 NDAA that would have prohibited involuntary separation of any servicemember for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine until each Service achieves its end strength authorized by last year’s NDAA. This amendment (S.Amdt.5531) was not accepted.
Preserving The Readiness Of Our Armed Forces Act
In September, Senator Blackburn combined her amendments into legislation that would strengthen our military’s readiness by limiting COVID-related separations until recruiting benchmarks are met and ensure continued pay and benefits for servicemembers while religious and health accommodations are pending.
- Read Senator Blackburn’s column, Firing Servicemembers Over The COVID Shot Threatens Our National Security.
- View Senator Blackburn’s call for a full Senate vote on her amendments to protect servicemembers from being fired due to President Biden’s vaccine mandate.