Over 8,000 service members were discharged from the military when President Joe Biden launched a COVID-19 vaccine mandate against them in August 2021 — and only 43 of them have wanted their jobs back since then, according to a CNN report.
The mandate lasted until the Pentagon repealed it in January 2023 — long enough to cost plenty of service members their careers. In that time, it appears many of them moved on with their civilian lives and have no interest in defending their nation as she stands today.
While the mandate was in effect, many Republican members of Congress argued that it was hurting recruitment and retention efforts. Now, Democrats are arguing they were wrong — and that the staggeringly low number of 43 returned recruits is proof of that. Make it make sense.
Matt Gaetz demands a report from Lloyd Austin detailing how the Covid Vaccine mandate affected the recruitment and retention of service members.
"Our military is weaker as a consequence of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate." pic.twitter.com/7uuNlGf8TY
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) June 21, 2023
U.S. military recruitment has hit a record low during Biden’s first term in office.
US Military readiness has been severely compromised by the COVID vaccine mandate.
Recruitment and morale are down, and early retirements have caused a devastating loss of experience from the Armed Services.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 1, 2022
The same CNN report states, “19 soldiers have rejoined the Army, while 12 have returned to the Marines…The numbers are even smaller for the Air Force and Navy, where only one and two have rejoined.”
There was no shortage of enlisted members fighting the mandate while it was still in place. Many of them disagree with CNN’s left-leaning assessment of the matter.
No kidding … Tell us something we don’t know already … Top Marine Corps General Says COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Has Led to Decline in Military Recruitmenthttps://t.co/1mLfLWbqlI
— Mary❤️🇺🇸 (@patriotmary4) December 6, 2022
Nick Kupper retired from his position as Air Force Master Sergeant, and he fought his discharge tooth and nail. He told Breitbart News:
“I think a service member going back to the military after being kicked out over the COVID mandate is like a woman going back to her abusive husband. He promises that this time will be different and that he won’t hit her anymore, but in reality he’ll likely hit her so hard that he kills her this time.”
Those are strong words from a man who devoted his life to protecting the people of the United States of America.
As a military officer who has refused this vaccine, I can say my career is over regardless. Resignation was already denied due to an obligation. So I will be getting out as soon as possible once that is complete, even if mandate is lifted.
— Wolf1423 (@MrLahey1423) September 15, 2022
Troops are being involuntarily discharged for refusing Biden’s forced vaccine. The next Commander-in-Chief should use the pardon power to restore them all to honorable discharges & invite them to rejoin the military.
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) February 3, 2022
Many service members took issue with the vaccine being dished out to them under federal order. At the time of the mandate, the only COVID vaccines available were not FDA-approved. Several troops and the American public alike felt strongly that it was unconstitutional to mandate a vaccine that was only covered under Emergency Use Authorization.
Although the Biden Administration was forced to overturn the mandate earlier this year, the war has waged on for service members in court.
Just this week, a settlement was reached in the Middle District Court of Florida requiring the Department of Defense to cough up $1.8 million in attorney’s fees and related costs following a two-year battle against the Biden Administration on this issue. They have 21 days to make their payment.
Now that the COVID-19 vaccine has been awarded FDA-approval, it is likely it could be added to the list of required vaccines for all service members when the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act is passed. What effect will that have on recruitment and retention? We can expect CNN and Democrats to continue to insist there is no connection.