Pentagon Officials ‘Exploring’ Back Pay For Troops Discharged For Refusing COVID Vaccine

Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Kehl, 8th Civil Engineering Squadron fire chief, receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Dec. 29, 2020. The Wolfpack received its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine given to healthcare workers, emergency personnel, and first responders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan Garner)

At a glance

  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wrote in a memo on Tuesday that officials had formally rescinded the vaccine mandate for the U.S. Military and the National Guard, which Politico reported “opened the door to reinstating troops” who believe they were wrongfully discharged.
  • However, officials still have not decided whether such service members would receive back pay.
  • “The Department is still exploring this and will provide its views on legislation of this nature at the appropriate time and through the appropriate process,” Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Charlie Dietz told the news outlet in a Friday email.

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