U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) has joined a bill to reinstate military servicemembers who were fired for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.

Last month, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contained a provision that removed the Biden administration's existing policy that required the jab for servicemembers across all military branches.

The NDAA provision was pushed by U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn), with Moore and other members of the GOP federal delegation giving their hearty approval.

Immediately following the passage of the NDAA, Moore vowed that his work was not over and that he would seek restoration with full backpay for those "purged" from the military due to the vaccine mandate.

Moore joined as a cosponsor with U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) for the Service Restoration Act (SRA), which will permanently end the COVID-19 military vaccine mandate and allow the reinstatement of previously released servicemembers at their previous rank and pay.

"Many of those purged from the military are from my district, patriots who were ready to give it all for our freedom, only to have their livelihoods stripped away because of a politically motivated, unscientific mandate," Moore said. "They deserve to be restored to good standing and given full backpay, and that's what I'm fighting for."

The SRA will give servicemembers involuntarily separated due to their refusal to get vaccinated the option to reclaim their previous post while receiving retainer pay for the time since their separation to the date of reinstatement.

It would also change the characterizations of those discharged over the mandate to "honorable," allowing them to receive certain veterans benefits they would otherwise not receive with a lesser discharge.

The SRA also:

  • Prohibits federal funds from being used to require members of the Armed Forces to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Prohibits the DOD from taking adverse action against unvaccinated service members.

  • Requires the Secretary to count the service members' time separated from the military towards their retirement benefits. 

  • Requires the Secretary to expunge from service members' records any disciplinary action taken due to refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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