Defense bill eliminates military COVID vaccine mandate
(KTEN) -- The United States military has mandated since 2021 that service members receive the COVID vaccine.
Refusal to get the jab can lead to the end of a military career, but that policy could soon be changing.
"We are supposedly fighting for freedom, but how can you say that we are fighting for freedom when they take the freedom away from the military itself?" asked Air Force veteran J.D. Morrow.
On Thursday, the House passed a defense funding bill that would rescind the military COVID vaccine mandate.
In a written statement, Oklahoma Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt said he was pleased to see leaders in Washington do just that.
"The President himself has said that the COVID pandemic is over. It's time for his policies to reflect his words."
Oklahoma senator-elect Markwayne Mullin, also a Republican, issued a statement of support for the funding bill.
"There's no question of the effect the COVID vaccine mandate had on our military readiness. I'm glad to see it rescinded in the NDAA and grateful to House GOP for making it happen."
Not everyone believes the mandate should be repealed.
"It was intended to protect them, but at the same time, I don't believe they should leave the service," said Army veteran Tom Longmire.
This defense bill will now go to the Senate; if approved, it would be sent to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.