Service members forced to pay signing bonuses after being laid off by COVID vax: ‘Kick in the face’

US service members who were fired for refusing to comply with the Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate are now being forced to return their original draft bonuses, which they tell Fox News Digital is a “kick in the face” after years of dedicating their lives. to the protection of the country.

A former Army soldier who was fired for refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine last May told Fox News Digital that he would have to return his original signing bonus at the end of his military service because he did not complete his contract commitment.

The soldier had signed a six-year Army contract and received a $7,000 bonus. However, because he did not turn six, the military notified him that he owed the government a prorated amount of just over $4,000. In order to pay it off, he ended up having to “sell” 60 of his unused vacation days to cover the amount owed.

He said the effects on his mental health have been extremely negative because the way he was treated by the military was a “final kick in the face”.

THE PENTAGON ABANDONS THE COVID VACCINE MANDATE FOR THE TROOPS

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden serve food to soldiers and their families at Fort Bragg.
(Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images/File)

“I’ve been deployed multiple times, and I feel like the last thing I had was selling leave days I earned and never got to take due to being deployed or needing that time to prepare for the training cycle. I was about to enter a new world with no income, and that little bit more would have been a good buffer in my emergency fund to keep me afloat until I could find a new job,” he said.

“DoD continues to fail to restore trust because of wrongdoing, and this is yet another example of that,” another service member told Fox News Digital, calling the recovery of signing bonuses the “icing on the cake.” Cake” from The Pentagon’s Recent Treatment of the Troops.

This month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signed a memo that will update records and remove warning letters from troops whose vaccine exemption requests were denied.

This month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signed a memo that will update records and remove warning letters from troops whose vaccine exemption requests were denied.
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images/File)

“The appalling treatment these individuals endured broke the trust owed to our citizens and our volunteers. The sons and daughters of the United States,” the Army member said in a statement. “Until genuine efforts are made to establish trust, recruitment and retention deficiencies will continue. People who make public statements that they are not sure what has contributed to the current recruitment and retention deficiencies should be looked at in the mirror; and perhaps they should resign for the good of our Nation”.

HOW THE PUSH TO END VAX’S MILITARY MANDATE CULMINATED IN THE NDAA

The Pentagon’s push to bring back signing bonuses for fired service members comes after President Biden signed the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which included a provision, passed by the House and Senate, to repeal the military vaccination mandate. This month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signed a memo that will update records and remove warning letters from troops whose vaccine exemption requests were denied.

The Pentagon has said that back pay for troops fired for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine is not an issue that the Department of Defense "to pursue."

The Pentagon has said that back pay for troops fired for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine is not an issue the Department of Defense is “chasing.”
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh/File)

Lawmakers are pressing the Pentagon to do more and provide late payment for the approximately 8,400 US soldiers fired after refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. However, the Pentagon has said late payment for troops fired for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine is not an issue that the Department of Defense is “chasing.”

Reinstatement is a priority for some Republicans who have said the strict mandate is one reason military recruitment is at an “all-time low.”

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A Pentagon spokesman did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. An army spokesman referred the investigation to the Pentagon.

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