As part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that President Joe Biden signed into law, Senator Roger Marshall's legislation prevents service members from incurring a dishonorable discharge if they refuse the COVID-19 vaccine.
During his first year as a senator, Marshall managed to win 14 NDAA victories to protect national security.
Several of Marshall’s victories benefited Kansas military communities and strengthened American defenses. These provisions include:
- Establish guidelines for service members who may be exempt from the COVID-19 vaccine obligation for medical, administrative or religious reasons.
- When establishing medical standards and determining thresholds for the administrative exemption, the Department of Defense (DoD) must consider natural immunity.
- Prohibit the DoD from collaborating with EcoHealth Alliance, Inc., a non-profit channeling taxpayer funds to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to perform Chinese government-sponsored research.
- Reducing the number of ballistic missiles or the retirement or conversion of lower-yield nuclear warheads is prohibited when China rapidly expands its nuclear arsenal.
- Modernize the nation's nuclear triad, including the ground-based strategic deterrent.
Furthermore, the bill includes several provisions Marshall initiated to counter Iran's actions and restrict the Biden administration's ability to lift sanctions against the regime. He said the requirements come as the administration reopens negotiations to secure a new nuclear deal.
Dishonorably dismissed U.S. service members lose the following privileges and benefits:
- Possession of any form of firearm or ammunition is prohibited
- Access to the Post-9/11 GI Bill for more education
- Home loans from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- Medical benefits provided by the VA
- Honors for military funerals
- Re-enlistment in a different branch of the military
According to Marshall, the NDAA also includes funds for the Fort Leavenworth Child Development Center and the Kansas National Guard Nickell Memorial Armory, totaling $4 million and $17.1 million, respectively.