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In yet another blow to military service members, those who did not meet the full term of their contract due to being kicked out of the military for not complying with the Covid vaccine mandate are now being forced to pay back their recruitment bonuses, in addition to losing their jobs and careers.
After years of dedication to the military and their country, many service members see the signing bonus pay back as a "kick in the face."
One soldier had signed a contract with the Army for 6 years of service and, in return, received a $7,000 signing bonus. After he was fired for refusing to get the Covid vaccine last May, the military informed him that he would have to pay back the $4,000 prorated amount of his bonus upon his termination from the Army because he did not complete the commitment outlined in his contract.
The soldier had to "sell" 60 unused vacation days to cover the bill, and many service members didn't have that option and are struggling to make the required payment. The Army soldier said that his mental health has suffered as a result of his poor treatment by the military and described it as a "final kick in the face."
The soldier was not the only one to express extreme dissatisfaction with the military and its treatment of those who have sacrificed so much to protect their country. Another service member said, "The Department of Defense continues to fall short on reestablishing trust for wrongdoings, and this is yet another example of that." He went on to describe the forced pay back scheme as the "icing on the cake" of the DOD's mistreatment of military service members.
Another Army soldier expressed his disgust in a statement, saying, "The appalling treatment these individuals endured broke the trust that is owed to our citizens and our volunteers. America's sons and daughters."
"Until true efforts are made to establish trust, the recruiting and retention shortfalls will only continue. The individuals who make public statements that they are unsure what has contributed to the current recruiting and retention shortfalls need to take a look in the mirror, and perhaps they should resign for the betterment of our nation," the solder concluded.
The further fallout with former military service members comes as the military faces critically short lows in recruitment numbers across all branches. The lack of new recruits has become so dire that the military has been forced to increase the maximum age for enlistment and has announced in recent weeks that it will now accept people with behavioral problems in order to meet its recruitment figures.
If the DOD, Pentagon, and Biden administration wanted to honestly support the military, then they would focus on acknowledging wrongdoings, rebuilding trust, and extending long overdue apologies for their deplorable treatment of military members rather than lowering their standards and kicking service members in the face on their way out the door.