“The cadets and midshipmen at our service academies are among the brightest in the country, and they shouldn’t be dismissed so flippantly,” Hyde-Smith said.

On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) joined U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to introduce the Defending Freedom of Conscience for Cadets and Midshipmen Act. The legislation would protect cadets and midshipmen at the nation’s U.S. service academies from being punished for declining the COVID-19 vaccine.

The bill would apply to cadets and midshipmen at the USAFA, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Specifically, the Defending Freedom of Conscience for Cadets and Midshipmen Act would clarify that cadets and midshipmen cannot be denied graduation for not being vaccinated against COVID-19; prevent any cadet who is not allowed to commission due to their COVID-19 vaccination status from being subject to repayment claims; and prevent cadets and midshipmen from being dismissed from their service academy as a result of refusing to be vaccinated (i.e. for disciplinary reasons for refusing the order to be vaccinated).

Senator Hyde-Smith said that the decision to end promising military careers solely based on a COVID vaccine is “punitive” and an example of “clumsy government outreach.”

“The cadets and midshipmen at our service academies are among the brightest in the country, and they shouldn’t be dismissed so flippantly,” Hyde-Smith said.

Senator Rubio added that it is outrageous to punish young men and women who want nothing more than to serve their nation.

“These are the types of ridiculous, unnecessarily punitive measures that discourage patriotic Americans from joining the military.  The Academy should stop playing politics and focus on preparing cadets and midshipmen for their future service,” Rubio said.

U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO) will introduce a House companion measure.

You can read a full copy of the legislation below.

Defending Freedom of Conscience for Cadets and Midshipmen Act by yallpolitics on Scribd