NDAA Covers More Than Vaccine Repeal

While its repeal of the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate dominated headlines, the new National Defense Authorization Act has several other provisions impacting the National Guard. Other language in NDAA’s Guard details include a study requirement on providing no-cost TRICARE Reserve Select and dental coverage to all Guard and Reserve members. There is also a provision that would require the appropriate service secretary to backdate the effective date or rank for any Guard officer waiting more than 100 days for federal recognition of their state promotion to after Jan. 1, 2024. The language ending the Pentagon’s controversial vaccine mandate gives the defense secretary 30 days from the date the president signs the NDAA to “rescind the mandate that members of the Armed Forces be vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to the memorandum dated August 24, 2021.” Such a move would end separations for personnel refusing the vaccine, but the text doesn’t address the 8,000 services members already separated because of the Defense Department memo released last year.