Republicans Want To Ban What Now?

Photo by Chris Grafton on Unsplash

( – House Republicans are trying to ban the practice of the Defense Department’s releasing summaries to the public detailing the service records of members of the U.S.

The House Appropriations Committee bill would specifically ban the usage of funding for the release of personal information about any current and former service members. These summaries are frequently used by employers who want to verify a person’s military service as well as by news outlets.

The Pentagon notes that the information released often varies, but tends to include the service member’s full name, rank, date of rank as well as their duty assignment both former and current. Other details related to the awards and decorations received, the military school they attended, their home of records, photos, and duty status. The Defense Department regulation claims that this is basic information that does not invade the personal privacy of those service members.

However, House lawmakers are not agreeing with this perspective and claim that service members should provide consent before this information is released to the public. In cases where the individual is deceased then consent under the bill would be granted by their next of kin.

There is no guarantee that this provision will make it onto the final spending bill that is going to appear on President Biden’s desk.

The new proposal would also make it so the public, news outlets, and employers would be required to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the relevant military service branch in order to gain access to this information. The individual that this information relates to is going to be informed before the information is released. However, this could lead to severe delays in requests being granted, as is often the case with the FOIA process.

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