The Army said on Wednesday that troops who refuse to obtain the obligatory COVID-19 vaccination would be discharged immediately, placing over 3,300 military members in jeopardy.
The Army’s revelation makes it the last military service to put out its vaccination refusal policy. For refusing the injections, the Marine Corps, Air Force, and Navy have previously fired active-duty troops or entry-level individuals from boot camps. So yet, no soldiers have been dismissed by the Army.
More than 3,300 soldiers have refused to get the vaccination, according to Army figures released last week. More than 3,000 troops have been granted official written reprimands, according to the Army, implying that they have already been recognized in the disciplinary process and that some of them may be among the first to be fired.
The Pentagon has ordered all active-duty, National Guard, and Reserve military personnel to obtain the vaccination, citing its importance in sustaining the force’s health and preparedness. As a result of the omicron variation, COVID-19 instances continue to rise across the country.
Approximately 97 percent of all Army personnel have been shot at least once. Over 3,000 people have asked for medical or religious exemptions.
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth issued the order on Wednesday, instructing commanders to initiate involuntary separation proceedings against individuals who refuse the injections and do not have a valid or authorized exemption.
“Army preparedness is contingent on troops who are ready to train, deploy, fight, and win our country’s battles,” she added. “Unvaccinated soldiers put the force at risk and undermine preparedness.” Soldiers who resist the immunization order and are not awaiting a final judgment on an exemption will be separated involuntarily.”
Active-duty troops, reserves serving on active duty, and cadets at the Military Academy at West Point, as well as its prepatory school and ROTC, are all members of the order.
Soldiers will be dismissed for misbehavior, according to the comprehensive order, which also states that those who are eligible to retire might do so before July 1.
According to data published this week and last week by the services, more than 650 Marines, airmen, and sailors have been discharged from the military or expelled from entry-level training at boot camps.
Those who refuse the vaccination, as well as those who request medical, administrative, or religious exemptions, have been dealt with in a systematic manner by the military forces. Medical personnel, chaplains, and senior commanders must all be consulted during the evaluations.