Episodes
Video Extras
ArticlesLinks
More
Back

U.S Army To Begin Discharging Soldiers Who Have Refused COVID-19 Vaccination

The US Army will immediately begin discharging soldiers who have refused to get the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine, putting more than 3300 service members at risk of being thrown out soon.

The Army's announcement on Wednesday makes it the final military service to lay out its discharge policy for vaccine refusers.

The Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy have already discharged active-duty troops or entry-level personnel at boot camps for refusing the shots. So far, the Army has not discharged any.

According to data released by the Army last week, more than 3300 soldiers have refused to get the vaccine. The Army has said that more than 3000 soldiers have been issued official written reprimands, which suggests they are already identified in the disciplinary process, and some of them could be among the first to be discharged.

The Pentagon has ordered all service members — active-duty, National Guard and Reserves — to get the vaccine, saying it is critical to maintaining the health and readiness of the force.

Cases continue to surge around the country as a result of the Omicron variant.

About 97 per cent of all Army soldiers have received at least one shot. More than 3000 have requested medical or religious exemptions.

The order includes active-duty soldiers, reserves serving on active duty, and cadets at the Military Academy at West Point, its prepatory school and ROTC.

The detailed order said soldiers will be discharged for misconduct, and noted those who are eligible to retire may do so before July 1.

Overall, more than 650 Marines, airmen and sailors have been thrown out of the military or dismissed from entry-level training at boot camps, according to data released by the services.

The military services have been going through a methodical process to deal with those who refuse the vaccine as well as those who request medical, administrative or religious exemptions.

The reviews require counselling with medical personnel and chaplains as well as senior commanders.