- The US Army will begin kicking out soldiers who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the service announced Wednesday.
- Over 3,000 soldiers have received reprimands for refusing the vaccine, and six Army leaders have been relieved of command.
- The Army follows in the footsteps of other service branches who have separated service members for not adhering to the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate.
According to a new instruction issued by Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth on Wednesday, the US Army will begin separating soldiers who refuse to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to an Army statement, the order to commanders to begin involuntary separation of unvaccinated soldiers applies to all regular Army soldiers, cadets, and active-duty reservists who do not have an accepted or pending exemption request.
The Army has already issued 3,073 general officer written reprimands for vaccination refusalers and dismissed six Army heads of command, including two battalion commanders; nevertheless, no soldier had been expelled from the Army as of January 26 due to refusal of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In comparison to the greater army, the number of soldiers who are still unvaccinated is restricted.
According to army officials, 98 percent of the personnel has received at least one dose of the vaccination.
“Army readiness is dependent on soldiers who are ready to train, deploy, fight, and win our country’s battles,” Wormuth said.
“Unvaccinated soldiers put the force at risk and undermine readiness.”
Other uniformed services, including as the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, have already begun to issue separation orders to service members who have refused the vaccine.
The Marines, for example, have evacuated more troops than any other force.
Since the commencement of vaccination refusal separation proceedings in December, around 400 Marines have been thrown out.
Soldiers who are discharged from the Army for refusing the vaccine will be given a general categorization of honourable service.
The separation of unvaccinated soldiers and other troops comes months after Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued advice to the Department of Defense in August requiring service members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to the most recent Pentagon data, the virus has infected hundreds of thousands of troops and killed 92 military people since the outbreak began.