US Army Will Discharge Unvaccinated Soldiers

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Jack Kerley Contributor
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All unvaccinated members of the military are to be discharged, effective immediately according to a Jan. 31 memo sent out to all Army branches by Army Secretary Christine E. Wormuth.

The memo brings the Army in line with the Marines, Air Force and Navy, which have discharged members for refusing Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin’s COVID-19 vaccination orders in August, the Associated Press reported. Ninety-six percent of the military has complied with the vaccination orders leaving around 3,300 soldiers at risk of being discharged, according to The Hill.

Around 3,000 soldiers have already been issued with official reprimands in preparation for the final stage of the disciplinary process, the AP reported. (RELATED: Air Force Discharges 27 For Refusing COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate)

Wormuth has said that the actions being taken are to protect the army’s combat readiness, claiming that “unvaccinated soldiers present risk to the force and jeopardize readiness.”

“We will begin involuntary separation proceedings for Soldiers who refuse the vaccine order and are not pending a final decision on an exemption,” she said, according to the AP.

The Army initially set the deadline Dec. 15, 2021, for all active duty service members to take at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the AP

Soldiers, officers and cadets will be discharged for misconduct, and those who’ve been discharged “will not be eligible for involuntary separation pay,” according to the memo. Some may also be subject to recoupment for special or incentive payments that are deemed to be “unearned,” the memo said.

Those eligible for retirement will be granted exemptions, as long as they retire or move to retire on or before July 1, The Hill reported.