Pentagon Posts Official Deadline For Military Branches To Stop Forcing COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

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Alexander Pease Contributor
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The Pentagon declared in a memo to each branch of the U.S. military Friday that all COVID-19 vaccine mandate policies must be officially rolled back by St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

Not only does the latest Pentagon guidance prevent the service branches from forcing the enlisted to get the shot, but also will reverse “any existing flags or in-process involuntary separations for service members who have refused vaccination,” Military Times reported.

“DoD Component heads shall formally rescind any such policies, directives, and guidance as soon as possible, if they have not done so already,” the Friday memo read:

This DOD memo comes as a follow-up to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s January memo which first announced an end to the broad vaccine requirements that applied to the American military. (RELATED: Employees Fired For Refusing COVID Vaccine Labeled With ‘Problem Codes’ That Were Sent To FBI, Legal Group Says)

In turn, certain branches have taken steps to carry out the change in vaccination policy respectively. The Army recently issued orders to halt the discharging of soldiers that refused the jab.

As for the Navy and Marines, the two services ended their policies requiring the vaccine to join in January. (RELATED: Naval Academy Removes Confederate Name From Campus Building, Replaces It With Dem President)

Most recently, the Navy changed course last week, announcing that unvaccinated sailors could be eligible for at-sea deployment aboard Naval ships, the outlet noted. There remains a caveat that “liberty may be restricted during port visits to some countries, and the Marine Corps is following suit.”

Across all of the branches, a total of approximately 8,600 individuals in both active and reserve capacities were formally discharged for forgoing the umbrella coronavirus vaccination requirement.

The memo advised anyone considered a veteran as a result of being discharged for vaccine refusal to “apply for records upgrades through their service’s board of corrections, including changing reenlistment restrictions that required vaccination,” according to the outlet.

Despite pending legislation from Congressional Republicans that would initiate “buyback” programs for the aforementioned enlistees that were discharged, the memo does not indicate that the Pentagon plans to implement this policy.

“We are not pursuing, as a matter of policy, backpay for those who refused the vaccine,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, told the press in January. “At the time that those orders were refused, it was a lawful order.”