This past Wednesday, officials with the United States Army put forth the announcement that it would “immediately” start to discharge any soldier who refuses to subject themselves to the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The United States Army announced today that it will immediately begin separating Soldiers from the service who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” stated the U.S. Army in a release.
“Army readiness depends on Soldiers who are prepared to train, deploy, fight and win our nation’s wars,” stated Christine Wormuth, the Secretary of the Army. “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.”
“Unvaccinated Soldiers who have requested medical exemption or religious accommodations are temporarily exempt from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement while their requests are under review,” the document stated.
Soldiers who have had had their religious or medical exemption denied will be slated seven days from the denial to choose to either “[b]egin a COVID-19 vaccination regimen” or “[s]ubmit an appeal to the final appeal authority.”
“If a final appeal is denied, the Soldier will have seven calendar days from notice of denial to begin the COVID-19 vaccination regimen,” explained the statement.
“The Army has not yet involuntarily separated any Soldiers solely for refusing the lawful order to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” continued the statement. “As of Jan. 26, Army commanders have relieved a total of six regular Army leaders, including two battalion commanders, and issued 3,073 general officer written reprimands to Soldiers for refusing the vaccination order.”
Based on data from the U.S. Army that was put out on the 27th of January, 96% of all active enlisted members are fully vaccinated, while 79% of reserve members are fully vaccinated. This data set shows that for the same groups it is 97% and 83% respectively for partial vaccinations.
Overall, 709 requests for permanent medical exemptions have been placed, with 6 approved and a staggering 656 disapproved. 2,910 permanent exemptions for religious reasons have been requested, but zero of them have been approved and 266 have been declined so far. 5,870 temporary exemptions have been given, which includes the previously mentioned requests for permanent exemptions.
Based on this released data set, 3,350 soldiers have stated their refusal of the vaccine.
The Pentagon issued an announcement that stated it was also implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations in August 2021.
“To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force,” stated Lloyd Austin, the Defense Secretary, as part of a memo to the employees at the time. “I strongly encourage all DoD military and civilian personnel — as well as contractor personnel — to get vaccinated now and for military Service members to not wait for the mandate.”
“Being vaccinated will enable our service members to stay healthy, to better protect their families, and to ensure that our force is ready to operate anywhere in the world,” stated Old Uncle Joe in response.
Just over a week ago, the U.S. Navy issued an announcement that it had discharged its first 45 people who went against the Armed Forces’ COVID-19 vaccine.
“It is my responsibility to deliver the most capable force and this guidance helps us maximize mission readiness,” stated Vice Adm. Bill Merz, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy as part of a press release.