In a bid to curtail the spread on the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States’ Army has stated that it will immediately begin discharging soldiers who have refused to get the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine.
In view of this development, more than 3300 service members at risk of being thrown out soon.
The recent Army’s announcement makes it the final military service to lay out its discharge policy for vaccine refusers.
Reports have it that the Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy have already discharged active-duty troops or entry-level personnel at boot camps for refusing the shots. As of the time of filing this report, Army was yet to discharge any.
Data released by the Army recently shows that 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.
Reports stated that 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.
Official reports have it that about 97 per cent of all Army soldiers have received at least one shot. It was also stated that 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.
Data released by the services said more than 650 Marines, airmen and sailors have been thrown out of the military or dismissed from entry-level training at boot camps.
Meanwhile, local reports have it that 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.
It was clarified that the reviews require counselling with medical personnel and chaplains as well as senior commanders.