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The U.S. Army is set to begin discharging active-duty soldiers, reserves serving on active duty, and Military Academy cadets who have refused to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
According to the report, more than 3,300 service members are at risk of being tossed out of the military as a result of the mandate.
All affected service members are said to have received ample notice to receive the series of vaccinations ahead of the dismissal.
What are the details?
In a Wednesday statement, the Army said it will "immediately begin discharging soldiers" who have refused to get the compulsory vaccine.
In a statement on the directive, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said, "Army readiness depends on soldiers who are prepared to train, deploy, fight, and win our nation's wars. 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."
NPR reported that all soldiers who are discharged for refusing to be vaccinated "will not be eligible for involuntary separation pay" and could be subject to returning any "unearned special or incentive pay."
The order states that soldiers will be discharged for misconduct.
What else is there to know about this?
The U.S. Marine Corps, Air Force, and Navy have already discharged all personnel who have refused the shots.
According to the Associated Press report, approximately 97% of all Army soldiers have received at least one shot, and more than 3,000 service members have requested exemptions based on medical or religious grounds.
The NPR report added that in January, a spokesperson for the Army said, "To date, 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."
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