They pose a risk “to our armed forces and compromise our level of readiness”, comments Army Secretary Christine Wormuth.
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Almost three months after the US Navy, the US Army announced that it would begin to return to civilian life soldiers who refuse compulsory vaccination against Covid-19. “Unvaccinated soldiers pose a risk to our armed forces and compromise our level of readiness”Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said in a statement. (in English) published Wednesday, February 2.
More than 3,000 soldiers could thus be returned to civilian life, according to the statement from the Army, which had 482,000 soldiers in active service at the end of 2021. Indeed as of January 26, six high-ranking officers – including two commanders of battalions – had been dismissed for refusing to impose the Covid vaccine, and 3,073 soldiers had received a “reprimand” written for refusing to be vaccinated. Dismissed service members will not be eligible for severance pay, the statement said. Soldiers who had already started their departure or who are close to retirement will be able to benefit from a temporary exemption.
The US Navy announced in mid-October that it would discharge sailors refusing the vaccine to civilian life. It has already fired about 40 and the Marine Corps, which is under the authority of the Navy, has expelled more than 300. Of all the branches of the American military, the Navy is the one that took the measures the most energetic against Covid-19, because of the danger posed by promiscuity on board warships, especially submarines. According to the Pentagon, some 97% of the roughly 1.4 million US service members on active duty have received at least one dose.