The U.S. military will ban all unvaccinated soldiers who fail to provide medical clearance from re-enlisting or promotion if they refuse to get the shot definitively.
The new policy, announced Tuesday, includes all soldiers in the military and reservists. It also applies to all National Guard members who work in states where the governor has not prescribed vaccines, such as Florida, Texas and Oklahoma.
The move will effectively end the military careers of unvaccinated soldiers if they fail to meet the June 2022 deadline.
The Nov. 16 memo, signed by Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, states that a service member’s record will be marked the day they make their final vaccine refusal — requiring a meeting with a medical professional and a second order to be vaccinated. defense one reported.
“I authorize commanders to impose bans on continued service…for all soldiers who refuse the mandatory vaccine order without an approved waiver or pending a waiver request,” Wormuth wrote.
“The soldier will remain flagged until they are fully vaccinated, receive an approved medical or administrative clearance, or are separated from the military.”
About 66 percent of all branches of the military, including the Guard, are fully vaccinated.
According to the US military, the military is 92 percent vaccinated, while the Reserve and National Guard are 55 and 52 percent vaccinated, respectively.
A new military policy requires all soldiers — active duty, reserves and the Army National Guard — to be fully vaccinated by June 2022 or they will be separated from the military. Soldiers’ records remain marked after they give their final refusals for the vaccine, which requires a second order to be vaccinated and a meeting with a medical professional. After the record is marked, the soldier must either be vaccinated, receive an approved medical or administrative exemption, or be separated from the military
The military is 66 percent vaccinated in all branches, with 92 percent vaccinated as the main ingredient. Army reserves are fully vaccinated at 55 percent, while the Army National Guard remains lowest at 52 percent. Other branches of the military have also imposed vaccine mandates or are facing separation, with the Air Force’s deadline for its key sector already past due. The Navy and Marine Corps have deadlines in November and December, while the Reserves and National Guard have a longer deadline
The National Guard, controlled primarily at the state level until Title 32, has the lowest vaccination coverage and some governors are rejecting the federal mandate.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt recently told state National Guard troops that they do not have to comply with President Joe Biden’s mandate, which requires all troops to be vaccinated in uniform.
Stitt reported to the Pentagon that about 800 members did not intend to receive the vaccine, which is 10 percent of state power.
The Pentagon dismissed this dispute, saying the Guards must still meet military preparedness and medical requirements, such as vaccinations, according to CNN.
“The focus of the military remains to maintain a readiness to respond when our nation calls,” an army representative told DailyMail.com.
The National Guard will remain until Title 32, unless activated under federal orders, or Title 10, where the government can control the watch. This is usually seen when soldiers are deployed abroad.
A gray area arises as the government funds the National Guard, despite soldiers being under state control. Since the military relies on being ready for overseas missions — which have been used in Iraq and Afghanistan — the government pays for the troops despite members reporting to the governor, Defense One said.
The National Guard was used more in 2020 than during World War II, as members assisted in wildfires, domestic unrest and administering COVID-19 vaccinations, Defense One reported.
“We’re getting to the point where the federal and state governments are essentially arguing over who’s in power,” managing partner of law firm Tully Rinckey Anthony Kuhn told Defense One.
Kuhn also said he was not surprised that the military decided to cut funding for unvaccinated soldiers and Guardsmen.
“It’s kind of a back door to force this policy on states,” he told Defense One.
Soldiers who choose to remain unvaccinated may leave the military under a disability evaluation, retirement, discharge or separation upon completion of service, the military said.
The Air Force demanded that all active duty and space force guards be vaccinated by Nov. 2. The Air Force Reserve has until December 2.
The Air Force is 96.4 percent fully vaccinated and nearly 450,000 members have already been vaccinated.
One aviator, 22, who wishes to remain anonymous, told DailyMail.com that they believe that “getting vaccinated or leaving” is “completely normal” in the military.
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth (pictured) signed the memo dated November 16. She said: ‘I authorize commanders to impose bans on continued service…for all soldiers who refuse the mandatory vaccine order without an approved waiver or pending a waiver request’
“I feel like ‘going away or getting vaccinated’ is completely normal for the military. It is an order to get vaccinated and if you choose not to get the vaccine (other than the normal religious or medical exceptions) you must understand that you will be kicked out.
“That’s how the military works, you get an order and you do it.”
The Navy – the most vaccinated arm of the military where 96.7% of active-duty seamen have been shot – has also announced it will fire all soldiers who refuse to be vaccinated.
Mariners who fail to vaccinate receive the lowest honorable discharge, making them ineligible for some veterans’ benefits, the Navy Times reported.
Seamen on active duty have until November 28 to be fully vaccinated, while the naval reserves have until December 14.
Those who have been denied medical waivers have five days to start the vaccination or separation process, Fox news reported.
No religious exceptions have been accepted and only six have been medically approved, the Navy Times reported.
Soldiers will also not receive any bonuses, special rewards or incentives because “when a member of the naval service refuses the vaccine [they are[ no longer performing duties for which they are receiving such’ incentives.
Members of the Marine Corps, which is a part of the Navy, have until November 28 to get vaccinated, and the Marine Reserves has until December 28.
The Navy Department announced they will treat Marines ‘in a respectful manner’ and are ‘not going to all kick them out on the day,’ Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro told Task and Purpose.
‘We will be addressing each case on a case-by-case basis,’ he said.
‘We’re going to try find out what’s their problem and holdup in getting the vaccine, try to counsel them the best we can, offer them an opportunity to change their mind with regards to the vaccinations,’ Del Toro told Task and Purpose.
‘Hopefully, they’ll get the vaccination at that point in time. And if they don’t, obviously, then they’re not going to be able to continue serving in the Marine Corps.’
More than 180,000 Marines have been fully vaccinated.