Army Invites Back Soldiers Discharged For Refusing Covid-19 Vaccine

Approximately one year after Congress compelled the Pentagon to revoke its directive mandating COVID-19 vaccination for all military personnel, The Post has gained exclusive information that 19 soldiers, who were discharged for declining the vaccine, have re-enlisted in the Army.

The announcement follows the service’s issuance of a letter earlier this month, extending an invitation to former soldiers who had previously refused the vaccine to reapply for service. This initiative comes in response to the military encountering difficulties in recruitment.

In the previous week, the military informed soldiers who were discharged due to vaccine-related reasons that they could reach out to their local recruitment office to obtain details on the process of reapplying to the Army.

“As part of the overall COVID mandate rescission process mandated by Congress, the Army this month mailed the letters to approximately 1,900 individuals who had previously been separated,” Army spokesman Bryce Dubee said.

Individuals who declined the vaccine without obtaining an exemption were expelled from the military for violating a lawful directive.

However, with the rescinding of the mandate, the Army is now accepting the return of unvaccinated soldiers, provided they meet specific criteria. Although The Post could not locate a definitive list of criteria for reentry, defense officials emphasize that applications are evaluated individually on a case-by-case basis.

As an illustration, a soldier who calmly and respectfully refused the vaccine is more inclined to be permitted to rejoin the ranks compared to someone who openly defied and behaved confrontationally with their superiors.

While only 19 out of the 1,903 discharged soldiers have resumed active duty, the Army anticipates a growth in this number following the dissemination of the letter.

In the fiscal year that concluded on September 30, 2023, the Army fell 10,000 recruits short of its target of 65,000 new troops.




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