Twelve percent of reservists and thirteen percent of guard members had remained unvaccinated at the start of the month. Now, the US Army is taking a hardline stance against them as the US Army cuts pay for 60,000 soldiers who refuse to get vaccinated.
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As a result of their refusal to receive vaccinations, more than 60,000 unvaccinated Army National Guard and Army Reserve troops will be prohibited from carrying out their military duties and would see a reduction in their pay and benefits, officials stated on Friday.
According to a statement from the Army, “Soldiers who refuse the vaccination order without an approved or pending exemption request are subject to adverse administrative actions, including flags, bars to service, and official reprimands.”
About 40,000 members of the National Guard and 22,000 members of the Reserve are unvaccinated.
The decision comes at a time when many of the ‘weekend warriors’ would’ve been taking some time off to complete their units’ required two-week training exercises.
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The military branch has pledged to go even further and terminate their staff if anti-vaxxer soldiers continue to refuse vaccination.
According to a spokesperson for the Army, “in the future, soldiers who continue to refuse the vaccination order without an exemption may be subject to additional adverse administrative action, including separation.”
The mandate was made one week after the Army National Guard’s June 30 deadline for all of its men to have their vaccinations.
Twelve percent of reservists and thirteen percent of guard members had remained unvaccinated at the start of the month.
“We’re going to give every soldier every opportunity to get vaccinated and continue their military career,” said Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen, Director of the Army Guard. “We’re not giving up on anybody until the separation paperwork is signed and completed.”
The tough stance taken by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on unvaccinated soldiers may backfire on the military branch.
The Army recently backtracked on a statement that they would no longer necessitate a high school diploma to join the army, citing a 60% drop in recruiting.
There have been 30,000 requests for medical and religious waivers from guardsmen and reservists, but none have been authorized by the Department of Defense.
Soldiers must be immunized against measles, mumps, rubella, and almost a dozen additional diseases.
Even though guardsmen are state employees who report to their individual governors, a large portion of military duty is funded by the federal government, and unvaccinated troops are prohibited from serving according to DOD regulations.
Republican governors of Wyoming, Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, and Nebraska requested that their soldiers be excluded from vaccination in the late 2021, but the DOD declined.
As a result of vaccine refusal, 1,148 active-duty soldiers have been discharged.