Army will immediately begin discharging over 3,300 unvaccinated soldiers

Soldier receiving vaccine
(Image credit: Phynart Studio/iStock)

The U.S. Army said Wednesday that it will immediately begin discharging soldiers who have refused orders to get vaccinated against COVID-19, The Associated Press reported.

According to an Army memo dated Jan. 31, commanders must immediately begin "involuntary administrative separation proceedings" against any soldier who "has received a lawful order to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19," "has been provided a reasonable opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccination," "has made a final declination of immunization," and "does not have a pending or approved medical or administrative exemption."

Around 3,300 soldiers are set to be discharged.

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The Army will be the last branch of the armed forces to begin discharging unvaccinated servicemembers. The Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force have discharged a combined total of almost 600 troops, per AP. The Air Force Times reported last month that "[a]s of Dec. 31, 2,500 unvaccinated airmen and Space Force guardians are ineligible for pay or benefits from the Air National Guard."

The memo also states that any unvaccinated soldiers already scheduled to retire or otherwise leave the Army before July 1 will not be involuntarily separated.

Soldiers kicked out of the Army for refusing the vaccine will receive honorable discharges, "unless additional misconduct warrants separation with an Other than Honorable characterization of service," the memo reads.

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