Vaccines stranded in army and navy will be removed, army says
Army commanders have relieved six active duty leaders, including two battalion commanders, and issued 2,767 written reprimands to general officers for refusing the vaccination order, army officials said Thursday.
Vice Admiral John B. Nowell Jr., chief of naval personnel, said this week that the administrative separation process for those who continue to refuse would be expedited to “maximize speed and fairness in the achievement of a force fully vaccinated ”.
Each service directorate has set its own deadlines to comply with the mandate issued last August. The Air Force, with more than 325,000 active-duty members, reached its deadline on November 2. Pentagon officials said this week that 27 airmen – all with less than six years of service – were the first to be fired for refusal of vaccines. . The deadlines for the Marines and Navy were November 28. That of the army was Wednesday.
Each year, the Navy fires several hundred people for malpractice, said Travis Callaghan, spokesperson for the chief of the navy staff. “This is an administrative action that we hoped to avoid but which will affect a very small percentage of the active duty force, and we are equipped to handle this scale of administrative processing,” he said.
The coronavirus pandemic: what you need to know
Among Marines, 94 percent are now fully immunized and 95 percent have had at least one injection. Marines who did not receive a second dose by Nov. 14 are considered unvaccinated and will be treated for administrative separation unless they are awaiting a decision on an exemption request, said Maj.Jim Stenger , spokesperson for the Marine Corps.
The deadlines for National Guard troops are next year.
Five governors have called for their states – Alaska, Wyoming, Iowa, Mississippi and Nebraska – to be exempt from this requirement. The Pentagon has yet to respond to its letter to Mr. Austin, dated Tuesday.
“Defining sanctions for refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and requiring the separation of the national guard from each state if not vaccinated exceeds your constitutional and statutory authority,” the governors said.