On Wednesday, the U.S. Navy announced that it had formally discharged 45 service members for failing to accept inoculation against COVID-19 by vaccination.
The personnel were discharged after they failed to meet the Nov. 28 deadline that the Pentagon set for receiving injections. Of the 45 members let go, 23 were active-duty sailors.
A report from UPI claims that according to a statement by the Navy, 22 of the 45 released service members were ‘entry-level separations’ since they were still in their initial training period, being within the first 180 days of active service.
Vice Admiral Bill Merz, acting deputy chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans, and Strategy said regarding the matter that his responsibility is to provide the U.S. Navy with “the most capable force,” and added that dismissing the unvaccinated personnel “helps us maximize mission readiness.” The Admiral also stated that the Navy has continued to execute its mission in all corners of the world while also managing “the challenges of this pandemic.”
The Navy explained last year when it announced its compulsory vaccination program that members expelled for refusing the vaccine receive a general honorable discharge, but are barred from many benefits, and may be forced to repay costs of training and education.
Navy personnel who successfully receive an exemption from the vaccine mandate based on health reasons can be reassigned from their current duties.
An official notification from the Navy reads that as of Thursday, there are still 5,035 active-duty sailors and 2,860 reserve service members who remain unvaccinated.
Of the unvaccinated active-duty service members, 10 have permanent medical exemptions, 259 have temporary medical exemptions, and 59 administrators have been granted exemptions.
Last week, the Marine Corps reported that it had discharged 334 Marines for failing to comply with the vaccine mandate, and the Air Force similarly reported this week that it had discharged 111 airmen on similar grounds.
The Army has not yet discharged any of its active-duty personnel for failing to comply with the vaccine mandate.
Author: Jason Cooper