The United States Army is extending an invitation to former service members who were separated due to their refusal of the COVID-19 vaccine.
This initiative follows the Army’s decision to rescind the vaccine mandate for current service members and applicants. The Army, facing challenges in meeting recruitment targets, has reached out to individuals who were involuntarily separated for vaccine refusal, informing them of the opportunity to apply for a return to service.
The recent letter, accessible on X, outlines the new guidance regarding the correction of military records for former Army members post the removal of the COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Former soldiers who were separated due to vaccine refusal are now eligible to request corrections to their military records through the Army Discharge Review Board (ADRB) or the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR).
The letter emphasizes that individuals can seek corrections to various military personnel records, including those related to the characterization of discharge. Those interested in rejoining the service are encouraged to contact their local Army, US Army Reserve (USAR), or Army National Guard (ARNG) recruiter for detailed information on the application process.
Under the administration of President Biden, unvaccinated service members were discharged with the rationale that they posed a risk to the force and compromised readiness. Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth issued the directive, instructing commanders to initiate involuntary administrative separation proceedings against soldiers who refused the COVID-19 vaccination order without an approved or pending exemption request. This directive applied to regular Army Soldiers, reserve-component Soldiers serving on Title 10 active duty, and cadets.
It’s important to note that these developments are occurring against the backdrop of escalating tensions in the Middle East, particularly the Israel-Hamas conflict, with concerns raised about the possibility of a broader geopolitical conflict.