US Navy to Discharge Sailors Over COVID Vaccine Noncompliance

In a press release issued on Thursday, the US Navy announced it’ll discharge sailors who refuse the Pentagon-mandated vaccination for COVID-19 and they’ll also risk losing some veterans’ benefits if they get the boot over their noncompliance.

Stressing the paramount importance of immunizations in protecting the servicemen’s health and the Fleet’s warfighting readiness, the Navy pointed that service members refusing the vaccine may also be forced to recoup applicable bonuses, special and incentive pay and cover the training and education’s cost.

Active-duty sailors had until Nov. 14 to get either their second shot of a two-dose vaccine or the single shot of a one-dose vaccine while the deadline for the reservists was Dec. 14.

The chief of the naval personnel, Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, Jr., announced in a December 15 memo that the Navy would begin at the earliest possible opportunity ‘administrative separation’ for sailors who have continued to refuse inoculation against the COVID-19 vaccine.

In line with the Pentagon-imposed vaccine mandate, the US Navy and US Marine Corps had until Nov. 28 to be vaccinated, while Reserve members have to get the vaccine until December 28.

The only exemption from the process for separation from the service will be the service members with legitimate COVID-19 vaccination exemptions or pending requests for exemption, but if those requests are denied, sailors must receive their first dose within five days of being notified.

In order to maximize speed and equity in achieving a fully vaccinated force, the Navy will expedite the administrative separation process for active-duty troops or members of the reserve full-time support community who refuse the COVID-19 jab, the naval administrative message (NAVAMIN) says.

The enforcement of the jab mandate in the US Navy comes just a day after 27 airmen had been discharged from the US Air Force over their refusal to get the vaccine. USAF data, meanwhile, shows that over 1,000 servicemen have refused the jab.

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