Army sends letter to soldiers booted from service for refusing COVID vaccine, asks if they’d like to return

News & Politics

The United States Army informed former service members who were released over a COVID-19 vaccine refusal that they have the opportunity to correct their military records and possibly rejoin the forces if they wish.

Former members were informed via a letter from brigadier general and Director of Military Personnel Management Hope C. Rampy, which stated that the soldiers could have their records changed at their request.

“Dear Former Service Member,” the letter began. “We write to notify you of new Army guidance regarding the correction of military records for former members of the Army following rescission of the COVID-19 vaccination requirement,” it continued.

“As a result of the rescission of all current COVID-19 vaccination requirements, former Soldiers who were involuntarily separated for refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccination may request a correction of their military records from either or both the Army Discharge Review Board (ADRB) or the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR).”

“Individuals may request a correction to military personnel records, including records regarding the characterization of discharge,” the letter added before noting that former personnel could reapply through their local recruiters.

“Individuals who desire to apply to return to service should contact their local Army, U.S. Army Reserve (USAR), or Army National Guard (ARNG) recruiter for more information.”

The letter was reportedly confirmed as authentic by the Army to outlet Task & Purpose, which also stated that a spokesperson said it was not immediately clear whether any rejoining soldiers would be able to return to their former unit.

In early October 2023, CNN reported that just 43 out of more than 8,000 service members who were booted for vaccine refusal had rejoined.

After reportedly missing its recent recruitment goal by nearly 15,000, the land forces made up the difference using recruits from its Delayed Entry Program.

The Army also reportedly planned to change the way it prospects for recruits by expanding beyond high school graduates. By 2028, it aims to have a third of its new soldiers have more than a high school degree.

This came at the same time that Defense Department data showed 68% of active-duty military members are overweight or obese. The obesity category has more than doubled in the previous decade as well. In 2012, the rate was 10.4%, but it jumped to 21.6% for 2022.

As well, the Army has changed its advertising strategy to focus on recruitment and lean away from woke and progressive talking points.

Since summer 2023, new promotions have chronicled the first steps in the recruitment process and have been void of gender and race-related messaging.

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