The Army is now requiring that all service members are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Army outlined its plan Tuesday to fully comply with the Secretary of Defense’s order.
They began implementing the Secretary of Defense’s order on August 24, following DoD and White House guidance. Before then, vaccines had been optional.
“This is quite literally a matter of life and death for our Soldiers, their families and the communities in which we live,” said Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the U.S. Army Surgeon General. “Case counts and deaths continue to be concerning as the Delta variant spreads, which makes protecting the force through mandatory vaccination a health and readiness priority for the total Army.”
Soldiers who refuse the vaccine will first be counseled by their chain of command and medical providers, and if they continue to not comply it may result in relief of duties or discharge.
Exemptions can be made if soldiers have a legitimate medical, religious or administrative reason.
Commanders, command sergeants major, first sergeants and officers in Command Select List (CSL) positions who refuse to be vaccinated face suspension and relief if they refuse to comply.
Officers and noncommissioned officers who have been selected and are waiting to assume CSL command, key billet or nominative sergeant major positions is subject to removal from the assignments if refuse vaccination.
Active duty units are expected to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 15, 2021 and Reserve and National Guard units are expected to be fully vaccinated by June 30, 2022.