The Pentagon continues its war on unvaccinated troops. The U.S. Army announced on Friday that National Guardsmen and Reservists who are unvaccinated won’t be allowed to participate in drills or get paid.
That decision could hold dire consequences in states like Florida, where a hurricane could force the mobilization of a mass number of Guardsmen.
“Maintaining readiness continues to be among the U.S. Army’s highest priorities. We are fully committed to ensuring all Soldiers are vaccinated against COVID-19, as directed by the Secretary of Defense in August 2021,” the Army said in a press release.
As of July 1, troops in the Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve who have “refused the lawful DOD COVID-19 vaccination order without an approved or pending exemption may not participate in federally funded drills and training and will not receive pay or retirement credit.”
“Soldiers who refuse the vaccination order without an approved or pending exemption request are subject to adverse administrative actions, including flags, bars to service, and official reprimands,” the Army statement continued.
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“In the future, Soldiers who continue to refuse the vaccination order without an exemption may be subject to additional adverse administrative action, including separation.”
The Army will allow such troops to come on duty and get paid if they seek to receive the vaccine, process an exemption request, or leave the service.
According to the press release, as of Thursday, 87 percent of Army National Guard troops are considered fully vaccinated, while 88 percent of Army Reservists are.
CBS News reported on Friday that the policy affects more than 40,000 Guardsmen alone, and that more than a third of them have said they had no intention of getting vaxxed.
According to the Associated Press, 84 percent of Guardsmen in Florida are considered vaccinated.