Soldiers who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine and have not requested an exemption will no longer be allowed to re-enlist or be promoted, effectively ending their military careers.
The new directive applies to active-duty troops as well as reservists and National Guardsmen, including those serving in states whose governors do not require the vaccine.
The Nov. 16 memo, signed by Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, says troops’ service records will be flagged the day they make their final COVID-19 vaccine refusal. This flag will ban them from being promoted, reenlisting, continuing to receive enlistment bonuses, attending service-related schools, or receiving tuition assistance.
“I authorize commanders to impose bars to continued service…for all soldiers who refuse the mandatory vaccine order without an approved exemption or pending exemption request,” Wormuth wrote in the memo. “The Soldier will remain flagged until they are fully vaccinated, receive an approved medical or administrative exemption, or are separated from the Army.”