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U.S. Army says soldiers discharged for refusing COVID vaccine may reapply

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The Associated Press/Photo by Matt Rourke

U.S. Army says soldiers discharged for refusing COVID vaccine may reapply

The U.S. Army this month sent letters to approximately 1,900 former service members who were dismissed for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, the Army’s Office of the Chief of Public Affairs said on Monday. The letters included instructions for requesting a correction of their discharge records.  They also explained how to reapply for military service, though an Army spokesperson said the letter did not explicitly ask these former service members to do so. Between August 2021 and January 2023, the U.S. military required service members to be vaccinated and discharged more than 8,000 people for refusing.

Is the Army struggling with recruitment? The U.S. Army last month said it missed its annual recruitment goal of 65,000 by about 10,000 soldiers. The service also failed to meet its goal last year. Last month, the Army said it would expand its recruitment strategy to focus more on young people who have spent time in college, in addition to recent high school graduates.

Dig deeper: Read Todd Vician’s report in WORLD Magazine about the history of Veterans Day.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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