Is the U.S. Army dishonorably discharging soldiers who haven't taken the vaccine for COVID-19?

Friday, March 25, 2022
By Courtney Kealy
This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.

Contrary to a social media post, Army soldiers who don't take the COVID-19 vaccine are not being given dishonorable discharges.

While the Army has begun discharging soldiers who refuse to be vaccinated, the important distinction is that they are not dishonorably discharged.

A Pentagon statement in February said, "The least favorable characterization of service that may be issued is General (Under Honorable Conditions)." A Pentagon spokesperson told Lead Stories, "No U.S. Army soldier has received a dishonorable discharge solely for refusing the COVID vaccination order."

The Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy have also taken military actions including discharges against members of the U.S. military who have not taken COVID-19 vaccines.

According to the Department of Defense, as of Dec. 16, 2021, 98% of the Army's force — including 96% of active-duty soldiers — were already fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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