The Army said Wednesday it will immediately begin to discharge members who refuse to get the Covid vaccine, The Associated Press reports.
The Army is the last branch of the military to roll out its plans to discharge soldiers, putting more than 3,300 service members at risk of being booted.
The Marines, Air Force, and Navy have already discharged soldiers that refused to be vaccinated.
The Army said more than 3,000 soldiers were already given written reprimands.
The Pentagon last year ordered all service members to get vaccinated.
About 97% of all Army soldiers got at least one shot. More than 3,000 have requested medical or religious exemptions.
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth issued a directive Wednesday directing commanders to begin proceedings against members who refused to get the shot and do not have a pending or approved exemption.
“Army readiness depends on soldiers who are prepared to train, deploy, fight and win our nation’s wars,” she said. “Unvaccinated soldiers present risk to the force and jeopardize readiness. We will begin involuntary separation proceedings for Soldiers who refuse the vaccine order and are not pending a final decision on an exemption.”
The order applies to all active-duty personnel, reserves on active duty, and cadets at West Point.
The order said that the vaccine refusers would be discharged for misconduct but noted that those eligible to retire can still do so before July 1.
Few soldiers booted so far:
Only about 600 members of the Marines, Air Force, and Navy have been dismissed so far.
Service members who are discharged under the policy are not eligible for involuntary separation pay and may have to pay back incentive bonuses or other special compensation.
About 80 military members have died from Covid so far.