The US Army said on Wednesday that soldiers who refuse to comply with a mandatory Covid-19 immunization requirement will be discharged.
According to the statement, more than 3,000 soldiers could be released. At the end of 2021, the army had 482,000 active-duty personnel.
Six high-ranking officers, including two battalion commanders, had been relieved of their duties as of January 26 after refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
3,073 troops have received formal “reprimands” from the army for refusing to be vaccinated.
Personnel who refuse to be vaccinated against Covid-19 would be discharged from the US Navy, the US Navy said in mid-October.
“Unvaccinated Soldiers present risk to the force and jeopardize readiness,” Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said in a statement.
“We will begin involuntary separation proceedings for Soldiers who refuse the vaccine order and are not pending a final decision on an exemption.”
Because a single Covid case may infect an entire ship or submarine at sea, pulling it out of service, it has been particularly vulnerable to the pandemic.
The navy said in a news release on Wednesday that roughly 8,000 active duty and reserve service members were still unvaccinated, and that 118 people had been discharged as a result of their refusal to take the vaccine.
More than 300 Marines were discharged, according to the Marine Corps.
According to the Pentagon, about 97 percent of the approximately 1.4 million active-duty US military personnel have gotten at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccination.