As the military struggles to attract new recruits, the US Army is telling unvaccinated former troops who were thrown out of the services for refusing to undergo a COVID-19 vaccination that they might potentially rejoin the army.

Brig. Gen. Hope Rampy stated in a letter to former Army members, “Individuals who desire to apply to return to service should contact their local … recruiter.”

Brig. Gen. Rampy was notifying former members of new guidelines that allows troops who were discharged for failing to receive a COVID-19 shot to request that their service records be rectified.

The Army discharged 1,903 troops for failing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine under the US military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“Unvaccinated soldiers present a risk to the force and jeopardize readiness,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth warned in 2022, as the first soldiers were released.

In recent years, many military divisions have struggled to attract fresh recruits.

The Army fell short of its fiscal year 2023 objective by around 10,000 soldiers.

In response, officials changed their recruitment strategy, focusing on college grads and offering incentives of up to $50,000. The latest letter from Brig. Gen. Rampy, as well as the accompanying advice, reveal that the approach involves attempting to bring back troops who were dismissed for refusing to comply with the COVID-19 vaccination order.

According to the instructions alluded to in the letter, dated Nov. 7, a number of actions have been made in recent months under Ms. Wormuth’s leadership, including the removal of suspensions pertaining to troops who requested exemptions from the order.

The guidance states that “former soldiers who were involuntarily separated for refusal to receive the vaccination can also request correction of their military records to reflect an honorable, voluntary separation from service.”

Records of soldiers still in the force are being corrected “to remove adverse actions stemming from requests for exemption from vaccination for COVID-19,” the guidance states, adding that “former soldiers who were involuntarily separated for refusal to receive the vaccination can also request correction of their military records to reflect an honorable, voluntary separation from service.”

“We remain proud of the Army’s response to the pandemic and will continue to encourage vaccination against the COVID-19 variants as the surest way to ensure readiness, protect our members and guarantee mission success,” according to the instructions issued by the Army.

On top of that, it stated that “our nation faces many challenges, and developing and employing the skills and talents of prior service members can benefit individual soldiers and the Army.”

The shift comes months after the military grudgingly abandoned its mandate, compelled by a measure passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden.

However, the bill did not require any action to be taken with regards to the former members, such as immediately reinstating them with backpay.

“We are not currently pursuing back-pay for service members who were dismissed for refusing to take the COVID vaccination,” Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters after the mandate was repealed.

Over 8,000 servicemen were terminated across all branches for failing to comply with the directive. Courts have decided that some people had their claims for religious exemptions refused by generic letters, which violated federal law.

According to an Army official, all of the troops separated under the order got the letters, and around 210 have sought record adjustments.

Former Army lieutenant colonel Bradley Miller was among those who got a letter. He said that the offer was unsatisfactory.

Making it possible for troops to get their records corrected “on the surface sounds like it’s a good thing and maybe to some degree it is, but I think most former soldiers, myself included, just kind of feel like it’s just too little, too late,” Miller said in an interview with The Epoch Times.

Miller was relieved of duties in October 2021 and resigned just before reaching the 20-year milestone, despite forfeiting his pension, since he refused to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

“I never believed the vaccines would ever be safe or do what they were supposed to do.” And as a leader, I definitely didn’t want to order my men, who could also be apprehensive, to take the vaccination,” he explained to American Family News.

Miller is thinking about submitting a correction to his records, but he’s not sure about applying to rejoin the force.

He believes the low percentage of individuals who were dismissed and then rejoined originates from how the members were handled.

“Even if they were to go back in, their careers have been completely derailed,” he went on to say.

Members of Congress welcomed the development but criticized how the unvaccinated troops were penalized in the first place.

“We’re all glad to see the Army is reversing its persecution of soldiers who refused to get the COVID vaccine, but that doesn’t take away the damage this caused to our troops,” Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) said

“The U.S. Army is sending a letter to troops who were discharged for refusing to take the jab, saying they can now apply to have their reasons for discharge changed,” Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA) said. “What about reinstating them at rank and paying them with back pay?”


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