Army slammed for desperate attempt to win back favor with soldiers fired for refusing the COVID vaccine as the military enters ‘panic mode’ due to severe recruitment challenges

The U.S. military is facing criticism as it tries to win back the favor of soldiers fired for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine as the military grapples with serious recruiting challenges.

Last week, the Army sent a mass letter to soldiers discharged after rejecting the COVID-19 vaccine for religious or medical reasons, offering a “correction of military records.”

“As a result of the repeal of all current COVID-19 vaccination requirements, former soldiers who were involuntarily separated because they refused to receive the COVID-19 vaccination may request a correction of their military records from either or both of the Army Discharge Review Board (ADRB). ) or the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR),” reads the letter, which reviewed.

The letter sparked an outcry at the Defense Department among lawmakers and current and former military personnel.

John Frankman, a former U.S. Army captain who voluntarily left the military on July 1 due to the negative impact on his career of refusing the vaccine, told that the letter “will have no effect whatsoever on bringing back service members ‘ because this is not the case. offer a policy change.

“There has always been the option to apply to increase one’s discharge status and apply to return to the military,” he explained.

Frankman added that until there is accountability for the “failed” vaccine policy and other disasters such as the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, “no one will trust the current leaders at the top.”

The letter sparked anger at the Defense Department among lawmakers and former military personnel

Retired Air Force veteran Patrick Fox said sending the letter sent the military into ‘panic mode’

“(Defense Secretary) Lloyd Austin should be fired, and service members should be automatically upgraded to their discharge, given back pay, given the opportunity to return if they wish, and there should be a very serious and thorough introspection into how such terrible policy decisions could ever happen,” he told

Frankman also said the “crazy recruiting crisis” is crushing military readiness.

The Army faced a massive recruit shortage of 55,000 in the 2022 financial year – which was 10,000 short of the target for that year.

Army Minister Christine Wormuth played down the shortage, saying the target for 65,000 new recruits was a “stretch goal.”

“The Army recruiting enterprise understands very well how important that role is; they don’t need a signal to put the pedal to the metal,” she said at the Pentagon in October.

“We still have a lot of work to do to implement all these changes, so I imagine we’ll end up at just under 65,000 in 2024.”

“Our dedicated troops should never have been fired for putting their personal health and safety above an experimental COVID shot,” Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., wrote in response to X.

“They must be reinstated unconditionally and reinstated with full wages and benefits,” he continued.

Former Army officer Brad Miller said the letter doesn’t go far enough to repair the damage he experienced.

“Why doesn’t the Army ask me if I want my discharge converted into a retirement dated on the release date of this new policy, and in addition provide compensation for the command from which I have been wrongfully relieved, compensation for the remainder of what my is pension also? career, and then offer me my adjusted pension from this month? Then offer the same to all others who have been similarly wronged,” he said.

He went on to say that the Pentagon “cannot fix itself” and claimed that the loyalty of Biden administration officials is “certainly un-American.”

Retired Air Force veteran Patrick Fox said sending the letter put the military into “panic mode.”

“Given how politically radioactive this Defense Department decision was, how much resentment it generated internally, and how much bad press it generated when it was made – this softening policy indicates that Army leaders are feeling the pressure on recruitment numbers,” he wrote. X.

‘To some extent they are willing to eat a crow of this to soften it. If things get bad enough and senior leadership is pushed into a corner, promises to restore rank and pay in the future are not unthinkable.” contacted the military for comment.

More than 8,000 service members — many seeking religious exemptions — were discharged for refusing to comply with the Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate issued in August 2021.

Following outrage over the mandate, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed in December 2022 ended the mandate in fiscal year 2023, but did not reinstate service members discharged for not receiving the shot nor provide any other compensation.

Amendments from Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., who were adopted by the House Armed Services Committee over the summer, are included to “provide redress” for service members who have been “wrongfully discharged” by requiring the Pentagon to issue a recovery process and ensure that no negative retaliation occurs.

But some current and former troops say the amendments that would be included in the FY 2024 NDAA are not strong enough to undo the “severe harassment” they have suffered over the past two years.

Frankman, who served in the Special Forces as part of the Green Berets, said the “missed career opportunities” he has endured over the past two years can never be undone by any action by Congress.

Following outrage, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed in December 2022 ended the mandate in fiscal year 2023

An active-duty army officer told that the dismissed troops had “had their lives turned upside down and betrayed by those charged with protecting them.”

And a formal apology from their service departments would be crucial to rebuilding trust, he added.