Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class James Owen, from Tobyhanna, Pa., administers the Pfizer vaccine to a Sailor onboard Naval Air Facility Atsugi Sept. 8, 2021. COVID-19 vaccination is now mandatory for Active Duty and Ready Reserve Department Of Defense service members who are not medically or administratively exempt. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Rafael Avelar)
**FILE** Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class James Owen, from Tobyhanna, Pa., administers the Pfizer vaccine to a Sailor onboard Naval Air Facility Atsugi Sept. 8, 2021. COVID-19 vaccination is now mandatory for Active Duty and Ready Reserve Department Of Defense service members who are not medically or administratively exempt. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Rafael Avelar)

The U.S. Navy will soon begin discharging sailors who refuse to get a coronavirus vaccination.

The new Navy guidance released Thursday said that the deadlines are Nov. 14 and Dec. 14 for active-duty sailors and reservists, respectively, to complete either a one-dose or two-dose vaccine regimen.

Sailors who don’t have religious or medical exemptions pending will face administrative action and those discharged for defying the Pentagon vaccine mandate “will receive no lower than a general discharge under honorable conditions,” which could result in loss of veteran benefits, the Navy said.

Additionally, the Navy “may seek recoupment of applicable bonuses, special and incentive pays and the cost of training and education service members refusing the vaccine.”

“Sailors must be prepared to execute their mission at all times, in places throughout the world, including where vaccination rates are low and disease transmission is high,” the Navy guidelines read. “Immunizations are of paramount importance to protecting the health of the force and the warfighting readiness of the Fleet.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in late August announced an order for all military members to get vaccinated. The Navy said 98% of its active-duty members have gotten at least one dose of a vaccine.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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