Suffering from recruiting woes, the Army has sent a letter to former service members who had left due to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
"As a result of the rescission of all current COVID-19 vaccination requirements, former soldiers who were involuntarily separated for their refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccination may request a correction of their military records," the Army director of personnel management, Brig. Gen. Hope Rampy, wrote in a letter to former members, as confirmed by the military blog Task & Purpose.
The letter to a reported 1,900 former service members directed soldiers to file a "correction to military personnel records" and urging those who want to return to service to contact their local Army, Army Reserve, or National Guard recruiter.
There were 1,903 active duty soldiers separated for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine while it was mandatory, according to an Army spokesperson.
"This was specifically as part of the COVID mandate recession process," Army spokesperson Bryce Dubee told Task & Purpose.
Conservative legal expert Rogan O'Handley, who goes by the handle DC Draino — a play on former President Donald Trump's "drain the swamp" mantra — hailed the letter as "a rare win for the good guys."
"US Army sending letters to former troops saying that in light of the removal of the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, they can now apply to get their reasons for discharge changed," he posted on X. "This means derogatory remarks or dishonorable discharges can now potentially be removed or reversed.
"The Army is also inviting unvaccinated troops back into the military. This is a huge reversal of Biden's tyrannical military vaccination policy that was finally put to an end by Republicans in Congress."
When Republicans took over the House majority in January, the Pentagon quickly announced the rescission of COVID-19 vaccine requirements in a Jan. 10, 2023 letter.
That comes as Trump has vowed to bring back U.S. service members forced out of their jobs over COVID-19 mandates with "back pay," he frequently stated at Trump campaign rallies.
The Army is struggling to recruit, according to reports.
The Army was short almost 15,000 new soldiers last year amid reports of service member suicides and issues of sexual assault. In order to overcome the shortfall, the Army is upping sign-on benefits and ad spends with a redirected ad campaign.
While just 1,903 were separated over the COVID-19 vaccination mandate, there were thousands more that lost out on religious exemptions, "including 8,945 soldiers, 10,800 airmen and guardians, 4,172 sailors, and 3,717 Marines," according to Task & Purpose.
After a few years of conservatives denouncing the "woke military" under President Joe Biden, including recruitment ads that addressed gender dysphoria and LGBTQ issues for the next wave of U.S. war fighters and defense staffers, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth has brought back a patriotic ad campaign akin to the former "Be All You Can Be" slogan, NPR reported.
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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