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'Betrayal': Army Cuts Off Pay and Benefits for Unvaccinated National Guard Soldiers, Reservists

AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File

Army National Guardsmen and Army Reservists who have not received a Covid-19 vaccine will no longer be allowed to perform their duties, meaning they’re being stripped of their pay and benefits.


Effective July 1, 2022, soldiers “without an approved or pending exemption may not participate in federally funded drills and training and will not receive pay or retirement credit,” the Army said in a release, reports Fox News.

The move affects approximately 40,000 National Guard and 22,000 Reserve soldiers.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned in November that those who continued to refuse vaccination could be kicked out.

The move comes in the midst of the annual training season, during which part-time soldiers are often ordered to serve from two weeks to a month with their units for summer training exercises. Those training events are usually critical for soldiers to sharpen their military skills and for unit commanders to ensure their formations are ready to deploy if needed. 

 If the soldiers continue to refuse the vaccine, the consequences could be even more dire. "In the future, Soldiers who continue to refuse the vaccination order without an exemption may be subject to additional adverse administrative action, including separation," the Army spokesperson said.

The long-term impact may mean many soldiers would be forced to leave, a devastating outcome especially in the middle of a recruiting crisis as Defense Department officials struggle to fill the ranks.  (


But the Army is working to ensure soldiers get the jab.

"We're going to give every soldier every opportunity to get vaccinated and continue their military career," Director of the Army Guard, Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen, told "We're not giving up on anybody until the separation paperwork is signed and completed."

Thus far, only six Guard soldiers' medical exemptions were approved. No religious exemptions were granted for Guard or Reserve soldiers despite thousands of requests. 

Twitter users sounded off on the decision.

"In a betrayal, Biden will allow 60,000 members of Army and National Guard to have their careers destroyed over a vindictive and unneeded vaccine mandate," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

"60,000 National Guard & Reserve troops just had their pay & benefits STOLEN by the Biden Administration because they won’t get the COVID vaccine," responded Republican Tennessee congressional candidate Robby Starbuck. "I’m calling on ALL red state governors to issue state active duty orders so they AT LEAST get a paycheck still."


"Joe Biden cut off pay and benefits to 60,000 members of the National Guard and Reserves because they CHOSE not to receive the experimental COVID vaccine," said Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY). "Joe Biden is continuing his war on individual freedom and now he’s set his sights on our brave men and women in uniform."

Fox News contributor Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, meanwhile, called it a "big mistake."

"The CDC allowed us sick doctors/nurses to work while covid+ positive but you are penalizing those who already have natural immunity knowing the current vaccine does not stop transmission or acquisition of covid," she said. 

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