Armed Forces News

Sailors who refuse to be vaccinated for Covid-19 will be separated from the service, the Navy announced. Their discharges would be characterized as general (under honorable conditions). Such discharges could result in the loss of eligibility for some benefits, to include the GI Bill and the ability to transfer GI Bill education benefits to dependents.

Service officials are reviewing the cases of sailors who are requesting medical and religious exemptions. While such reviews are ongoing, these sailors will not be processed for separation or face administrative consequences. Sailors who are denied exemption must begin receiving vaccinations within five days of the disapproval.


Commanders have the option of temporarily assigning sailors, in order to meet operational readiness and mission requirements.

Commands are being advised to prepare for administrative separations of any sailor who refuses to be vaccinated, but withhold submitting it pending further guidance.

Those who refuse vaccinations will not be promoted or advanced. Those who are frocked to the next pay grade will face immediate revocation of promotion or advancement. They also will not be allowed to reenlist or extend, transfer on permanent-change-of-station (PCS) moves, and collect bonuses or special and incentive pays, and must repay any such unearned portions they have already received.

Special-warfare and other qualifications, tuition assistance and transition assistance may also be revoked. Any new entrant to the Navy must agree to be vaccinated.

Details are spelled out in NAVADMIN 256/21, viewable on the Navy web site.