In Janurary 2023, the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum that rescinded the COVID-19 vaccination requirement. The President of the United States later issued an executive order in May 2023 rescinding previous executive orders which had created a Covid vaccination requirement for federal workers. As a result, the military no longer mandates COVID-19 vaccinations for service members. Recently, the Army went so far as to send a letter encouraging soldiers who were separated for refusing to take the vaccine to seek out administrative remedies or even talk to a recruiter about coming back in. Similar guidance from other branches is likely to follow.
These changes bring a critical opportunity for those previously separated due to non-compliance with the vaccine requirement. If you were separated under these circumstances, here’s what you need to know about ensuring your rightful military status and the support available.
Understanding the Change
Service members who faced separation due to non-compliance with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate and who may have received a lower discharge characterization now have avenues to explore reinstatement. Each branch’s Board for Corrections of Military Records (BCMR – BCNR in the Navy and Marines) and the respective Discharge Review Boards (DRBs) are open for applications seeking reconsideration of their status.
Reclaiming Your Service
Correcting your military record after separation due to the vaccine requirement involves a process that necessitates careful navigation. Those seeking reinstatement are encouraged to submit applications to their respective BCMR and DRB. These boards carefully review cases and can potentially rectify erroneous separations or discharge characterizations.
The Role of Legal Guidance
Navigating the BCMR and DRB processes can be complex and challenging. Seeking guidance from experienced attorneys specializing in military law is highly advisable. Our firm provides comprehensive support, guiding you through the application process, ensuring all necessary documentation is in place, and advocating for the best possible outcome.
How Our Firm Can Help
Our team of seasoned military law attorneys is dedicated to assisting separated service members seeking record correction or exploring re-enlistment. We understand the intricacies of the BCMR and DRB processes and stand ready to offer comprehensive legal guidance. From compiling application materials to drafting a detailed petition, we ensure a thorough and effective approach, striving to provide you the best possible outcome.
If you or someone you know was separated due to non-compliance with the military's COVID-19 vaccine requirement, don't hesitate to reach out. Our firm is committed to providing the support and advocacy needed to navigate these pivotal decisions and help you pursue your desired path within the military.
For a confidential consultation and tailored legal assistance, contact The Griffin Law Firm today.