Despite the Department of Defense’s decision to reverse the mandate, the U.S. Army Academy, West Point, is once again placing restrictions on cadets who have not received a COVID-19 vaccination per Army guidance.
At the height of the pandemic, West Point instituted a rule barring cadets from attending sporting or other events while traveling; the rule had been dropped the previous semester before being reinstated.
A spokeswoman with the U.S. Military Academy Office of Public Affairs and Communications told the Washington Examiner, “U.S. Army policy states unvaccinated service members are not eligible for official travel without prior approval from the Under Secretary of the Army. Until the policy is rescinded, West Point will continue to follow it.”
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered that all U.S. military personnel receive the initial vaccination by August 2021; however, the order was later revoked by Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act of this year, which was passed in early January.
While the policy was in place, the department separated some 8,400 military members who refused to obtain the vaccination or had their exemption request accepted. The Pentagon has no plans to reinstate separated service members or distribute back pay.