National Guard Steps Up Support for COVID Missions

Image
Guard Soldier giving vaccine
Title
National Guard Steps Up Support for COVID Missions

More than 15,200 members of the National Guard are on duty in 49 states and territories in support of the burgeoning COVID-19 response, running testing sites, managing nonclinical hospital tasks and augmenting medical staff.

In Ohio, close to 2,500 Guard members are deployed, the largest number of soldiers and airmen supporting the COVID-19 mission in any of the U.S. states and territories, said Maj. Gen. John Harris, the state’s adjutant general.

Fully Vaccinated Soldiers Are a Readiness Priority

Image
soldier giving vaccine
Title
Fully Vaccinated Soldiers Are a Readiness Priority

More than 2,900 soldiers have been reprimanded for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, but none have been involuntarily separated solely for not getting the shot, the Army said Jan. 11.

Almost a month after the vaccination deadline for active-duty soldiers, the Army said 97% of the active-duty Army had received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 96% were fully vaccinated. 

Military Support Increases for Civilian Hospitals

Image
Soldiers aiding medical professionals
Title
Military Support Increases for Civilian Hospitals

Six more military medical teams will be mobilized to help civilian hospitals stressed by a spike in COVID-19 cases, President Joe Biden announced Jan. 13.

Hundreds of medical service members are already augmenting hospital staffs across the country, in addition to thousands of National Guard troops who are supporting COVID-19 efforts in 49 states.

COVID-19 is “one of the most formidable enemies America has ever faced,” Biden said. 

DoD Announces New Pentagon COVID Restrictions

Image
Soldier with needle
Title
DoD Announces New Pentagon COVID Restrictions

Beginning Jan. 10, Pentagon officials will tighten access to the building and increase telework opportunities to combat rising COVID-19 cases.

Driven by the highly contagious omicron variant, new COVID-19 cases per day in the U.S. have more than tripled over the past two weeks, reaching a record-shattering average of 480,000, the Associated Press reported. On Jan. 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said omicron accounted for 95% of new coronavirus infections in the U.S. last week, according to AP.

96% of Active Army Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Image
soldier giving vaccine
Title
96% of Active Army Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Less than 1% of active-duty soldiers have declined to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the Army said Dec. 16, one day after its vaccination deadline.  

By the deadline, 98% of the active-duty Army had received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 96% were fully vaccinated.  

Soldiers Refusing Vaccination Will Be Flagged

Image
soldier getting vaccine
Title
Soldiers Refusing Vaccination Will Be Flagged

With just weeks to go before the Army’s COVID-19 vaccination deadline for active-duty soldiers, the service announced it will bar promotion, reenlistment and other favorable actions for those who don’t get the shot.

DoD IG Urges Better Care for Separating Troops

Image
Soldier
Title
DoD IG Urges Better Care for Separating Troops

Improvements are being planned in mental health and suicide prevention screening for separating service members after an investigation by the DoD inspector general discovered the Army and other services weren't following previously enacted federal and Pentagon guidance.

The IG found the services were failing to screen military members before leaving the military. The service members also weren’t provided a promised immediate referral for post-service treatment if they had been receiving mental health counseling or treatment while in the service.

Pandemic Fueled ‘Unprecedented’ Army Response

Image
Lt. General Raymond S. Dingle, The Surgeon General, United States Army Commanding General, United States Army Medical Command, speaks
Title
Pandemic Fueled ‘Unprecedented’ Army Response

Facing COVID-19, a new and silent enemy, the Army fought back with a level of cooperation and created “a synergy that was unprecedented,” Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle said Oct. 13 at the Association of the U.S. Army’s 2021 Annual Meeting and Exposition.