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Lt. Col. James A. Attaway III, who is a professor of military studies at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas, may have effectively nuked his career with a single tweet stating that “it’s time to resign” over the COVID vaccine mandate as the Army begins to purge the unvaccinated.
“The vaccine doesn’t stop you from getting or transmitted [sic] Covid, but we’re mandating that the most healthy population on the planet get vaccinated or be discharged? It’s time to resign….” Attaway reportedly tweeted.
His tweet was in response to Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston, who responded to the lieutenant colonel, “Thanks for your reply. I’m sure @CG_ArmyROTC [Maj. Gen. Johnny K. Davis, head of the Army’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps] received your feedback as well?”
Attaway, who has served in the Special Forces, has now deleted the tweet sent out on Saturday, according to the Daily Mail, but it is probably too late to save him from the Army’s wrath.
Thank god the internet is forever. Wouldn’t want your take to be missed now that you deleted it pic.twitter.com/VxO2U5HHut
— Jim Young (@BigJimYoung) February 5, 2022
Requesting all Soldiers and Leaders take a moment and read the policy to understand the impact this may have on their formations. Having an opinion is fine; make sure it's an informed one. https://t.co/Z8WP4uzUuf
— SMA Michael Grinston (@16thSMA) February 2, 2022
The Pentagon implemented a vaccine mandate in August of 2021. As of January 26, the Army is reporting a 96 percent vaccine completion rate for active-duty soldiers and a 79 percent rate for reservists.
Attaway now finds himself under investigation and facing possible termination. He has been in the Army since 1998 but one tweet may be all it took to sink his career.
“Cadet Command is aware of the tweet attributed to one of our professors of military science that disagreed with the Department of the Army’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and tagged the Sergeant Major of the Army,” Lt. Col. Nichole Downs stated on Monday. “The command is looking into it and will take appropriate action as required.”
Attaway’s military history is impressive and lengthy. He has deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, and Kosovo and has served with a number of units including the 101st Airborne Division and 7th Special Forces Group. He graduated from Ranger School, Air Assault School, and the Command and General Staff College.
The Army announced on Feb. 2 it will expel soldiers who do not comply with the vaccine mandate. They have issued written “reprimands” to 3,073 soldiers who have refused to get the jab and will now begin discharging those who refuse to comply.
(Video Credit: 11Alive)
“Unvaccinated Soldiers present risk to the force and jeopardize readiness,” Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth declared in a statement. “We will begin involuntary separation proceedings for Soldiers who refuse the vaccine order and are not pending a final decision on an exemption.”
Over 3,000 soldiers could be given the boot according to her statement. Currently, the Army has 482,000 active-duty personnel as of the end of 2021.
Six high-ranking officers have been removed from their posts as of January 26 for refusing the vaccination. Notably, that includes two battalion commanders.
The Navy was a step ahead of the Army and announced in mid-October that those who do not submit to the jab will be expelled. They reportedly began separation proceedings in January.
Wednesday, The Navy stated in a press release that approximately 8,000 active duty and reserve service members were still unvaccinated. Currently, 118 personnel have been booted over refusal to get the vaccine.
The Marine Corps has also discharged over 300 Marines due to noncompliance with the mandate.
Almost 97 percent of the approximately 1.4 million active-duty US military personnel have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Pentagon.
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