Experts speculated that younger troops may have left and found other career paths, while older service members may have seen it as a reason to accelerate retirement.
“Some people were already on their way out of the military, and they didn’t want to get the vaccine and they just didn’t care, and I think that may account for a significant portion of the individuals represented in the data,” said Kate Kuzminski, the director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security.
Kuzminski said refusing the vaccine mandate may also have been a way out of the military for some service members who had no other way to break an otherwise binding commitment. Meanwhile, service members with more years of service may have found it difficult to explain a gap in their resume to a promotion board and decided not to rejoin.
“I don’t see this number jumping significantly,” said Kuzminski. “You might see ones and twos in the future.”
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