Reserve Commander Rescinds COVID-19 Participation Limits

  • Published
  • By Bo Joyner
  • Air Force Reserve Command

Following the lead of the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Air Force, the commander of Air Force Reserve Command and chief of the Air Force Reserve has rescinded the June 2022 memo that restricted participation and travel for Reserve Citizen Airmen not vaccinated against Covid-19.

“Effective immediately, Covid-19 vaccination status is not a barrier to service in the Air Force Reserve,” Lt. Gen. John Healy said in rescinding the memo dated June 21, 2022. “Individuals desiring to join the Air Force Reserve should contact a recruiter to determine eligibility in accordance with standard accession processes and policies.  Additionally, previous limitations to official travel and participation for Covid-19 unvaccinated members have been lifted.”

Going forward, Covid-19 unvaccinated military members may participate in accordance with applicable Department of the Air Force instructions, policies, and force health protection guidance. Additionally, Air Force Reserve members involuntarily reassigned to the IRR solely due to Covid-19 vaccination refusal who want to return to an actively participating status should contact a recruiter. Standard accession processes, policies and waiver authorities apply.

“This rescission takes effect immediately and ends differentiation based on Covid-19 vaccination status when determining service and participation eligibility,” said Col. James Rigsbee, chief of the Readiness and Integration Division within AFRC’s Directorate of Manpower, Personnel and Services. “This change bolsters our focus on building readiness and resiliency to deter and defeat adversaries in this generation and the next. It provides commanders the necessary authorities and flexibilities to complete training and currency requirements in accordance with standard process and policies.”