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NEWS | Nov. 5, 2021

Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Caroline M. Miller 502d Air Base Wing Commander

Feedback Fridays is a weekly forum that aims to connect the 502d Air Base Wing with members of the Joint Base San Antonio community. Questions are collected during commander’s calls, town hall meetings and throughout the week.

If you have a question or concern, please send an email to using the subject line “Feedback Fridays.” Questions will be further researched and published as information becomes available.

Q: The time is coming near for me to receive my mandatory COVID-19 vaccine and I still cannot find it within me to take it.

I am still waiting on the answer for the religious exemption package I submitted, but in case that doesn’t go my way, I was wanting to know my options. Where I sit currently, I have enough time in service to retire, even though that is not my first option.  

If I do decide to retire, will I be still forced to receive the vaccine? Are there any penalties that I may face if I go this route as far as payback requirements for training?

Thank you for your time.

A: Thank you for your questions.

While Airmen and Guardians wait on the review of their religious exemption package, they will not be required to get vaccinated.

Airmen and Guardians have the option of requesting separation or retirement at any time via the myPers Self-Service action.

Any Airmen or Guardian with an approved separation or retirement as of Nov. 1, 2021, with an approved separation or retirement date of April 1, 2022, or earlier would not be required to vaccinate.

Those unvaccinated service members with an approved separation or retirement date within the established timeframes will still be required to follow all CDC and Department of Defense COVID-19 related force health protection measures.

In accordance with AFI 36-3203, Service Retirements, paragraph 3.8., “Waiver of Restrictions,” request an Active Duty Service Commitment waiver in conjunction with their retirement or separation application, each payback requirement will be considered on its own merit.