Jul 15, 2021 - Health

Alabama military base 1st in U.S. to require troops show COVID vaccine proof

A U.S. soldier from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force stands guard in a convoy March 9, 2003, near Kuwait City, Kuwait.

Photo: Getty Images

The commanding general of Fort Rucker has announced that the Alabama military base will require service members not wearing face masks "to show proof of vaccination" while on duty to combat rising COVID-19 cases.

Why it matters: The order, issued Wednesday, makes Fort Rucker the "first military base in the continental" U.S. to permit leaders to "check the vaccination status of those in uniform," the Washington Post notes.

Details: Maj. Gen. David Francis said in a video that due to "the rising rates in the counties around us and some on Fort Rucker," leaders were implementing the guidance.

  • "[I]f you are not wearing a mask, the leadership will be able to ask you, ask soldiers, to prove that they’ve been vaccinated by showing their vaccination card," Francis said.

Yes, but: The order does not apply to civilians, who "must be taken at their word unless the supervisor has good reason not to," according to the guidance.

The big picture: There's been an uptick in coronavirus cases across the U.S., driven by the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant.

  • Roughly 70% of military personnel have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. In Alabama, just over 40% of the population has received at least one dose, per WashPost.
  • Alabama is among several Republican-led states to ban agencies, schools and businesses from requiring COVID-19 vaccine passports to access services.
Go deeper