In the first move by the armed services to remove troops on active duty for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. Air Force has discharged 27 active-duty troops.

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said on Monday that these 27 are the first airmen to be administratively discharged for refusing the vaccine. The Air Force set a date of November 2 for all members of the service to get the vaccine, and thousands have either refused or sought an exemption.

She said all of them were in their first term of enlistment, with under six years of service, so that none of them qualify for a hearing before their discharge, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Hence, the Air Force went for the low-hanging fruit, going after the younger, lower-ranking personnel. 

None of the airmen had exemptions, whether religious, administrative, or medical, Stefanek said. Stefanek added that some of those discharged may have had other violations on their records, but all of them had refused the vaccine, which was the cause for their discharge, as they had refused to obey a lawful order.