Hundreds of thousands of military personnel remain unvaccinated against COVID, despite the deadline for vaccinations edging closer. Marine Corps and the Navy have until November 28 to show proof of complete vaccination against the virus.
On the other hand, the Air Force has until November 2 to prove they are fully vaccinated. Any military personnel who refuses to take the vaccine risks punishment or dismissal. In light of this, there’s a risk thousands of military personnel will choose to leave active service than take the vaccine.
A substantial number of the military’s elite positions, including Navy SEALs and fighter pilots, are seeking an exemption from the vaccine mandate, and some of those individuals intend to change careers if they can't escape. https://t.co/iwZJKWSzzz
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 11, 2021
How Many Personnel are Unvaccinated?
Although the deadline for vaccination is close, we still have a lot who have not taken the vaccine. The November 2 deadline for the Air Force is barely three weeks away, and the Air Force has up to 60,000 personnel who are not fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, 10% of the Navy forces have not fully taken the vaccine. For the Marine Corps Reserve, over 23% of them have not taken the full dose of the vaccine.
However, the Navy and Marine Corps deadline is still November 28; this means they still have more time to get the vaccine. In addition, the Army has a deadline of December 15 to get the full vaccine.
It is important to note there has been an increased vaccination rate among the military since Joe Biden announced the vaccine mandate. However, we can’t ascertain if the military personnel are taking the vaccine because they believe in it or fear the sanctions that come with not taking the vaccine.
Besides, a spokesperson for the Marine revealed to Washington Post there had been a 292% increase in vaccinations since the vaccine mandate.
The spokesman for the Pentagon, Major Charlie Dietz, explained why it was essential for the military personnel to get the vaccine. He said more military personnel have died because of the virus in September than in all of 2020. He further explained none of the personnel who died were fully vaccinated.
Senators are Not in Support of the Vaccine Mandate for Military Members
Some lawmakers believe the vaccine mandate for the military will lead to a mass exit of soldiers. For example, Texas Republican Rep. and former Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw is unhappy about the vaccine mandate.
Crenshaw tweeted asking if the SECDEF is willing to allow large numbers of the military to quit service because they won’t take the vaccine. Crenshaw also added he isn’t against the vaccine; he just doesn’t want people being forced to take it.
Question for the SECDEF: are you really willing to allow a huge exodus of experienced service members just because they won’t take the vaccine?
Honestly, Americans deserve to know how you plan on dealing with this blow to force readiness – it’s already causing serious problems.
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) September 21, 2021
Crenshaw also told Fox Business he is sick of Democrats politicizing the issue and gaslighting Americans by saying Republicans are badmouthing the vaccine. He added it was Vice President Kamala Harris who attacked the vaccine during its development under Trump’s presidency.
As the vaccine deadline for the military gets closer, we hope to not thin out our military force because of the vaccine mandate. It will be interesting to know what happens next.