Thousands of active-duty US Military personnel missed the government’s COVID vaccine mandate deadline over the past few days.
This raises the possibility of US Military branches forcing unvaccinated personnel to leave their stations or the service completely.
US Military Vaccine Deadlines
The vaccine deadlines for US Military branches such as the Air Force, Navy, and the Marine Corps have already passed. Meanwhile, the deadline for active troops to get full vaccination is December 15.
Despite the early mandate announcement, around 27,000 US Military troops from Marines, Air Force, Space Force, and the Navy remain unvaccinated.
With less than a week remaining, around 19,000 US Army soldiers have yet to get their first jab. As a result, Army officials are continually hammering their troops about their vaccine status.
David Barno, a retired Army lieutenant general who led coalition forces in Afghanistan, weighed in on the vaccine mandate. “From my perspective, it's a discipline issue.
You've got thousands of troops who are essentially refusing a legal order to take the vaccine. I've never seen anything like that happen before. It's very unsettling,” he observed.
Even A Small Number of Vaccine Objectors Can Undermine The Entire US Military
Barno warned that even a small group of unvaccinated service members can undermine the entire US MIlitary. “This is definitely a negative in terms of overall military readiness.
Even just 3 or 4 percent means tens of thousands of troops that are unvaccinated,” Barno said. “Which means they are hugely vulnerable to the virus and are pretty much nondeployable to anywhere in the world where the virus is raging,” he added.
For those uninterested in getting jabbed with the vaccine, each US Military branch presents a few consequences. Among the branches, the United States Marine Corps is the most explicit about service members who refuse to take the vaccine.
USMC policy states that they will consider any active duty Marine who has yet to complete their vaccination program by November 14 as unvaccinated.
As such, the Marine will undergo processing for “administrative separation”. This means that discharged Marines will not receive veteran's benefits.
In addition, some US Military personnel may also need to hand back bonuses or benefits they enjoyed during their tenure.
Part of Biden’s Federal Vaccine Mandates
Months earlier, Austin issued a COVID vaccine mandate directed to all US military personnel. This is in line with President Joe Biden’s recent executive orders requiring full vaccinations for government workers. Biden also mandated vaccines for private employers with more than 100 workers.
However, the President’s desire to institute mandatory vaccination for a majority of Americans hit a snag. Many Republican states and private groups filed lawsuits against the mandates.
This led some government agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to suspend their vaccine deadlines.
As of December 5, nearly 200 million Americans have completed their vaccination schedules. An additional 47 million also got booster shots for extra protection.
Watch the NBC News video reporting that the US Department of Defense will require COVID-19 vaccination among all US service members:
Do you expect US Military forces to complete 100% vaccination for their personnel? Also, what do you think will happen to US troops who refuse to get the vaccines.
Let us know what you think. Share with us your comments below.
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