According to Stripes, the military’s newspaper, “Up to 12,000 Air Force personnel have rejected orders to get fully vaccinated against the coronavirus despite a Pentagon mandate and officials say it is too late for them to do so by Tuesday’s deadline, posing a first major test for military leaders whose August directive has been met with defiance among a segment of the force.”
While about 96% of airmen are currently vaccinated, the final few percent have decided to take a stand against the jab despite the dire consequences. And the consequences of not getting the vaccine by Tuesday, November 2nd, are, for the average airman, quite dire. “Officials have warned that,” according to Stripes, “barring an approved medical or religious exemption, those who defy lawful orders to be fully immunized are subject to punishment, including possible dismissal from the service or they could be charged in the military justice system.”
For refusing a vaccine, 12,000 airmen could be locked up in the brig or tossed out of the service they call home. And that won’t just affect morale, it’ll also affect readiness as competition and tensions with China heat up.
If the Air Force sticks to its program and dismisses or charges those airmen that haven’t gotten the jab by November 2nd, it risks losing thousands of men and women in elite and highly skilled positions, men and women who have undergone years of prior training at a cost of many millions of dollars. Currently, before any vaccine-related dismissals, the Air Force has far fewer pilots than it needs.
That’s a major problem for the Air Force, as the Hill reports:
However, with such a significant amount of service members rejecting the vaccine mandate, officials are faced with a dilemma: take action against those who rejected the mandate and possibly face serious setbacks within units that should be ready for a crisis, or go back on a wide-scale requirement established in August by the top military leaders.
If they choose to discipline those who reject the mandate, the wave of dismissals could cause the military to be unprepared in a time of crisis, as many jobs on the line include pilots and aircraft maintainers
And the Air Force isn’t the only service facing the problem. ZeroHedge reports that, across the services, almost 50,000 servicemen could be affected by the vaccine mandate:
The US Navy is of similar size in terms of active duty members. The Navy and other branches are also at risk of seeing a mass exodus. Earlier this month a report in AFP underscored that “If all the services take the same hard line that the navy is taking, it risks losing as many as 46,000 troops, though presumably more will accept vaccinations before the deadline.” The Navy’s deadline is Nov.28 for all to be in full compliance.
Across the nation, other government agencies are facing similar problems. Namely, New York City had to shut down dozens of fire companies over the weekend due to staffing shortages related to a vaccine mandate, and the NYPD risks having to do the same.
Such a massive dismissal of personnel could prove devastating to the Armed Forces, which are already facing a PR and readiness nightmare because of its embracing critical race theory, a Marxist ideology, in recent years, and the ignominious route from Afghanistan.
Yet worse, the services are already struggling with both power and readiness, as a recent Heritage Foundation report found.
Dismissing or imprisoning tens of thousands of highly experienced soldiers, sailors, and airmen at a time when its already struggling to recruit and retain personnel could be the straw the broke the camel’s back of American power, though only time will tell how bright of a line the services will draw in the sand on the 2nd and what the consequences of mass dismissals might be.