Thousands of Airmen Missed The Vax Deadline…Now What?

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glenrichardphoto/shutterstock.com

We need the military to be at its best. It’s what allows us to be able to defend the country against threats…both foreign and domestic. We already know that there are many countries where the number of troops is growing. This means that we don’t have the ability to simply lose troops.

Biden’s vaccine mandate has caused people to walk off the job or lose their job because individuals believe in medical choice. And, now, we’ve learned that over 8,000 active-duty airmen and guardians have missed the vaccine deadline.

While most members of the military have complied, approximately three percent of the Air Force and Space Force have chosen not to comply. “Our airmen need to be prepared to operate anytime, anywhere in the world,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown, Jr. said in a recent release. He believes that getting vaccinated is the way to ensure that the military is able to meet the necessary commitments.

Now, it’s important to understand that the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t the protectant that many thought it was going to be. There have been people who have been vaccinated and have still gotten sick.

The Department of Defense decided to impose its own deadlines ahead of Biden’s mandated deadline. And, the Air Force was the first branch to reach the deadline. Most of the active-duty members were actually inoculated by August 24, which is when Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin directed the military branches to set a timeline.

Within the next two months, 100,000 more were vaccinated because they were threatened with the possibility of dishonorable discharge. It would also mean a loss of many veteran benefits.

The full deadline for Air Force and Space Force civilians to get the jab is November 22. Those in the Guard and the Reserve have until December 2. Meanwhile, contractors have until December 8.

There’s a question that no one really wants to answer. What happens when the deadlines come and go and people are still unvaccinated?

For one, it means that the Department of Defense will have to carry through on their threat. They’ll have to dishonorably discharge members of the military – and they’ll have to terminate employment or contracts with everyone else.

Now, there’s an even more important question that needs to be asked. Can the Department of Defense afford to lose thousands of individuals? The answer is no. One quick look at the number of industries struggling to find workers is a clear indicator that it won’t be easy to refill the positions. And, in the words of Brown, Jr, there is the need to be mission ready. How are we supposed to be mission-ready if there are thousands of positions wide open?

The Department of the Air Force has approved over 1800 exemptions of the vaccine requirement, primarily for medical reasons. There are still thousands more who are waiting on a decision as to whether they can forego the jab or not.

The service has said that “Over the next 30 days, the Department of the Air Force will review requests for medical exemptions and religious accommodations.”

Further, it is explained that “COVID-19 screening testing will be required at least weekly for all individuals entering a DoD facility who are not fully vaccinated, including those who have an exemption request under review, or who are exempted from COVID-19 vaccination.”

Apparently, though, screening testing isn’t good enough for a permanent solution. So, the Biden administration would rather weaken our military by cutting the numbers as opposed to continuing to allow weekly testing.

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