The Air Force, Navy, and Air Force are not the only ones potentially facing major problems. Despite a deadline approaching, troops continue to reject vaccines. The vaccine mandate has led to 12,500 Marines being dismissed by the Marines, a small branch that employs only 180,000 personnel. This is a significant loss for the force of about 7%.
Although it might not be as many people as the other branches, this is still a larger percentage than what the Navy or Air Force have to face. According to the Washington Examiner:
Active duty Navy sailors have a 99% vaccination rate when including those who have at least one dose, with active airmen close behind at 97%, Kirby said during the briefing. The Marine Corps is at 93% while the Army is bringing up the rear with 90%.
While the Marines may say that they don’t believe thousands of Marines will be forced to be dismissed for not receiving the vaccine, there might be reasons to worry within. While they are able to state that additional vaccines are needed, there are still unique concerns about this one. These are fears that the USMC leadership has not adequately or satisfactorily addressed.
It doesn’t seem that the military leadership is seriously considering these fears. The Military Times reports that officers view the problem primarily as one of “conspiracy theories,” which is their view.
There have been many fears about the vaccine, including concerns about its speed and unease about mRNA (used in Moderna and Pfizer vaccines) to conspiracy theories that it will attract people or make them glow in the dark.
The data suggests that it is more likely that the soldiers, sailors, and airmen refusing to get the jab have religious reasons. The Air Force, for example, announced Wednesday that almost 8,500 airmen hadn’t received their vaccinations by the deadline.
About 6800 of these people are either waiting for a religious exemption or have received one. The woken military may want to paint the issue as a conspiracy, but it appears that the issue is more about devout troops refusing to receive a vaccine they believe violates their religious beliefs.
It doesn’t seem that brass will consider the beliefs of the faithful. According to the Washington Examiner:
The Navy, Army, and Marines confirmed to the Washington Examiner last week that they hadn’t granted any religious exemptions, while the Air Force has declined to release such information…
Additionally, The Military Times reports that “Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger is blaming online disinformation and conspiracy theories as to the reason some Marines have refused to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”
It would be preferable for the brass to see it as a conspiracy so that thousands of troops could be relieved for standing up for religious beliefs. The time is running out. again, according to Military Times
Reservists and active-duty Marines can receive the coronavirus vaccination until Dec. 28th.
The Corps announced Thursday that 88 percent (of active-duty Marines) were fully vaccinated and 93 percent were either partially or fully vaccinated.
Reservist numbers are much lower with only 56 percent reporting that they are fully vaccinated and 69 percent saying they are partially or fully vaccinated.
All of the Armed Forces are already facing significant strength shortages and have only a few weeks left to reverse course and avoid a major catastrophe. While it remains to be seen whether they will, it does not appear likely at this time.