The United States Air Force is seeing a surge of servicemembers rejecting the military branch’s COVID vaccine mandate. The Nov 2 deadline puts thousands in the Air Force personnel at risk of losing their positions.
According to a Washington Post report, the mandate encouraged by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the Pentagon is facing the most pushback from the Air Force branch, with nearly 12,000 members already projected to not meet the vaccine deadline days away.
Concern regarding the strict deadline extends to expecting roughly 2 percent of the Air Force’s total staff gone in the coming weeks — simultaneous to heightened threats posed by international enemies, including China. Unvaccinated personnel may also face a potential “charge from the military justice system.”
According to the Post, “A wave of dismissals could jolt the Air Force personnel system and cause significant challenges within units that must be ready to respond to crises at a moment’s notice, especially if some vital jobs — like pilots or aircraft maintainers — are overrepresented among those who could face expulsion.”
The rigidity of vaccine mandates has been at the root of discussions surrounding labor shortages throughout the nation. Losing jobs to vaccine rules has so far been seen on every level: ranging from ousting upper-level executives to blue collar workers in heavily mandated cities.
Without any relenting expected from the Pentagon or Biden White House, concern regarding immediate response available to national security threats continues to loom over Americans.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela