With the approaching November 28 deadline for having the COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. Marine Corps is about to have 10,000 Marines, around six percent of the force, not in compliance with the regulations, according to Washington Post. The 94 percent of the USMC’s vaccination rate is the worst among all of the armed services. The percentage indicates fully vaccinated and servicemembers who will be fully vaccinated by the deadline. 

For the 10,000 unvaccinated Marines, it is now too late to be fully vaccinated by November 28. Servicemembers are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after getting a single Johnson & Johnson vaccination or 14 days after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

The failure to get so many Marines to comply with the deadline set down by the Corps is a body shot to an organization that prides itself on strict adherence to orders and quick response to crises. The number of Marines in non-compliance is bound to affect readiness. 

Marines fire rocket
Marine Corps troops fire a new rocket system during a training exercise. (DVIDS)

The Marines released a statement last week saying that 91 percent of the force is already fully vaccinated and 94 percent of the force is in the process of becoming fully vaccinated in compliance with the deadline set for next Sunday. 

In August, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced that COVID-19 vaccinations were mandatory for the military. However, he left it up to the individual services to designate by which date the vaccination would become mandatory. 

The Army deadline for active-duty soldiers is December 15 and June 30 for the National Guard. The Army now has at least 95 percent of the force either in total or scheduled compliance. The Navy has the same November 28 deadline; with 99.7, it has the highest vaccination rate of the military. The Air Force is closely behind with a 96.4 percent vaccination rate. 

The Special Operations Command, which is comprised of special operations troops from all of the services, is vaccinated at 98 percent according to SOCOM Commander Army General Richard Clarke.