Multiple active-duty Marines told Fox News digital that the U.S. Marines are being “crushed” by the COVID-19 vaccine mandate placed by President Joe Biden as thousands of troops now face dismissal for continuing to refuse to get the shot.
To date, 169 Marine troops had been discharged for refusing to get the vaccine while thousands more will likely have the same fate after the Defense Department placed enacted a mandate on all active-duty personnel that took effect for the Marines on Nov. 28.
Newsmax reports over 60 Marines discharged last week because of the forced vaccine mandate.
— PARIS (@PARISDENNARD) December 27, 2021
Troops in the Marine Corps have been allowed to apply for religious exemption. However, until today, no such exemption application regarding the COVID-19 shot has been approved, according to a Marine Corps spokesman speaking to Fox News.
Per a Fox News report, Marines who refuse to get the shot say they are now witnessing a “political purge” done by President Biden’s Administration, and it is forcing the military’s “best and brightest” personnel over their deeply held beliefs that they say the First Amendment protects.
A major who has 17 years of active service under his belt said that “something fundamentally wrong” with the country’s leadership exists at this point. He went on to say that the nation has come face to face with an “unconstitutional edict” that he believes is meant to be a “political purge.”
Meanwhile, a lieutenant colonel who has over 19 years of active duty service mentioned that it seems the Marine Corps has been discharging personnel “as fast as they can and as brutally as they can, damaging every Marine as much as they can on the way out.”
On the other hand, a master sergeant said that it seems the louder he spoke, the tighter “screws” turned against him.
These Marines, who spoke with the media outlet and were granted anonymity so that they can freely share their piece, said that they’re just some of the people who received a “blanket” denial for their application of religious exemptions. They claimed that their applications were rejected without consideration. According to Fox News, citing eight different letters of denial, “military readiness” was the main reason for the rejections.
The master sergeant said he saw an application with 30 pages of documentation attached to substantiate why his claim was sincere even though this was not required. He added that in the end, the person with the said application received the same response and did not even undergo individual inquiry. He described the generalized assertion of interest that the government is doing as “insulting.”
The Biden administration is actually going to gut our military over a shot that is not actually a 'vaccine' that doesn't stop the spread or infections for troops that are statistically close to zero risk from a virus that is now predominately 'generally mild.' Insanity.
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) December 27, 2021
According to Marine Corps spokesperson Capt. Ryan Bruce, as reported by Fox News, as of Thursday, they have processed 3,080 out of the 3,192 applications for religious accommodation in relation to the COVID vaccine mandate. He noted that none of these applications had been approved, going on to say that no such accommodations have been approved for any other form of vaccine in the last seven years.
Contradicting the Marines’ claims to Fox News, Bruce said that they evaluated the requests for religious exemption on a case-by-case basis so that the Marines can get “due consideration.” The spokesperson also said that the process includes an evaluation done by the Religious Accommodation Review Board, health services, and legal.”
Debates have also proliferated, discussing what would happen with the thousands of personnel who still refuse to get the shot. Even though they all face separation from the force, a 2022 National Defense Authorization Act provision, which was added by Republicans and passed Congress under two weeks ago, requires troops discharged over their refusal of the COVID shot to receive either an honorable or a general discharge.
However, according to the first lieutenant colonel Fox News spoke with, even a general discharge under honorable conditions will result in the personnel members and their dependents losing G.I. Bill education benefits.
Currently, out of the over 180,000 active-duty Marine Corps members, around 5% or around 9,000 are considered unvaccinated, according to Bruce. This number includes troops who are currently exempt, waiting for their application decisions or are new recruits who are not yet entered into the corps’ reporting system.
According to the Corps’ latest weekly newsletter, COVID-19 is an issue of “readiness” due to how rapidly the disease spreads among individuals and its increased risk to the Marines and their corps’ mission.
Bruce was also asked what would the effect of losing so many members on the Corps’ readiness be. To this, the spokesperson responded that the Marine Corps will still be ready to “answer the nation’s call” if it’s necessary.
The vaccination rate among the Marines is the lowest among all the other military services. While this is the case, Bruce noted that only two Marines have died of the COVID-19 disease to date.
Earlier this month, Rep. Darrell Issa of California headed a group of Republicans in penning and sending a letter to Biden, telling the president that he was making a “grave mistake” by enforcing his vaccine mandate in the military. Last week, the congressman also joined nearly 50 Republican lawmakers in filing an amicus brief, supporting a lawsuit filed by 35 SEALs and other Navy service members who are looking to get religious exemptions to the vaccine. Last week, the Navy reported that none of the 2.844 active duty applications for religious exceptions to the COVID vaccine had been approved.
We are taking on Biden’s destructive military vaccine mandate — and determined to stop his assault on our men and women in uniform. https://t.co/g7yPR4fpAV
— Rep. Darrell Issa (@repdarrellissa) December 29, 2021
Jonathan Wilcox, Issa’s spokesman, told Fox News that around 45,000 active duty members across the military are facing dismissal over the mandate.
“I think that this White House and this president are declaring a rhetorical war on what they call the unvaccinated, and they’re catching the military in that same rhetorical battle,” Wilcox stated. “They are determined to fire, remove and I think ruin those who are challenging their mandate.”
“This would be the most grievous injury that a commander-in-chief has imposed in his command, I think, in the history of this country,” he went on to say.