The Marine Corps has discharged over 160 marines for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, with thousands more at risk of dismissal for refusing the jab.
The COVID-19 vaccine has been in effect since November 28. Service members have been allowed to request a religious exemption, but none have been granted approval.
Fox News reported:
Marines are allowed to apply for a religious exemption, but so far not a single application regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, or any vaccine for that matter, has been approved, a Marine Corps spokesman told Fox News.
Several Marines who refuse to get the shot were granted anonymity by Fox News Digital, so they could speak freely. They said they are witnessing a “political purge” by the Biden administration that is forcing out the military’s “best and brightest” over deeply held beliefs they say are protected by the First Amendment.
Speaking to Fox News, one major with 17 years of service said, “There’s something fundamentally wrong at this point with our nation’s leadership. We are facing an unconstitutional edict that I think is very targeted as a political purge, taking out some of the best and brightest soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and guardians from the Space Force.”
One lieutenant colonel said that it appears the Marine Corps, is discharging service members "as fast as they can and as brutally as they can, damaging every Marine as much as they can on the way out."
Other servicemen have said the Marine Corps appears to be making examples of those pushing back against the vaccine, saying, “the louder I speak the tighter the screws are turned against me.”
The Fox News report continued:
The Marines who spoke with Fox News said they were on the receiving end of a “blanket” denial of religious exemptions, with their applications being rejected without consideration. Eight separate letters of denial provided to Fox News were nearly identical, citing “military readiness” as the primary reason for rejection.
“I saw one package from a sergeant who had attached, like, 30 pages of material to substantiate why his belief was sincere, under no lawful obligation to do so,” the master sergeant said. “And then to have this as a response with no individual inquiry and just a generalized assertion of governmental interest is insulting.”
“On the religious side, this is absolutely a travesty what’s happening,” one chief warrant officer said. “People are getting blanket denials, they’re not addressing the individual concerns or beliefs of Marines who are submitting for religious accommodations, and I think that’s just horribly wrong. I honestly believe that they’re not really reading the packages.”
Speaking to Fox News, Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Ryan Bruce said that no religious exemptions have been granted and that 3,080 of the 3,192 exemption requests the Corps had received had already been processed and denied.
Bruce added that he was not surprised at the denials, saying, “No religious accommodations have been approved for any other vaccine in the past seven years.”
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton voiced his grievance over the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, writing on Twitter, “Kicking thousands of young, healthy troops out of the military over the vaccine mandate hurts our national security,” he tweeted. “All because President Biden is trying to restore his political standing.”