Marine Corps removes harsh COVID vax penalties for religious accommodations

A new administrative order issued by the Marine Corps has quickly paused any punishments for Marines who request a non secular exemption from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

The order, which was signed and posted Wednesday, directs commanders inside the Marine Corps to halt all administrative actions towards Marines, regardless of the present stage of the separation course of.

The executive order said {that a} U.S. Federal District Court docket in Florida issued a court docket order on Aug. 18 that prohibited the Corps from taking “sure actions” towards service members in search of spiritual exemption.

Leathernecks who assert their rights underneath the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) will now not be punished for his or her refusal to get vaxxed.

Marines standing in formation.
Although this order stands, it’s only momentary and Marines can nonetheless face separation if the order is modified or voided.
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The executive order additionally states {that a} Marine’s vaccination standing can’t be used towards them in health studies or different efficiency evaluations.

For Marines in search of promotions however had been unable to rank up due to the vaccination coverage, the brand new order brings updates however they fluctuate for officers and enlisted personnel.

Although a Florida court docket has issued this order, if the order is revoked for any motive, Marines can nonetheless be subjected to separation for his or her refusal to take the vaccine.

Greater than 3,000 troops have been involuntarily separated from the navy for his or her refusal to get the vaccine for varied causes. The Marine Corps eliminated probably the most, axing 1,968 from their ranks, the Military Times reported in April.

The discharge standing of troops who’ve been pushed out of the navy varies.

About 70% of the troops separated across the military have obtained basic discharges underneath honorable situations, securing most of their veteran advantages. The remaining troops who had been separated obtained honorable discharges.

The reasoning for the distinction in discharge standing is unknown.

The Department of Defense has reported that greater than 1.9 million troops throughout the armed forces have been vaccinated, with barely greater than 28,000 partially vaccinated as of Sept. 14.

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