A total of 103 Marines have been kicked out because of refusal to take the COVID vaccine, according to the Marine Corps on Thursday.
The military services have started to discharge a pool of 30,000 active duty service officers who still refuse to be vaccinated, even after multiple warnings and opportunities provided for the vaccinations.
COVID vaccine was mandated by the Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in late August for all U.S. military officers and personnel.
Right after the COVID vaccine was made mandatory, the military officers quickly set up their own deadline dates and warned other service members to get vaccinated or else they would be facing discharges which is also in line with the Pentagon’s stance over choosing to remain unvaccinated. Later, it was considered as a lawful order from Austin.
The percentage for the vaccinated duty officers in each service department is at 95% or may be higher, whereas, the number of unvaccinated military personnel is close to 30,000.
Earlier this week, the Air Force became the first military organization to discharge some military personnel followed by the warning where they announced that 27 airmen had received administrative discharges.
“In accordance with direction on COVID-19 vaccination from the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Navy, a fully vaccinated force is a matter of operational readiness and good order and discipline,” the guidance, published on Oct. 23, read.
“A Marine is considered to have ‘refused the vaccine’ when they do not have an approved administrative or medical exemption, religious accommodation, or pending (an) appeal,” according to the guidance.
Why it matters: As discussed above, other military branches have started working in this act as they are defying the vaccination order over growing concern of the Omicron variant.
“The speed with which the disease transmits among individuals has increased risk to our Marines and the Marine Corps’ mission,” Navy added. “We are confident the vaccine protects our Marines, our communities, and the Nation.”