Marines give first religious exemption in military for Covid-19 vaccine mandate

in your weekly COVID-19 Update, the Marine Corps said it had received 3,350 requests for religious exemptions and processed 3,212 of them. But for the first time ever, the Marine Corps said it had accepted two requests. The service did not provide any additional information about why these specific requests were granted.

Each service has received several thousand requests for religious exemptions in the military’s vaccine mandate. But as of this week, none of these requests have been accepted, although the services still have several requests to process.

As of the latest update, the Navy received 3,038 religious waiver requests, although the service does not say how many have been processed. The army has so far received 2,128 requests and 162 have been rejected. The Air Force has received 2,387 and rejected 229.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby earlier this week pressed for why the services offered no religious exemptions.

“We believe there should be a channel through which men and women in the workforce who believe they have legitimate religious exemptions on their behalf,” Kirby said in a press briefing on Monday.

The military’s vaccine mandate, designed for Make sure the force is preparedhas become an open political issue.

Some Republican governors have refused to implement the mandate for their state’s National Guard units, saying they have the authority to reject the federal military mandate.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, one of seven Republican governors to challenge the mandate, sued the Biden administration over the requirement, arguing that it was “unlawful” for the Pentagon to attempt to override its authority of state Guard members.
Although a governor is the commander-in-chief of a National Guard unit when he is not operating under federal orders, the guard unit must still meet federal military preparedness requirements, including medical requirements. In addition, the Pentagon pays for Guard units, even when they operate under state orders, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has warned that non-vaccinated Guard members will not get paid,
Abbott’s lawsuit comes as a federal judge in Texas ruled last week against requiring a vaccine for the Biden administration’s military a decision that took aim How Navy policies handled those who sought religious exemption from receiving the vaccine.

US District Judge Reed O’Connor issued a preliminary order restraining the Navy from taking adverse action against 35 Navy SEALs who sued in court seeking exemption from the vaccine requirement for religious reasons. Were. The order barred the Navy from implementing policies that would allow those religious objectors to be non-deployable or disqualified from special operations.

The Pentagon has said it is still considering how it will react to the decision.