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.
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.
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.