U.S. Marines, among the military’s smallest but exceedingly patriotic branches, say their service is being “crushed” by President Biden’s vaccine mandate, suggesting that it is intentional.
“To date, 169 Marines have been discharged for refusing the vaccine, and thousands more face the same fate after the Department of Defense’s mandate on all active-duty service members went into effect for the Marine Corps on Nov. 28,” Fox News Digital reported, quoting several currently serving Marines who see what is going on as a “political purge.
Marines are permitted 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 the outlet, which added:
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.
“There’s something fundamentally wrong at this point with our nation’s leadership,” said a major with more than 17 years of active service. “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.”
Meanwhile, a lieutenant colonel who has served for more than 19 years on active duty offered that the military — and the Corps specifically — is currently 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.”
“The one message I got from the colonel above me was: ‘Tread very carefully, this is political, you will be crushed like an ant.’ And he told me that because he cares about me,” the veteran officer said. “Do I want to continue serving in an institution that crushes people for bringing up reasonable points in defending their faith?”
One master sergeant explained that it appears that “the louder I speak the tighter the screws are turned against me.”
“When you’re expected to behave a certain way and to obey certain rules and follow certain processes, and then to see on the other end that that’s not a two-way street, that’s a violation of my morals that I can’t stand by and not speak out about,” the senior non-commissioned leader added.
Fox News noted further:
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,” said the master sergeant. “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,” a chief warrant officer added. “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,” the officer continued.
“Everyone else pretty much has a voice except the military, because we are not authorized to speak out in opposition to our leadership,” a female lieutenant colonel who leads an 800-member support group for military members opposed to the jab told Fox News Digital.
“I’ve talked to so many different service members,” she said. “Just recently, one of the corporals in the group was absolutely distraught because one of his friends who also declined the shot recently just killed himself.”
“This is an absolute travesty,” she continued, choking back tears. “And I’m telling you, I am so upset about this. My heart is breaking for these people.”
Fox News Digital added that Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Ryan Bruce said that as of Thursday, 3,080 of the 3,192 requests for religious accommodation regarding the COVID-19 vaccine mandate had been processed and none of them had been approved, adding that “no religious accommodations have been approved for any other vaccine in the past seven years.”