The U.S. Marine Corps is warning Marines that they’ll be kicked out for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Marines refusing the COVID-19 vaccination, absent an approved administrative or medical exemption, religious accommodation, or pending appeal shall be processed for administrative separation [in accordance with] this MARADMIN and supporting references,” read a message from the Marine Administrative Message (MARADMIN) that was posted on the Marine Corps’ website over the weekend, according to The Epoch Times.
“General Court-Martial Convening Authorities (GCMCA) retain authority to take any additional adverse administrative or disciplinary action they deem appropriate,” added the message, which applies to both active-duty and reservists.
The Department of Defense handed down an order several months ago saying that active-duty Marines must be fully vaccinated by November 28, while reservists have until December 28 to do the same. The new message states that a Marine is deemed to have “refused the vaccine” if they cannot obtain a medical or administrative exemption, or a religious exemption—or if they have “willfully disobeyed a lawful order from a superior commissioned officer to be vaccinated against COVID-19.”
Any Marine that is kicked out for refusing the vaccine can be eligible for involuntary separation pay and will potentially face “recoupment of any unearned special or incentive pays and advance educational assistance,” according to the message.
This comes one week after Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warning that mandates are “haphazardly implemented and politically motivated” and “risk irrevocable damage to our national security,” which is greater than any “external threat.”
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) also recently revealed on the Senate floor that he’s heard from nearly 300 servicemembers who said they would have to choose between serving in the military and getting the vaccine.
“It’s un-American, it’s unfair, and it’s immoral,” Lee said, adding that he’s been vaccinated and that he’s “not anti-vaccine.”
Despite this, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby claimed on Monday that the vaccine bolsters national security.
“We believe that the vast, vast majority and the numbers are bearing that out, of our men and women understand that too, and are getting the shots and are getting themselves protected so that they can also protect their families, their units, and their communities,” Kirby said.
Earlier this month, the Navy also revealed that active-duty or reservist personnel would be kicked out for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine.