How is the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for troops affecting the strength and readiness of the Marine Corps?
That’s a question too few people are asking following President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate, but one lawmaker posed that question in a letter to the Commandant of the United States Marine Corp (USMC) on Tuesday.
Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) shared his concerns about the vaccine mandate for Marines in a letter to General David H. Berge.
“On top of the unconstitutionality of President Biden’s vaccine mandate, this has serious implications for our force readiness,” Mast wrote. “Separating hundreds – and potentially thousands – of Marines for exercising their rights can put the United States at a huge military disadvantage.”
The letter asked the general about the 206 Marines discharged for refusing the vaccine and how that could potentially affect the USMC’s readiness.
“I understand that as of December 30, 2021, the U.S. Marine Corps has separated a total of 206 Marines for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine,” the letter read. “Further, USMC has not granted a single religious exemption of the 3,247 it has thus far processed, despite USMC having a higher vaccination rate than all countries except the United Arab Emirates. The consistent denial of religious exemptions strongly indicates that further separations are forthcoming. Therefore, I request a disclosure of the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of each of the 206 Marines discharged for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as the MOS for each of the 3,247 Marines who have been denied religious exemptions.”
On December 28, The Daily Wire reported that more than 9,000 Marines remained unvaccinated. At the time of the report, 94% of troops were fully vaccinated and another 1% were partially vaccinated.
Some Marines are speaking out about the USMC discharging troops for refusing the shot, calling it a “political purge.” “There’s something fundamentally wrong at this point with our nation’s leadership. 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,” a major told FOX News.
Mast is not the only Republican lawmaker speaking out for service members who choose not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In response to a U.S. judge blocking Navy SEALs from being punished for their vaccine refusal, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted, “President Biden is wrong for punishing our Servicemembers over their religious freedom. I am pleased to see a judge issued a stay against Biden’s authoritarian vaccine mandate.”
President Biden is wrong for punishing our Servicemembers over their religious freedom.
I am pleased to see a judge issued a stay against Biden’s authoritarian vaccine mandate.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) January 4, 2022
Mast is worried the dismissals in the USMC are coming at a time when the U.S. military needs to be at its strongest. “As the world’s preeminent naval power, the United States has relied upon the Marine Corps to form the tip of the spear in nearly every modern conflict,” he wrote. “With heightened tensions arising from Russian mobilization on the Ukrainian border and increased Chinese pressure on Taiwan, I have serious concerns about the Marine Corps maintaining its operational lethality and flexibility if it were to separate more than a Regiment worth of Marines.”
The Daily Wire is fighting Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate in federal court. Join us in this fight by signing our petition to OSHA, telling them that you will not comply with this mandate.