The Marine Corps has now separated more than 1,000 Marines due to refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Marine Corps has separated 165 Marines over the past week due to their refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19. At 1,038, the Marine Corps leads the military branches for the most separations.
The Navy comes in second with a total of 469 separations, including 50 in the past week. Of the separations this week, 24 had served more than six years, while 26 had served less than six years. The highest rank was chief petty officer, Lt. Travis Callaghan, spokesman for the chief of naval personnel, said in an email.
The Air Force has separated 205 active-duty Airmen, according to its weekly update. The army has yet to separate a soldier.
The Navy, along with the other branches, could potentially have more sailors it separates for refusing to get a COVID-19 shot, but there are currently lawsuits blocking punitive action against a handful of service members who refused. to get vaccinated due to religious objections.
One trial focuses on the Navy’s special warfare community and involves 26 Navy SEALs. Lawyers are currently aiming to make it a class action lawsuit, which would apply to all members of the Navy. The case was heard by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld a preliminary injunction preventing the SEALs from being punished for not being vaccinated.
Another lawsuit includes plaintiffs from all branches of the military, including a naval commander of a guided-missile destroyer. The guardianship judge also prevented the services from taking adverse action against the plaintiffs.
Liberty Counsel, the legal department representing the plaintiffs, is also seeking to turn the case into a class action, USNI News previously reported.
If the class action lawsuit were to prevail, the Navy could have 4,000 sailors unvaccinated against COVID-19, which Navy leaders say is a health risk to the forces.
In a statement associated with the Navy Commander’s trial, Admiral Derek Caudle, Commander of Fleet Forces Command, wrote that having 4,000 sailors unvaccinated “will create an unacceptable risk to the state of preparedness and could result in unnecessary deaths”.
Currently, 4,593 active duty sailors are not fully vaccinated, which could mean they are in the process of being vaccinated, receiving an exemption or waiting for a waiver request to be processed. . Sailors with an exemption receive non-operating tickets, USNI News previously reported.
Another 3,241 members of the reserve are not fully vaccinated, according to the weekly COVID-19 update.
The Marine Corps currently has 96% of its active duty personnel fully vaccinated, and an additional 2% partially vaccinated. Its reserve force is 89% fully vaccinated and 1% partially vaccinated.
Compared to the size of the force, the number of unvaccinated Sailors and Marines is not a large percentage, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro told reporters on Wednesday.
The Marine Corps separated about 0.56% of its workforce due to vaccine denial. The Navy about 0.13 percent.
The percentage of active duty sailors currently undeployable due to lack of vaccination is approximately 1.3%.
“And it’s extremely important that all of our sailors and Marines are properly vaccinated because it’s a matter of combat readiness,” Del Toro said. “We simply cannot endanger the lives of our other sailors who are vaccinated.”
The Navy has granted 12 permanent medical exemptions, 212 temporary medical and 28 administrative exemptions for active duty sailors. The service of the sea granted a permanent exemption, 10 temporary and 31 administrative exemptions to the reservists.
Although there were 3,476 applications from active duty sailors and 875 from reservists, the Navy did not grant a religious exemption. He granted one to a member of the individual ready reserve on the condition that the sailor be vaccinated if called up for active duty or reserve status.
The Marine Corps doesn’t break down exemptions, but it has granted 992 medical or administrative exemptions.
The Marine Corps received 3,653 requests for religious waivers, six of which were approved.
The Air Force approved 19 religious exemptions, with the Army approving none.