U.S. Navy is also reversing an order punishing SEALs who remain unvaccinated due to their religious beliefs.
Are the bureaucrats in the Department of Defense finally catching up with science?
This may be the case, as the US Marine Corps issued a new administrative order temporarily pausing any punishments for Marines who request a religious exemption from receiving the covid vaccine.
The order, which was signed and posted Wednesday, directs commanders within the Marine Corps to halt all administrative actions against Marines, no matter the current stage of the separation process.
The administrative order stated that a U.S. Federal District Court in Florida issued a court order on Aug. 18 that prohibited the Corps from taking “certain actions” against service members seeking religious exemption.
Leathernecks who assert their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) will no longer be punished for their refusal to get vaxxed.
The guidance follows a preliminary injunction that a U.S. federal district court judge issued in August blocking the Marine Corps from punishing any Marine for refusing the vaccine on religious grounds.
“The Marine Corps will not enforce any order to accept COVID-19 vaccination, administratively separate, or retaliate against Marines in the class for asserting statutory rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” a Sept. 13 Marine Corps administrative message stated.
“Commanders shall pause all administrative actions related to the involuntary separation of a class member, regardless of the current status of the separation process,” the message said.
The guidance applies to Marines whose original religious exemption request was denied by Manpower & Reserve Affairs, and whose appeal request to the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps was submitted in a “timely manner” and was subsequently denied or is still pending action. The class includes approximately 1,150 Marines, Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Jay Hernandez told Marine Corps Times.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy is reversing an order punishing SEALs who remain unvaccinated due to their religious beliefs.
The order, “Trident Order #12,” disqualified SEALs seeking religious exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine from training, traveling for deployment and conducting other standard business. It was first issued on Sept. 24, 2021 by Rear Admiral H. W. Howard, the former commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, and all special warfare forces were initially expected to come into compliance with the vaccine mandate by mid-October 2021.
…The order was put on hold due to a preliminary injunction issued by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in early 2022 as part of an ongoing lawsuit brought by First Liberty Institute and Hacker Stephens LLP on behalf of 35 active-duty SEALs and three reservists seeking a religious exemption to the mandate.
However, according to a new filing in the lawsuit, the Navy quietly rolled back Trident Order #12 on May 22, 2022, a few months after the injunction was issued.
Making the vaccine optional is the only sensible approach, especially as the erstwhile Commander-in-Chief says the pandemic is over.
Biden: "The pandemic is over" pic.twitter.com/tCr0T3sARO
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 19, 2022
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