SU-30SM, SU-35S, and SU-34 flying in formation - Sputnik International, 1920
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Over 200 US Marines Discharged as Service Rejects Thousands of COVID Vaccine Exemption Requests

© US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Brandon AultmanU.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Christopher Rivera, battalion sergeant major, 1st Battalion, 3d Marines, receives the COVID-19 vaccine, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Feb. 18, 2021.
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Christopher Rivera, battalion sergeant major, 1st Battalion, 3d Marines, receives the COVID-19 vaccine, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Feb. 18, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.01.2022
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In August 2021, the Pentagon announced it would immediately require all service members be vaccinated against COVID-19. While the Army and Navy have yet to issue a round of related discharges, thousands of vaccine exemption requests have been denied, and over two dozen airmen and hundreds of Marines have been booted from service.
More than 200 US Marines have been discharged from service due to their refusal to take any COVID-19 vaccine, the US Marine Corps (USMC) confirmed in a Thursday memo.
This week, 37 Marines were discharged over the Pentagon vaccine mandate, bringing the current total up to 206 service members since separations began in mid-December 2021.
Per the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, a service member cannot be dishonorably discharged over vaccine refusal alone.
As of Thursday, the USMC reported that it had reviewed and adjudicated 3,080 of 3,192 vaccine exemption requests submitted by Marines. Exemption requests are handled by The Manpower and Reserve Affairs (M&RA) Department, headed by deputy commandant Lt. Gen. David Ottignon.
As for the majority of the USMC, around 95% of all active duty Marines have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while some 86% of those in the Reserve force have done the same.
The US Air Force and Navy notably shared a November 14 deadline for vaccine compliance, but only the former has moved to discharge troops. At least 27 airmen have been separated from service.
U.S. Navy Lt. Craig Wilcox, a company commander assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (MLG), I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), left, waits for U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Rodolfo Mena, a maintenance management chief assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st MLG, I MEF, right, to administer a COVID-19 vaccine at the walk in clinic at the Community Vaccination Center (CVC) at the Jackson County Expo in Central Point, Oregon, April 29, 2021. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing continued, flexible Department of Defense support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of the whole-of-government response to COVID-19 - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.12.2021
US Navy Joins Air Force in Discharging Service Members Over COVID Vaccine Noncompliance
Compliance has also been up for the Air Force and the Navy, as 95% of airmen have been fully vaccinated against the highly-contagious disease, and 99% of all US sailors have received at least their first dose of the vaccine.
Meanwhile, 98% of the Army's active duty force has received at least one jab.
Both the Army and the Navy are projected to announce their first vaccine-related discharges later this month.
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