U.S. military has yet to approve its first religious exemption to COVID vaccine mandate: report

More than 200 Marines separated for refusal to get vaccine. Another 8,000 active-duty and 5,000 reserve personnel could face separation.

Updated: December 31, 2021 - 12:45pm

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The U.S. military has yet to approve a religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate sought by service members, according to The Epoch Times.

The Air Force had the earliest deadline for full vaccination, and none of the 10,700 religious-exemption applications has been approved.

"As of last week, 2,130 have already been denied," the news outlet said Friday.

The Marine Corps said Thursday it has denied 3,115 of 3,247 religious-exemption applications received. It separated 206 service members for refusal to get fully vaccinated by its deadline.

Judging by its one-dose vaccination rates, the Marine Corps could separate another 8,000 active-duty and 5,000 reserve personnel for refusal to get vaccinated, Epoch Times said.

An Air Force reservist filed a discrimination complaint over her termination from the diversity office allegedly for seeking a religious exemption to the mandate.

Lt. Col. Brandi King, who has natural immunity, told Just the News her superiors warned her not to seek an exemption and threatened her with court-martial and dishonorable discharge if her application was denied. She received a blanket denial.

Several unidentified Marines told Fox News this week their religious exemption requests also drew "blanket" denials that lacked individual consideration. The news outlet said it reviewed eight denial letters that were "nearly identical," all citing "military readiness" as the primary basis for rejection.