“Amid a two-month court battle which saw a federal judge side with a group of US Marines over the right to refuse the Covid-19 vaccine based on religious objections, the US Marine Corps has quietly dropped strict punishments for service members who are seeking exemptions,” Zero Hedge reports.
ONLY AFTER after Federal Ct. issued preliminary injunction on 18 Aug. >>
— Tom T. ن Pray for Israel 🇺🇸 (@VRWCTexan) September 18, 2022
I continue the fight to end the destructive Biden military COVID vaccine mandate.
The latest here👇https://t.co/1emmuX368N
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) September 17, 2022
From Zero Hedge:
A Sept. 14 notice reads that 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.”
The guidance references the temporary order blocking the Marines from taking action against individuals seeking a religious exemption.
“Involuntary administrative separation processing of class members for refusing COVID-19 vaccination is suspended,” reads the memo, which directs commanders to “pause all administrative actions related to the involuntary separation of a class member, regardless of the current status of the separation process.”
As The Epoch Times Jack Phillips further notes:
Listing several examples, the Marine guidance added that “no orders will be given to receive the vaccine, no counselings will be issued for refusing the vaccine, no administrative separation boards will be conducted,” and no discharges will be issued.
If the Florida judge’s order is vacated or expires, the Marines may still enforce punishment against those who don’t meet the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, a spokesperson told Fox News. Last year, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin issued an order that mandated vaccinations for all members of the armed service.
“The Marine Corps is aware of the class-wide preliminary injunction issued by a District Court judge for the Middle District of Florida preventing the Marine Corps from enforcing any order to accept the COVID-19 vaccine or administratively separating Marines who refused to receive the COVID vaccine after their religious accommodation appeal was denied,” Marine Corps spokesperson Maj. Jay Hernandez told the outlet.
Fox News added:
The memo also states that vaccination status cannot be “considered or referenced” in fitness reports or other performance evaluations for service members.
The Marine’s previous directive required commanders to delay the promotions of “any officer and delay/restrict the promotion of any enlisted member refusing the vaccine,” but the updated guidance outlines a series of steps to walk that specific punishment back in specific cases.
However, the new guidelines do not help move along promotions for all. For officers, promotion recommendations will continue and be routed to the commandant and secretary of the Navy. For “Staff Non-Commissioned Officers” whose religious appeals have been denied, their promotion will be delayed and for “Private First Class” sergeants whose appeals were denied, they will still be under a 12-month promotion restriction.
Read the full memo HERE.