US Marine Corps discharge 103 members for refusing to take Covid-19 vaccine

The Marine Corps has discharged 103 service members for refusing to take the Covid-19 vaccine as the military begins carrying out enforcement actions for its vaccine mandate.

As of this week, 95% of active duty Marines are vaccinated, according to the latest data from the Marine Corps released Thursday, but the service is still processing exemption requests.

More than 97% of the entire active duty military force is partially or fully vaccinated. The Air Force has fully or partially vaccinated 97.5% of its active duty force as of this week, while the Navy has vaccinated approximately 98%.

The Air Force on Monday had discharged 27 service members for refusing the vaccine, and on Wednesday, the Navy said it would begin discharging service members who refuse to get vaccinated.

“We don’t want to see anybody administratively discharged for not taking the vaccine, because we want to see them take the vaccine, because it’s a valid military medical requirement,” said Pentagon press secretary John Kirby at a press briefing.

Despite the phenomenal success the military has had in vaccinating the armed forces, approximately 35,000 troops remain unvaccinated. That number includes thousands of pending requests, largely for religious exemptions.

The Army which hit its vaccination deadline on Wednesday, has fully or partially vaccinated 98% of its active duty force, with 3,864 soldier refusals.

Next month, the service will begin involuntarily discharging soldiers who refuse the vaccine without an approved or pending exemption.

On Wednesday, the Navy put out its updated guidance that sailors who fail to follow the lawful order to take the vaccine will be separated.

Any sailor who refused the vaccine but changed their mind can remain in the military.