The U.S. Marine Corps issued guidance to roll back its strict punishments for service members who are seeking COVID-19 vaccine exemptions.
"Involuntary administrative separation processing of class members for refusing COVID-19 vaccination is suspended," the memo also said, while it 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."
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.
Recruitment DownIn recent months, reports have indicated that every branch of the U.S. military is struggling to find new recruits, triggering warnings from some members of Congress.
Some have flagged the Pentagon's strict vaccine requirement while others have said it is because of the slow creep of "woke" diversity trainings and mandates into the military. And others say that high U.S. obesity rates may be a contributing factor, and others note that the pay is not adequate.
Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), a former Army ranger, told the outlet that the Pentagon should promise more money in the form of "enlistment incentives and bonuses."