Religious exemptions have been few and far between for service members.
Even though every case is supposed to be weighed upon its own merits, that does not appear to be happening.
Breitbart is now reporting that Marine Corps commanders have been caught simply copying and pasting denials, a clear violation of the spirit of the directive.
Each and every exemption request is supposed to be decided upon its own merits.
It appears, however, that instead of considering each request, they are just getting denied, with a form letter being sent out for the rejection.
Mike Berry, general counsel for First Liberty and Marine reservist, stated, “They’re all identical, every single one of them.
“It’s evidence that they’re not evaluating them on an individual basis, which is what the regulations and federal law require, and it’s like somebody just issued a template, and they’re just rubber-stamping them.
“These don’t address the specific circumstances of their request.”
Now, there is nothing wrong with using a form letter as a base, but the fact that the specifics of each request are not being noted is a problem.
Per the Marine Corps policy on vaccines, “The burden of proof is placed upon the Marine Corps, not the individual requesting the exemption” and that “commanders making final determinations on requests will consider, with appropriate annotation on the determination, the elements of mission accomplishment that form the basis of the compelling governmental interest.”
If further states, “Each request for religious accommodation must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, giving consideration to the full range of facts and circumstances relevant to the specific request. It is essential that commanders articulate the factual basis underlying their decision.”
Breitbart pointed to two examples, one being a Marine worried about infertility and another citing deep religious beliefs, with both having been sent the same exact letter save the date, the Marines name, and the signing officer.
6/ In this case, CAPT Marc Ratkus, who is CO of Center for Information Warfare Training & CDR Schley's boss, provided a standard denial memo to CDR Schley and instructed her to use it for all requests at her command. It even had his letterhead and signature on it. pic.twitter.com/JDWXWypXkM
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) October 28, 2021
This more or less confirms most of our suspicions that barring medical exemption, this administration will force the jab or kick them out.
Based on the low number of religious exemptions, with at least one branch not having approved any religious exemptions, this seems to be a shadow policy denying our troops even the consideration of a religious exemption.
You can read more about this report on Breitbart.