The U.S. military is on the verge of dismissing hundreds of trained fighter pilots for refusing to take the coronavirus vaccine, an active-duty Marine told Tucker Carlson on Monday.
Lt. Col. Scott Duncan is just one of the many aviators who was denied a religious exemption after the Department of Defense’s mandate on all active-duty service members went into effect on Nov. 28. If Duncan’s appeal is denied, he will be discharged from the military for choosing to forego the vaccine. Duncan has flown over 300 combat missions, including 200 carrier landings for the Marine Corps.
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“I am not unique in my situation,” Duncan told Tucker Carlson on Monday. “There are many incredibly qualified individuals with a tremendous amount of experience, and we believe that that can be a detriment to national defense in the event we separate that many aviators.”
More than 200 Marines have been booted and thousands more face the same fate for refusing to submit to the vaccine.
Duncan said he and many of his fellow Marines “do disagree with the pedigree and the technology maturation over time.
But, he added, “that’s [just] one issue. The other is just a conviction by the Holy Spirit and I believe we are led in that fashion. We do not have any peace about the vaccine itself,” he said. “We also believe we have an inherent right to our own body. We believe that is our right, it is conferred with us from the maker and creator and that is the foundation of the Constitution which we defend. So those are all the bases primarily of the religious accommodation that has been both requested, denied, and then subsequently appealed.”
Other Marines who spoke with Fox News said they were on the receiving end of a “blanket” denial of religious exemptions, with their applications being rejected without consideration. Eight separate letters of denial provided to Fox News were nearly identical, citing “military readiness” as the primary reason for rejection. The U.S. military has issued just two religious exemptions to date.
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Duncan said he hopes the DoD leadership will weigh the “cost-benefit analysis” of what’s at stake.
“We absolutely believe everything we’ve done up to date in honorable service, as well as what we’re doing now, is consistent with those views,” he said. “That view is just not shared by some leadership within the Department of Defense and so we believe this is a very reasonable and above reproach way to express our concerns.”