A Marine was discharged from the military after refusing to comply with its newly enforced mask mandate.
Cpl. Whitney McHaffie was "administratively separated" from the Marine Corps on July 29, a spokesperson from the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday.
Her dismissal was "in accordance with the Marine Corps Separations Manual," the spokesperson added. "The separation is administrative in nature and therefore protected under the Privacy Act. Additionally, corrective actions that are administrative in nature are protected under the privacy act."
A mask mandate was in effect at the time of her dismissal, though McHaffie argued it violated her religious liberties, according to Military.com. She said she doesn't believe masks are effective, and wearing one would bear false witness, which violates the ninth commandment and is contrary to her religion.
"My leadership became aware of the fact that I was not wearing a mask, and I was not going to receive the vaccine. Within a week's time, I was processed out," she said in a video with Ohio Senate candidate and retired Marine Josh Mandel.
The beginning of McHaffie's demise in the Marine Corps came on July 22 when she had a coughing fit in front of a supervisor who questioned whether she thought she had COVID-19. She replied, "I don't believe in the panic behind COVID, and I'm entirely fine."
One day later, her chain of command issued a warning they would move forward with a discharge, with her commander arguing she "willfully" disobeyed two superior officers by "refusing to wear a face covering despite not meeting the requirement to be exempt."
The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing didn't respond to additional questions about whether McHaffie was the first Marine to lose her job over the mask or the newly implemented vaccine mandate.
McHaffie refused to take the vaccine citing her religious beliefs, which the military has said is a legitimate reason not to get it. There are 17 other vaccines required for military personnel, though some are location-dependent.
"It's against my religion because it's associated with aborted fetal tissue. I'm Catholic," she explained. "I'm not against vaccines. For me, it's about religious freedom, choice, and health concerns."
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mandated the coronavirus vaccine late last month after the Pfizer vaccine was fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said last Wednesday that 76% of the active armed forces were partially vaccinated while 68% were completely vaccinated.
Original Location: Marine corporal discharged over military mask mandate
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