(LifeSiteNews) — A former lance corporal with the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) is refusing to stop fighting after military leaders reportedly bullied and punished her for bucking the mandate to get the abortion-tainted COVID-19 jab.
After undergoing two court-martial attempts that were later dismissed and three efforts to administratively separate her from the Marine Corps, the ex-Marine now faces federal charges for trespassing for refusing to comply with a slew of orders she believes were unlawful.
Catherine Arnett, 25, told LifeSite’s John-Henry Westen she joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2018 seeking discipline and structure.
She completed basic training (boot camp) that year, then went on to undergo combat training and instruction in her administrative Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) in 2019. Arnett then began her duties in the Defense Travel System program at Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 in Iwakuni, Japan, where she processed travel reimbursements for squadron members and achieved the rank of lance corporal.
In August 2021, the Biden administration’s Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin handed down a military-wide COVID jab mandate that reached Arnett’s base in Japan in September.
According to Arnett, Marines on base at the time were told, “If you don’t have the jab by November, we’re going to process you out.”
But the young Marine told LifeSite she had done research into the experimental jabs and concluded that the directive to get the injection was unlawful and wrong.
“I had religious grounds, legal grounds, administrative grounds, personal grounds. I just wasn’t going to get it,” she said.
A Roman Catholic, Arnett submitted a religious accommodation request citing her beliefs and her objections to the fetal tissue derived from aborted babies used by researchers in the development of the shots.
Despite requesting the exemption, she soon received orders to leave the Marine Corps because of her decision to remain unvaccinated.
Unlike many who agreed to leave the Corps, however, Arnett refused — as she put it, she “took a different approach to the separation orders.”
“Not only did I say no to not getting the vaccine, I said no to separation as well, because I didn’t find either lawful,” Arnett said. “If you’re separating me for something I don’t even have to legally get, then your separation is null and void.”
After she refused to report to the separation center in California and simply continued working on base, she said she was stripped of her automatic pay and her driver’s license, restricted to base for 30 days, and referred for court-martial.
In April 2022, she lost access to the Defense Travel System, making it impossible to do her job. She said she was given no reason why her access was denied, and she responded by resubmitting her original authorization form, which had already been signed by her commander, after adding her own renewed signature and the updated date.
The form was approved and she regained access to her account, enabling her to continue working in her role for several months. An email published by TRMLX suggests that her commander knew she was still working in the role and approved of her job performance.
In August, Arnett caught a break when a federal judge ruled the Marine Corps could not administratively separate service members who had requested exemptions to the COVID jab mandate for religious reasons, U.S. military online news outlet Task & Purpose reported. Arnett’s charges were dropped, and in September she and other unvaccinated Marines were granted a one-year extension.
The following month, however, the young Marine was accused of forgery for resubmitting her authorization document and the USMC again attempted to administratively separate her.
When she again refused to comply, she was placed under arrest.
In January, the same month the military-wide jab mandate was rescinded, Arnett was placed on a pre-trial restriction pending court-martial charges, then transported to the “brig,” i.e. military jail, hours away in Okinawa on January 23, 2023, where she would remain for 113 days.
Accustomed to attending daily Mass, she said she was separated from receiving the Holy Eucharist for almost the entire duration of her incarceration.
“I was in love and am still in love with the Eucharist,” she said. “That was a very strong source of spiritual recourse for me.”
She said she believes the jail sentence was “intentional retaliation” for bucking the previous orders she considered unlawful. But she explained the treatment “only invigorated me more.”
On April 19, 2023, Arnett was flown out from the Okinawa brig to be incarcerated back in the U.S. on the Miramar Base in California.
On May 15, she was released. Weeks later, on June 5, the new charges were dropped and the Marine Corps decided to once again attempt to administratively separate Arnett from the service instead of pursuing a court-martial.
Marine Maj. Rob Martins, a spokesman for the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, confirmed in a statement to Task & Purpose that the charges against Arnett had been dropped.
At almost midnight on June 23, which was slated to be Arnett’s final day in the service, she went to the base police station and reiterated that she had no intention of “willingly separating from the Marine Corps.”
But the Marines had other ideas. In the early hours of the morning, “with nothing but the green Marine Corps uniform on my back and a binder of crumpled up papers, they take me to like a gas station a mile or two out, dump me unceremoniously. And they’re just like, ‘Good luck,’” Arnett said.
Arnett says she’s still facing punishment for bucking orders.
She told LifeSite she is now awaiting a court summons for a federal trespassing charge lodged against her after her refusal to comply with separation orders.
Asked what supporters can do to help, Arnett asked for prayer and donations to a GiveSendGo fundraiser to help her pay for personal necessities as she navigates her circumstances.
Asking mainly for prayers for her commanders, Arnett urged supporters to “please lift up rosaries,” or at least say several Hail Marys in Latin.
While her future is unclear, Arnett is committed to fighting against what she sees as the unlawful orders imposed by the U.S. military under the Biden administration.
For the young Marine, her “fight is not over.”