Marine Corps Commandant Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger testifies during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington, on Capitol Hill, Dec. 3, 2019. Berger has tested positive for COVID-19. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. David Berger, has tested positive for the coronavirus, his spokesperson said in a statement on Monday afternoon.

“The Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. David Berger, has tested positive for COVID-19. the performance of his duties will remain unaffected,” Marine Maj. Eric Flanagan said in the statement.

Berger’s status was announced shortly after a spokesman for Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced that Milley had tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday.

Berger and Milley are the second top Pentagon leaders to come down with coronavirus over the past several weeks.

The nation’s top defense leader, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, tested positive earlier this month, forcing him to quarantine.

Milley is currently isolating at a remote location and is experiencing “very minor” symptoms, his spokesman said. It was not stated whether Berger was isolating or quarantining.

All were vaccinated and at least two — Milley and Austin — had received the booster shot.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 17: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley talk before the start of the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on "A Review of the FY2022 Department of Defense Budget Request' on June 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. The hearings are to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2022 for the Department of Defense. (Photo by Caroline Brehman-Pool/Getty Images)

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley talk. (Photo by Caroline Brehman-Pool/Getty Images)

The Biden Pentagon mandated vaccines for all service members, citing a risk to military readiness if service members remained unvaccinated, and the military services have begun separating those who have not complied.

The Marine Corps has separated more than 350 Marines so far, the Air Force at least 27, the Navy has separated at least 20, and the Army has fired at least six active-duty leaders and issued more than 2,994 written reprimands.

There are an estimated 30,000 or more service members who remain unvaccinated.

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