President Joe Biden’s push for federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates has received fierce opposition from within the public and private sectors.
According to reports, a naval officer was recently removed from his post for refusing to comply with one such requirement.
Navy offers vague statement
Newsmax identified the fired officer as Cmdr. Lucian Kins. There are conflicting accounts related to why he was removed from his post as second in command of the USS Winston Churchill destroyer.
Navy spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Jason Fisher declined to provide specifics on the matter, citing privacy concerns. Instead, he merely stated that Capt. Ken Anderson, the commander of Naval Surface Squadron 14, lost confidence in Kins after he failed to obey a lawful order.
Fisher would not disclose what that lawful order was.
Other Navy officials, on the other hand, have claimed that Kins was removed because he refused to comply with the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate. He allegedly refused both the vaccine and routine testing.
Anonymous officials further asserted that Kins applied for a religious exemption but was denied. He is said to be appealing that decision.
“Exercising their personal responsibility”
As it stands, Kins has been reassigned to the staff of Naval Surface Squadron 14.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin implemented the military-wide mandate in August, stating at the time that “careful consultation with medical experts and military leadership” led to the conclusion that such a measure had become “necessary to protect the Force and defend the American people.”
Kins appears to be the first known naval official to be impacted by its requirements — but there could be more casualties to come throughout the military. The latest reports suggest that the Pentagon is currently considering whether a booster shot will also be mandated.
For now, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said that “there is no requirement” for a third jab. Of course, that is clearly subject to change.
In a message to the Oklahoma National Guard this week, Brig. Gen. Thomas Mancino addressed the potential ramifications of defying the mandate, writing: “Anyone exercising their personal responsibility and deciding not to take the vaccine, must realize that the potential for career ending federal action, barring a favorable court ruling, legislative intervention, or a change in policy is present.”